August 13, 2015 — Media outlets and key stakeholders in women's health comment on an Oklahoma Court ruling that blocks a law limiting medication abortion access, lambast efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and more.
"For women in Oklahoma, this ruling means they can access abortion methods that are best for them." -- Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues associate for the Guttmacher Institute, on a state court ruling to block a law (HB 2684) designed to restrict medication abortion access. The law requires physicians to administer medication abortion drugs according to FDA protocol and bans use of the method after 49 days of pregnancy, which goes against common medical practice (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/11).
"The recent attacks on Planned Parenthood ... lay bare the deep disconnect between the highly-charged political rhetoric deployed to defund clinics and deny women health care and the real-world health needs of women and their families." -- Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, in an MSNBC opinion piece discussing conservative lawmakers' efforts to defund Planned Parenthood (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/10).She writes that "the real irony of this backward tactic by anti-choice factions is this: Defunding Planned Parenthood wouldn't just limit women's right to abortion services; it would also prevent millions of women from accessing contraception that prevents unintended pregnancies, 40% of which end in abortion" (MSNBC, 8/8).
"There is not a justifiable medical reason for this restriction." -- Amesh Adalja, a Pittsburgh-based physician, writes in a Pittsburgh City Paper opinion piece debunking the claims behind telemedicine abortion bans. "Telemedicine is path-breaking technology that will revolutionize health care and improve access to care, control costs and open up whole new avenues for innovation. It must not be left susceptible to government interference that clearly vitiates the once-sacrosanct U.S. Constitution's principle of liberty," he writes (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/30).
"By ensuring full reproductive health access, the EACH Woman Act means every woman is able to make the important personal decisions that enable her to control her own destiny." -- Columnist Marlo Barrera, in an opinion piece for the Baton Rouge Advocate on how the proposed EACH Woman Act (HR 2972) would help women access the full range of reproductive health care. According to Barrera, "[t]he bill would ensure that every woman who receives health care or insurance through the federal government is provided with complete reproductive health care, including abortion care," and "prohibit politicians from interfering with decisions by private health insurance companies to provide this type of coverage in their health plans" (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/29).
"It is time to put the [antiabortion-rights] forces on the defensive for who they are and what they really stand for: Preventable deaths of healthy young women." -- Rita Henley Jensen, editor in chief of Women's eNews, on how "laws and policies that limit abortion's availability, especially for women and teens who need it most," are "literally killing us." She calls on abortion-rights supporters "to transform the political landscape to the point that being anti-choice is toxic for anyone running for public office" (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/28).
"This is the state of Wisconsin making pregnancy more dangerous for women." -- Nicole Safar, director of government relations at Planned Parenthood Wisconsin, on the myriad abortion restrictions that are driving Wisconsin residents across state lines to access abortion care. The state has several abortion restrictions -- including a 20-week abortion ban (Act 56) and a 24-hour mandatory delay before abortions -- and only four abortion clinics (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/27).
"Decisions regarding medical care -- including reproductive rights -- are appropriately between a patient and his or her medical professionals." -- Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D), praising a decision from a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a state law requiring pharmacies to dispense all medicine, including emergency contraception, regardless of whether owners have religious objections. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they would appeal the decision either to the full 9th Circuit or to the Supreme Court (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/27).
"Today's decision reaffirms that the U.S. Constitution protects women from the legislative attacks of politicians who would deny them their right to safely and legally end a pregnancy." -- Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, on a ruling from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down North Dakota's fetal heartbeat abortion ban (HB 1456). The state has not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/23).
"Women in this study overwhelmingly felt that the decision [to have an abortion] was the right one for them." -- Corrine Rocca of the University of California-San Francisco's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and colleagues, on the findings in their PLOS ONE study. The researchers found "at all time points over three years, 95 percent of participants reported abortion was the right decision, with the typical participant having a greater than 99 percent chance of reporting the abortion decision was right for her" (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/14).