January 28, 2014


"Texas Judge Rules Brain Dead Pregnant Woman Must Be Taken Off Life Support," Robin Marty, Care2: A federal judge's ruling that a brain dead pregnant woman -- Marlise Muñoz -- who had been kept on life support for almost two months at a Texas hospital against her family's wishes, "may have settled things for good for the [Muñoz] family, but it won't address the fact that ... the state still has a troubling law that requires pregnant people to be kept on life support, overriding her directives or that of her family," Marty writes. She concludes, "Marlise and her family should now receive justice, but until the law is changed, another [Muñoz] case can always be in the wings" (Marty, Care2, 1/24).

What others are saying about pregnant women's rights:

~ "Judge Orders Brain Dead Texas Woman Be Taken Off Life Support After Lawyers Admit Her Fetus is 'Non-Viable,'" Annie-Rose Strasser, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."

~ "State Bills Aim To End Practice of Shackling Pregnant Inmates," Teddy Wilson, RH Reality Check.


"Bill Regulating Certified Professional Midwives Needs a Push," Judy Norsigian, Our Bodies Ourselves' "Our Bodies, Our Blog": It is time for the Massachusetts Legislature to "join the 28 other states in this country" and enact legislation (HB 2008, SB 1081) "that would license and regulate certified professional midwives, or CPMs," Norsigian writes. Norsigian cites several maternity care professionals who have written to the state Legislature in favor of the bill, noting that they and several "prominent consumer organizations are supporting this bill because they believe it will increase the safety of home birth for families choosing this option." She urges the Legislature's Committee on Public Health to advance the measure for a floor vote, writing, "Failure to license CPMs will make the several hundred home births that occur in Massachusetts every year less safe by failing to create an integrated maternal health care system with enhanced collaboration among all care providers" (Norsigian, "Our Bodies, Our Blog," Our Bodies Ourselves, 1/27).


"New Law Could Force All of Louisiana's Abortion Clinics To Close," Zoe Carpenter, The Nation: "Women in Louisiana could lose all access to abortion services if the state succeeds in enacting a secretive overhaul of its clinic regulations," Carpenter writes, adding that the changes from the state Department of Health and Hospitals would go into effect "immediately" if approved during a public hearing next month. Among other things, the rules would impose "new and complex documentation and staffing requirements," Carpenter writes. The rules originally would have required a woman to have had a blood test 30 days before she could qualify for an abortion, but a DHH spokesperson told The Nation that the 30-day requirement would be rescinded. Carpenter adds that the rules "would also give the state tools to prevent new clinics from getting a license" by requiring new or renovated facilities to meet "square footage requirements" and forcing clinics to "prove to DHH that their services are needed" (Carpenter, The Nation, 1/27).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "Louisiana Rules Would Have Required 30-Day Waiting Period Before Legal Abortion (UPDATED)," Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check.

~ "What if a Waiting Period for an Abortion Was 30 Days Long?" Robin Marty, Care2.

~ "To Stop Dangerous Abortion Providers, We Need More, Not Less, Access to Abortion," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor."