The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

Salvadoran woman, "Beatriz" will be allowed to end pregnancy | The Guardian

A seriously ill Salvadoran woman whose struggle to get a medical abortion drew international attention has received permission to end the troubled pregnancy with a caesarean section.

El Salvador’s health minister approved the C-section for the 22-year-old woman who suffers from kidney failure and lupus, a day after the supreme court ruled that she could not have an abortion despite her lawyers’ appeal that the pregnancy was life-threatening.

Ultrasound images indicate that her fetus was developing with only a brain stem and was given no chance of surviving.

The case of the mother known only as Beatriz drew widespread attention and criticism as she sought to end the pregnancy in a country with some of the strictest abortion laws in Latin America. Salvadoran laws prohibit all abortions, even when a woman’s health is at risk, and the woman and any doctor who terminated her pregnancy would face arrest and criminal charges.

The belated conservative reaction to the Gosnell case is a classic example of the bait-and-switch at the heart of the increasing proliferation of abortion regulations. Anti-choicers talk a great deal about the relatively tiny number of medically unnecessary post-viability abortions—which Roe v. Wade explicitly allows to be banned and are already illegal—in order to pass regulations that apply at every stage of pregnancy. The most common of these regulations—prohibitions on public funding for abortion, waiting periods, parental-involvement laws, mandatory ultrasounds, and the targeted regulation of abortion providers—are not merely irrelevant, but counterproductive. All of these legal burdens make obtaining a safe first-trimester abortion more difficult. Although the Gosnell case will be used by opponents of reproductive freedom to advocate for more arbitrary regulations, to argue that a single doctor performing already illegal post-viability abortions means that we should make safe pre-viability abortions less accessible is self-refuting nonsense. As Carmon puts it, women kept going to Gosnell’s clinic ‘because they felt they had no alternative.’ That alternative is clinics where even poor women can obtain safe first-trimester abortions in a timely manner, without having to navigate a blizzard of regulatory impediments with the sole purpose of inhibiting access to abortion. Five Lessons from the Gosnell Abortion-Clinic Controversy (via dendroica)

(via dendroica)

anarcho-queer:

Arkansas Enacts Strictest Abortion Law In The Country
Arkansas has just enacted the most extreme abortion law in the country - barring abortion at 12 weeks.
Despite the Governor’s veto, both chambers of the legislature voted to override, making it illegal to have an abortion after 12 weeks - still in the first trimester and only shortly after most women will have learned they are pregnant. This ban is two months earlier than any other state in the country. And it comes soon after the legislature banned abortion after 20 weeks.
Certain politicians in Arkansas don’t seem to care that this law is unconstitutional. Nor do they care that this law strips women of their ability to make deeply personal reproductive health decisions.
The Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision affirmed the right to a safe & legal abortion. However, opponents of abortion in Arkansas disregard this ruling in their effort to both remove the right that Roe affords women and to force the Supreme Court to reconsider the constitutionality of abortion. These bans in Arkansas are one more step in their strategy to make all abortions completely illegal.

anarcho-queer:

Arkansas Enacts Strictest Abortion Law In The Country

Arkansas has just enacted the most extreme abortion law in the country - barring abortion at 12 weeks.

Despite the Governor’s veto, both chambers of the legislature voted to override, making it illegal to have an abortion after 12 weeks - still in the first trimester and only shortly after most women will have learned they are pregnantThis ban is two months earlier than any other state in the country. And it comes soon after the legislature banned abortion after 20 weeks.

Certain politicians in Arkansas don’t seem to care that this law is unconstitutional. Nor do they care that this law strips women of their ability to make deeply personal reproductive health decisions.

The Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision affirmed the right to a safe & legal abortion. However, opponents of abortion in Arkansas disregard this ruling in their effort to both remove the right that Roe affords women and to force the Supreme Court to reconsider the constitutionality of abortion. These bans in Arkansas are one more step in their strategy to make all abortions completely illegal.

(via randomactsofchaos)

The US has seen more anti-abortion violence than any other country in the world. Since 1993, at least eight abortion providers, including four doctors have been killed. And there have been over 200 arsons and bombings against reproductive healthcare clinics since 1977. Isn’t it funny, the only news network willing to publish these stats: Al Jazeera. (via pinchmedeadly)

(Source: aljazeera.com, via randomactsofchaos)

thepeoplesrecord:

Judges go wild over abortion!
July 28, 2012
Here is the basic principle on abortion restrictions set out by Supreme Court precedent: The state can try to talk a woman out of having an abortion, but only if it doesn’t present an “undue burden,” and only if the materials used are “truthful, nonmisleading information.” In a 7-4 ruling this week on a South Dakota restriction, the 8th Circuit Court basically threw the second principle out of the window, implying we can’t rely on the prevailing medical evidence about whether abortion causes suicide. Meanwhile, a recent hearing in the pivotal Arizona 20-week ban challenge suggests a federal judge there is inclined to similarly disregard precedent.
At issue in South Dakota is a 2005 “informed consent” law that, among other provisions being battled in separate cases, demanded that doctors tell women seeking abortions that abortion carries an “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide,” despite no one ever having proved the causation, and the repeated discrediting of studies that claim to. The judges have mostly rationalized this by saying that telling women who are planning to have an abortion that there is an “increased risk” of suicide isn’t the same as telling them that abortion causes suicide. In other words, the state is just providing a helpful FYI! Even if the correlation is simply that preexisting mental health issues correlate with unwanted pregnancies.
Presented with an American Psychological Association meta-analysis that dismissed the causal claim and found methodological flaws in the studies of correlations, alongside several studies cited by Planned Parenthood in its challenge, the majority basically threw up its hands and went postmodern on the entire notion of truth. “It is difficult to identify a solid objective basis for the criteria employed in these reviews to identify the ‘best’ studies,” they wrote. “We express no opinion as to whether some of the studies are more reliable than others; instead, we hold only that the state legislature, rather than a federal court, is in the best position to weigh the divergent results.”
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

Judges go wild over abortion!

July 28, 2012

Here is the basic principle on abortion restrictions set out by Supreme Court precedent: The state can try to talk a woman out of having an abortion, but only if it doesn’t present an “undue burden,” and only if the materials used are “truthful, nonmisleading information.” In a 7-4 ruling this week on a South Dakota restriction, the 8th Circuit Court basically threw the second principle out of the window, implying we can’t rely on the prevailing medical evidence about whether abortion causes suicide. Meanwhile, a recent hearing in the pivotal Arizona 20-week ban challenge suggests a federal judge there is inclined to similarly disregard precedent.

At issue in South Dakota is a 2005 “informed consent” law that, among other provisions being battled in separate cases, demanded that doctors tell women seeking abortions that abortion carries an “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide,” despite no one ever having proved the causation, and the repeated discrediting of studies that claim to. The judges have mostly rationalized this by saying that telling women who are planning to have an abortion that there is an “increased risk” of suicide isn’t the same as telling them that abortion causes suicide. In other words, the state is just providing a helpful FYI! Even if the correlation is simply that preexisting mental health issues correlate with unwanted pregnancies.

Presented with an American Psychological Association meta-analysis that dismissed the causal claim and found methodological flaws in the studies of correlations, alongside several studies cited by Planned Parenthood in its challenge, the majority basically threw up its hands and went postmodern on the entire notion of truth. “It is difficult to identify a solid objective basis for the criteria employed in these reviews to identify the ‘best’ studies,” they wrote. “We express no opinion as to whether some of the studies are more reliable than others; instead, we hold only that the state legislature, rather than a federal court, is in the best position to weigh the divergent results.”

Source

I cannot understand anti-abortion arguments that centre on the sanctity of life. As a species, we’ve fairly comprehensively demonstrated that we don’t believe in the sanctity of life. The shrugging acceptance of war, famine, epidemic, pain and lifelong, grinding poverty show us that, whatever we tell ourselves, we’ve made only the most feeble of efforts to really treat human life as sacred. Caitlin Moran, How To Be A Woman (via booshbabyxx)

(Source: redspectacle, via sarahlee310)

Not Just Labor Rights; Scott Walker Is Also Dismantling Women's Rights | John Nichols

The list of reasons for voting Walker out of office is so long that it is hard to imagine what more could be added to it.

But there is the matter of what the governor’s critics refer to as “Scott Walker’s War on Women.”

Because Walker signed anti-choice laws enacted by legislative Republicans who do not believe women can or should make decisions regarding their own bodies, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has decided to suspend providing certain basic health services to women. Among other things, Planned Parenthood will stop providing drugs to women for abortions in the first nine weeks of pregnancy—a method the provider says are used in about a quarter of the abortions it provides in Wisconsin.

Why? The law signed by Walker criminalizes a physician’s failure to follow specific protocols laid out by the the anti-choice legislators—and interest groups—that drafted the legislation.

“In just one year, we have seen how women can lose ground in their health care options as a result of who holds power,” explains NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin executive director Lisa Subeck.

Specifically, Subeck is referring to Act 217—a law that, she correctly notes, adds unnecessary and intrusive restrictions for abortion providers and subjects physicians to felony criminal penalties.

“It is unacceptable that women in Wisconsin are losing health care options because Governor Walker has enacted a law that is hostile to abortion providers, and that means women in Wisconsin will suffer,” says Subeck. “This is what happens when out of control politicians like Scott Walker practice medicine without a license and interfere in the relationship between doctors and their patients. In the end, it is women who lose out.”

She’s right.

Contraception and the New Crusades | Scott Charney

[Besides] the larger debate over abortion, concerns about contraception have been germinating in some quarters for several years. In 2003, on the 30th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, Cristina Page, of the National Abortion Rights Action League, and Amanda Peterman, from Right to Life Michigan, co-wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, titled “The Right to Agree.” In this op-ed, Page and Peterman wrote of finding common ground on such issues as support for single mothers, affordable child care, an end to violent rhetoric and actions, and supporting legislation that would require that health insurance plans cover contraceptives. While there was reportedly little strong response from pro-choice organizations, Peterman found herself ostracized from her fellow activists.  Page has subsequently written about how this chain of events helped her to realize that much of the purported anti-abortion activity actually is not focused on abortion per se, but on larger anxieties about families and sexuality.

So what does this have to do with the world outside? Despite the very low rates of abortion (and sexually-transmitted diseases) in the Netherlands, that country’s policies of sex education, along with subsidizing and promoting contraception, do not endear themselves to American conservatives. The exact opposite is true. While the Times, in a 2006 article titled “Contra-Contraception” highlighted the ethical reasons for such seeming cognitive dissonance, it also seems likely that there is a subconscious (and sometimes very conscious!) strategic explanation. In other words, if the Netherlands, and many other countries in Europe and around the world, manage to prevent abortions by preventing pregnancy, that is not considered an acceptable strategy, partially because the resulting low fertility rates allegedly leave such countries open to conquest by Muslim immigrants.

This hypothesis, sometimes awkwardly referred to as “Eurabia” (most Muslim immigrants, like most Muslims in general, are not Arab), has become a staple of right-wing rhetoric in the past decade. Pat Buchanan has mentioned this trope repeatedly, beginning with his book Death of the West in 2001.  Mark Steyn has largely built a career on this sort of thing; he made a considerable impact with America Alone in 2006, and was continually invoking concerns of low fertility, though without explicitly mentioning an Islamic takeover, in recent months. Numerous other authors have added their voices to this chorus of fear, and opponents of the idea also responded in kind. Indeed, such fears are not only misplaced, they are comprehensively wrong across the board. The numbers regarding fertility and immigration patterns, as well as the social and political beliefs of many Muslims in Europe, do not even remotely support the hypothesis of people like Steyn, and yet their ideas have stuck in the minds of many. Anders Behring Breivik and the English Defence League share these concerns. Perhaps more importantly, so does the American Christian Right, the most bellicose demographic in America, and the same one responsible for the wave of legislation targeting contraception and abortion. […]

American conservatives seem to want “more babies” more than they want fewer abortions, partially due to fear that the wrong people are reproducing too often. This is one reason, though not the largest, why Cristina Page and Amanda Peterman had such a brief opportunity to agree.

Oklahoma court strikes down ultrasound abortion law | Yahoo! News

District Judge Bryan Dixon ruled the statute passed by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2010 is an unconstitutional special law, and is can’t be enforced because it addresses only patients, physicians and sonographers dealing with abortions without addressing other medical care.

Oklahoma is one of several states that have passed laws requiring doctors to both perform an ultrasound and provide a verbal description of the fetus before an abortion, while others are considering similar measures. The laws have been on hold in Oklahoma and North Carolina as legal challenges proceed, while Texas’ recently was upheld.

Former Democratic Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry had vetoed his state’s bill after it passed the Republican-controlled Legislature, warning the measure likely would lead to a “potential futile legal battle.” Republicans overrode the veto with help from several Democratic anti-abortion lawmakers.

Enforcement has been blocked since May 2010 when the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the law on behalf of Nova Health Systems, operator of Reproductive Services of Tulsa, and a doctor who practices in Norman.

The group’s lawsuit claimed the statute violated the principles of medical ethics by requiring physicians to provide unnecessary and unwanted services to patients and discounting a woman’s ability to make decisions about her pregnancy.

(Source: sarahlee310)

Tennessee Bill May Expose Identities Of Women Seeking Abortions | ThinkProgress

sarahlee310:

Tennessee lawmakers will consider a controversial measure on Wednesday that could intimidate women seeking abortions by requiring that the names of doctors who perform the procedures be published online. The legislation, known as the Life Defense Act of 2012 or House Bill 3808, would restrict access to the procedure in two ways:

The first would require doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital near where they perform abortions, while the second would require the Department of Health to release more information on abortions, including the name of the doctor who performed the procedure and demographics about the women who receive them.

The measure’s sponsor, Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, said at an initial hearing on the bill earlier this month that the reporting requirement writes into law a form that the Department of Health already asks providers to fill out whenever they perform an abortion.

“The Department of Health already collects all of the data, but they don’t publish it,” he said. “All we’re asking is that the data they already collect be made public.”

But the measure goes beyond existing reporting requirements and could undermine women’s right to privacy by allowing opponents to identify — harass and intimidate — patients who undergo the procedure.

The state’s Department of Health already reports information on the age, race, education, and number of children of women who receive abortions, and aggregates the data by region, “making it impossible for others to figure out who underwent an abortion procedure.” This bill, however, would require the department “to release patient data broken down by county” and could “reveal the identities of some women who receive abortions, particularly in small, rural communities.” “I think in some small communities that woman would be identified,” State Rep. Gary Odom (D) warned when a subcommittee advanced the measure earlier this month. “I think that by publicizing this, it would have serious consequences. … We know what has happened to physicians who perform abortions that there has been violence. … There could be violence against the women. … This is a dangerous piece of legislation. … I think this is full of meanness.”

Abortion providers could also be at risk, as abortion foes would now have a comprehensive list of the names of the doctors who perform the procedure. “In an environment where doctors are victims of violence — and we’ve had physicians who provide abortion care murdered in the past few years — I think this is an attempt to intimidate and allow for providers to be terrorized,” said Jeff Teague, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee.

Tennessee women - you had best be lighting up the phones and burning the faxes of your state reps.

futurejournalismproject:

Please take a seat in the shaming room.
In its 40-plus years as a syndicated comic strip Doonesbury has seen a fair share of controversy.
This week it sees it again. Starting today with the strip above, Doonesbury author Gary Trudeau satirizes various legislative attempts across the United States to make women undergo ultrasounds before getting an abortion.
The result, a number of newspapers such as the Kansas City Star will not be running the strip but instead replace it with archives provided by Universal Uclick, Doonesbury’s syndicator.
Others, such as the Los Angeles Times are moving the strip off the “family friendly” comics pages to its editorial page.
Via The Guardian:

The strip deals specifically with a law introduced in Texas and other states requiring a woman who wants to have an abortion to have an ultrasound scan, or sonogram, which will show an image of the foetus and other details, in an attempt to make her reconsider.
It portrays a woman who turns up at an abortion clinic in Texas and is told to take a seat in “the shaming room”. A state legislator asks if she has been at the clinic before and, when she says she had been to get contraceptives, he replies: “Do your parents know you’re a slut?”
Later, she says she does not want an intrusive vaginal examination but is told by a nurse: “The male Republicans who run Texas require that all abortion seekers be examined with a 10-inch shaming wand.” The nurse adds: “By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.”

In an email to the Guardian, Trudeau writes, “I write the strip to be read, not removed. And as a practical matter, many more people will see it in the comics page than on the editorial page.”
Image: Doonesbury, March 12, 2012. The first in a weeklong series that tackles proposed abortion laws.
Click to embiggen.

futurejournalismproject:

Please take a seat in the shaming room.

In its 40-plus years as a syndicated comic strip Doonesbury has seen a fair share of controversy.

This week it sees it again. Starting today with the strip above, Doonesbury author Gary Trudeau satirizes various legislative attempts across the United States to make women undergo ultrasounds before getting an abortion.

The result, a number of newspapers such as the Kansas City Star will not be running the strip but instead replace it with archives provided by Universal Uclick, Doonesbury’s syndicator.

Others, such as the Los Angeles Times are moving the strip off the “family friendly” comics pages to its editorial page.

Via The Guardian:

The strip deals specifically with a law introduced in Texas and other states requiring a woman who wants to have an abortion to have an ultrasound scan, or sonogram, which will show an image of the foetus and other details, in an attempt to make her reconsider.

It portrays a woman who turns up at an abortion clinic in Texas and is told to take a seat in “the shaming room”. A state legislator asks if she has been at the clinic before and, when she says she had been to get contraceptives, he replies: “Do your parents know you’re a slut?”

Later, she says she does not want an intrusive vaginal examination but is told by a nurse: “The male Republicans who run Texas require that all abortion seekers be examined with a 10-inch shaming wand.” The nurse adds: “By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.”

In an email to the Guardian, Trudeau writes, “I write the strip to be read, not removed. And as a practical matter, many more people will see it in the comics page than on the editorial page.”

Image: Doonesbury, March 12, 2012. The first in a weeklong series that tackles proposed abortion laws.

Click to embiggen.

(Source: futurejournalismproject)

The pro-choice movement opposes forced ultrasounds because they override the doctor’s discretion and the doctor-patient relationship, in a manner that is not only condescending to the woman’s preferred course of action, but also often requires a greater outlay of time, sometimes an entire extra day, as well as money. Not only do they not change anyone’s mind, ultrasounds stigmatize and intimidate women who are already under stress. The ultrasound fallacy (via iamdrtiller)

(Source: stephherold, via randomactsofchaos)