May 21, 2013
"Arizona Congressman Wants To Expand His DC Abortion Ban To Restrict Reproductive Rights Nationwide," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": "Not content with attempting to impose his anti-abortion agenda upon the women who live in the nation's capital, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) now intends to push for a nationwide bill to criminalize abortions after 20 weeks," Culp-Ressler writes. She adds that Franks' comparison of Kermit Gosnell -- "who has been convicted of [the] killing of three infants that were born alive following botched illegal, unsanitary abortion procedures -- to all late-term abortion procedures" is a "gross mischaracterization of the state of legal abortion services throughout the country." Culp-Ressler concludes, "If Franks and his anti-choice colleagues wanted to ensure that desperate women in other states don't have to resort to illegal providers like Gosnell, they should actually be working to make abortion services more affordable and accessible to low-income women" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 5/20).
"A Duty To Protect Lives," Carol Petraitis/Arno Vosk, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights": "Does the fault for [Kermit Gosnell's] crimes lie with the abortion laws of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or are specific individuals who failed to follow those laws to blame?" ask Petraitis and Vosk. Earlier this month, Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of infants born alive after illegal abortion procedures and one count of involuntary manslaughter for the death of a patient in 2009. Petraitis and Vosk note that Pennsylvania had "among the most stringent" abortion clinic regulations in the U.S. at the time of the deaths, adding, "This wasn't the fault of the Supreme Court, the pro-choice movement, or Planned Parenthood. Employees of the Department of Health, for reasons we have yet to understand, neglected to enforce the law." However, instead of investigating the department, state legislators have passed more abortion restrictions, they write (Petraitis/Vosk, "Blog of Rights," ACLU, 5/17).
"Arkansas Judge Temporarily Blocks State's 12-Week Abortion Ban," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check: Mason Pieklo summarizes the status of an ongoing lawsuit challenging an Arkansas law (Act 301) banning most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright "temporarily blocked the law from taking effect, ... while the legal challenge to the law proceeds," Mason Pieklo writes, adding that the judge's decision came "just two days after [she] rejected efforts by the state to dismiss the legal challenge." Mason Pieklo explains that the law "is one of the most extreme in the nation, surpassed only by the recently enacted North Dakota measure banning abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 5/17).