April 9, 2015 — Key stakeholders in women's health comment on Arizona's new antiabortion-rights law, praise New York's effort to codify Roe v. Wade and more.
"[W]e're told that legally we can't provide the best care we know how to." -- Anne Davis, an advocate with Physicians for Reproductive Health, on measures that force doctors to give patients misinformation or go against best medical practice (Daily Beast, 3/27). Arizona and Arkansas recently signed such measures into law, requiring physicians to tell women seeking medication abortion the medically unproven claim that the procedure can be reversed (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/8).
"Kansas is now not only the sole state with this atrocious law; it also now has more restrictions on abortion than any state in the U.S." -- Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, on a new state law (SB 95) that will ban physicians from performing a certain type of abortion procedure. The law is scheduled to take effect July 1 (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/8).
"We're going to stay open. I don't know anything they can do that can deter us right now." -- Shannon Brewer, director of the Jackson Women's Health Organization, confirming that the clinic will continue to see patients despite being vandalized in late March (Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 3/24). In the vandalism incident, an intruder entered the grounds of the facility, which is the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, and tampered with the security cameras (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/25).
"All employers should now re-examine their policies to ensure that pregnant women will not face discrimination on the job." -- Judith Lichtman, senior adviser at the National Partnership for Women & Families, on the Supreme Court's ruling that found UPS was wrong to deny a pregnant employee temporary work accommodations that it offers other employees. The justices said the case should go back to the lower courts for a possible trial that would center on why the company refused Peggy Young's accommodation request but allowed such accommodations for injured workers (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/25).
"The court is, if anything, more convinced that the admitting privileges requirement in Act 37 'remains a solution in search of a problem,' unless that problem is access to abortion itself." -- U.S. District Judge William Conley, in his decision striking down a Wisconsin law (Act 37) that required physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/23).
"It is outrageous that for the second time in two weeks, some politicians are using important legislation to advance their anti-abortion agenda on the backs of the most vulnerable." -- Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, on antiabortion-rights provisions included in a human trafficking bill (S 178) and a separate measure designed to reform how physicians are reimbursed through Medicare. The antiabortion-rights provisions in both bills would impose Hyde Amendment restrictions and have complicated debate over the measures (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/23).
"The Assembly majority believes that in the fight for true women's equality, the most basic right of all is a woman's right to make reproductive health decisions for her own body." -- New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D), on a bill (AB 6221) approved by the chamber that would codify as state law abortion rights established under Roe v. Wade. The measure is expected to meet opposition in the state Senate, where it failed to pass in earlier sessions (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/27).