February 25, 2014
"Could This Be the Year the Pro-Choice Movement Goes on the Offensive?" Maya Dusenbery, Feministing: Citing a Bloomberg article that reported that more abortion-rights legislation has been introduced this year than any year since the early 1990s, Dusenbery notes that many of the bills "are simply trying to recoup the ground we've lost in the anti-choice barrage of the last few years." She adds, "[E]ven in states where there's little chance of enacting pro-choice legislation now, raising the issue and forcing anti-choice lawmakers to defend increasingly extreme restrictions is a good long-term strategy." She notes, "Plus, every now and again, a truly pro-active pro-choice bill actually gets passed" (Dusenbery, Feministing, 2/24).
What others are saying about abortion-rights protections:
~ "New Hampshire is Poised To Enact a Buffer Zone Around Abortion Clinics To Protect Patients," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
"Supreme Court Turns Away Arizona Planned Parenthood Funding Ban," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check: The Supreme Court on Monday "again turned back efforts to strip Planned Parenthood clinics of Medicaid funding, this time rejecting a request by attorneys for the State of Arizona to overturn a federal appeals court ruling blocking its attempts to disqualify the women's health-care provider from state Medicaid funds," Mason Pieklo writes. The attorneys defending the law for the state argued that the Medicaid statute's use of the word "qualified" was "too vague for the court to enforce" and that the state was thus allowed to define it on its own. Mason Pieklo explains that the lower court's ruling found that this interpretation "would have effectively gutted the 'provider-choice' provision of the Medicaid Act, the portion of the law that allows Medicaid recipients to cho[o]se which providers they want to see." She notes that the Supreme Court's decision marks the second time it "has refused to overturn such lower court decisions" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 2/24).
"Repro Wrap: Here Come the Personhood Bids Again and Other News," Robin Marty, Care2: "This week, three different states have been moving the needle when it comes to granting legal rights to fertilized eggs," including a ballot initiative in Mississippi -- where a "[p]ersonhood" ballot measure was previously rejected -- and bills in the New Hampshire and Florida legislatures, Marty writes. Meanwhile, Alabama is considering four different antiabortion-rights measures, including a bill that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, while both South Carolina and West Virginia are advancing "'fetal pain' pre-viability bans," Marty continues. However, "[i]n good news this week, the state of New Hampshire has passed its own buffer zone to provide additional protection at abortion clinics, some Planned Parenthoods in Arizona have returned to offering medication abortions ... and a bill that would have made public the names of doctors in Indiana who were providing back up care for abortion providers in the state has failed to make it out of committee," she adds (Marty, Care2, 2/21).
What others are saying about abortion restrictions and access:
~ "One of the Nation's Cruelest Anti-Abortion Laws is Starting To Gain Ground," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "Virginia Lawmaker Refers to Pregnant Women as 'Hosts,'" Callie Beusman, Jezebel.
~ "GOP Lawmaker: We Need To Ban Sex-Based Abortions Because of Asian Immigrants," Molly Redden, Mother Jones.
~ "South Dakota Spends $170,000 Defending Anti-Choice Law," Sharona Coutts, RH Reality Check.