August 6, 2013
"What One Woman's Fight for a Late-Term Abortion Says About Reproductive Rights in the U.S.," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": The story of a woman -- identified as Paulina -- who was past New York's 24-week limit for abortion when she found out she was pregnant -- "points to some hard realities in the current reproductive rights landscape in the United States," Culp-Ressler writes. Paulina, a recent immigrant and full-time student with no monthly income, sought help from the New York Abortion Access Fund to obtain the $8,000 she will need for the procedure in Colorado. Culp-Ressler highlights several facts about abortion later in pregnancy, including that such procedures represent just 1.5% of all abortions in the U.S. and that the women who need them often have low incomes and are immigrants. Even for women with insurance coverage, the procedure is sometimes unaffordable, and women must factor in lost wages and travel, which can span "hundreds of miles because they live in areas ... that don't have an abortion clinic" or their state has banned abortions after 20 weeks, Culp-Ressler writes. She concludes, "One of the reasons there are so few late-term abortion providers left is because they have been driven out of business -- or, as in the case of the late Dr. George Tiller, murdered" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 8/5).
"The Right's Plan To Reverse Roe: Ban Abortions To 'Protect' Women," Irin Carmon, MSNBC: Since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, abortion-rights opponents have become "increasingly creative" in attempts to reverse the ruling, most recently by pushing abortion bans under the theory of "'fetal pain,' based on shaky medical evidence that the fetus can experience pain after 20 weeks." Carmon explains that "the abortion bans rippling across state legislatures are meant to offer as many routes as possible for the Justices to change their minds -- or really, just one Justice, Anthony Kennedy," who is considered the court's swing vote on the issue and "has been receptive to fuzzy science before." Although 20 weeks is before fetal viability and the court has said states cannot outlaw abortion prior to that point, abortion-rights opponents are hopeful that "preventing 'fetal pain' at 20 weeks [could] be considered a state interest, even though there's no solid evidence it even exists" (Carmon, MSNBC, 8/5).