Judge blocks Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks

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A law in Mississippi that bans women from receiving abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy was temporarily blocked Tuesday by a federal judge.

The Associated Press reported that U.S District Judge Carlton Reeves granted a temporary restraining order on Tuesday. It was sought by the state’s only clinic that offers abortions.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed the bill — the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban — into law earlier this week.

The law bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, down from a 20-week restriction already on Mississippi’s books.


More from The Hill

Posted by Libergirl


How Cable News Keeps Getting It Wrong About Abortion and Reproductive Rights

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Evening cable news can’t seem to talk about abortion without relying on men and anti-choice myths.

A 12-month-long Media Matters study of evening cable news programs found that discussions of abortion, reproductive rights, and reproductive health were heavily dependent on male speakers and anti-choice misinformation. In particular, Media Matters found that men were participants in 60 percent of conversations about abortion and reproductive rights, and that 64 percent of statements about abortion that aired during this time period were inaccurate.

Media Matters analyzed evening cable news programs on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC from March 7, 2016, through March 1, 2017, for segments featuring a substantial discussion of abortion or reproductive rights. The resulting 354 segments were then coded for the mention of one or more of six general topics of conversation: the election, legal issues, religion, anti-choice violence, economic and logistical barriers to abortion access, and state-based legislation. Segments were also coded for the number of accurate or inaccurate statements each speaker made about three topics: the discredited anti-choice group Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Planned Parenthood’s essential services, and late-term abortion.

Based on this analysis, Media Matters identified the follow key findings and coverage patterns about abortion and reproductive rights:

  1. Coverage of Abortion and Reproductive Rights Is Male-Dominated Across All Networks
  2. Evening Cable News Features More Inaccurate Than Accurate Information About Abortion
  3. Disparities Between Discussions of Candidates’ Positions on Abortion Enabled the Spread of Misinformation
  4. Conversations About Legal Restrictions on Abortion Outpaced Those About the Consequences of Limiting Access
  5. Fox News Dominated Discussions About Abortion in Concert With Religion or Faith
  6. Misinformation About CMP Was Spread Almost Entirely by Fox News
  7. All Networks Except Fox News Shared Largely Accurate Information About Planned Parenthood’s Essential Services
  8. Misinformation About Late-Term Abortion Dominated on Every Network

More of the story  By Sharon Kann / Media Matters

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Oklahoma Court Tosses Abortion Law On Hospital Privileges

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Image: CBS DallasFW

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a law requiring abortion clinics to have doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, saying efforts to portray the measure as protecting women’s health are a “guise.”

The law would require a doctor with admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles be present for any abortion. The court found it violates both the U.S. and Oklahoma Constitutions. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year struck down a similar provision in Texas.

“Under the guise of the protection of women’s health,” Oklahoma Justice Joseph Watt wrote, “(the law) creates an undue burden on a woman’s access to abortion, violating protected rights under our federal Constitution,” referring specifically to the Texas case.

More from CBS DallasFW

Posted by Libergirl

Abortion Restrictions in Ohio Hurt Women’s Health, Study Finds

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Abortion restrictions implemented in Ohio in 2011 under the guise of protecting women’s health led to more side-effects and follow-up visits for patients, according to a new study out of the University of California, San Francisco. The 2011 Ohio law makes sense on paper: it requires abortion providers to prescribe the abortion medication mifepristone…

Image: New York Times

via Abortion Restrictions in Ohio Hurt Women’s Health, Study Finds 

Posted by Libergirl

A leap for women’s rights: The Texas abortion case and the end of reproductive Jim Crow laws

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Radical conservatives have devised loopholes to criminalize abortions — the Supreme Court dealt them a massive blow

After the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were ratified, collectively freeing the slaves and granting them full citizenship rights (the men anyway), white supremacists concocted various subversive laws to oppress African-Americans within the new mandates of the Constitution. The laws were originally known as the “black codes” and eventually as “Jim Crow” laws.

One of the many draconian statutes passed was a law against the trivial non-crime of “vagrancy,” allowing law enforcement to arrest and incarcerate African-Americans for being unemployed or incapable of proving employment. In many cases, these men were sold to the owners of semi-secretive mining operations or plantations as, essentially, neo-slaves to serve without pay – in many cases, permanently disappeared from society. But since these were convicted criminals, slavery wasn’t slavery. It was justified as legal punishment for a ludicrous non-crime handed down by a kangaroo court, staffed by members of one good-old-boy network after another. Other laws, such as literacy tests, poll taxes, segregation and anti-miscegenation statutes followed, and not just in southern states, by the way.

Fast forward 150 years and we find ourselves in a similar predicament with regard to reproductive rights.

Incapable of overturning Roe v Wade, radical conservatives have devised loopholes to prevent or even criminalize abortions, each of which in some way regulates the basic human right to retain purview over ones body. Faced with an increasingly permanent Roe decision, we’ve seen countless examples of laws that make it nearly impossible in some states to undergo a constitutionally protected medical procedure.

Rather than banning it, legislatures decided that clinics can only exist within a certain distance of a hospital; they’ve decided that women should be forced to have what’s known as a transvaginal ultrasound in order to intimidate them against having an abortion; they’ve decided in some cases to redefine what constitutes a “legitimate” rape; and they’ve peddled “fetal personhood,” “fetal heartbeat” and “fetal pain” laws that are de facto bans on abortion. The endgame here, whether intended or not, is the oppression of women as second-class citizens if not outright criminals committing a so-called “genocide” against the unborn. In this case: Jane Crow. (This isn’t intended to diminish the African-American experience and the atrocities of the past. However, the conservative strategy of oppression is similar in both cases.)

Gratefully, in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court overturned several of these laws on Monday, ruling five-to-three to strike down the controversial HB2 law in Texas — a law that successfully closed half of clinics in the state by requiring those facilities to follow strict “surgical-center” guidelines about the design and layout of the structures, as well as requiring that clinic doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, no farther than 30 miles from the clinics.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion was perhaps the most salient:

Ginsburg kept her argument simple: Abortions are statistically safer than many simpler medical procedures, including tonsillectomies, colonoscopies, in-office dental surgery and childbirth — but Texas does not subject those procedures to the same onerous requirements.

“Given those realities, it is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions,’ Ginsburg wrote. “When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners … at great risk to their health and safety.”

When challenged to cite cases in which women’s health was in danger due to a lack of surgical facilities or admitting privileges, attorneys arguing in support of HB2 couldn’t name any. Because none exist.

The Court weighed HB2 against the precedent of the landmark Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v Casey case from 1992, which ruled against placing undue burden on women seeking a previability abortion. While the Court is obligating to rule on laws based on objective facts and the integrity of precedent in support of or contrary to those statutes, the motivations behind the Texas law, as well as other Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws nationwide are obvious. Anti-choice conservatives aren’t at all interested in clinics with surgical-grade equipment and the like, nor are they interested in women’s health in general. It’s not breaking news to observe that TRAP laws are all about making abortions as inconvenient as possible without outright banning the procedure. The assenting justices had to have known this.

In this regard, the Court’s majority opinion was precisely what it should’ve been: the excoriation of an obvious strategy to force pregnancy on women regardless of whether they can afford it or whether they can physically endure it. The ruling was additionally satisfying knowing that 40 years of conservative efforts along these lines has been swiftly obliterated, irrespective of the ideological makeup of the Court. While anti-choice zealots will walk away knowing they might’ve saved some fetuses along the way, they’ll have no choice but to hunker down and figure out a new path forward. Considering how the constitutional route hasn’t worked, and now the TRAP route has begun to disintegrate, the anti-choice movement will have no choice but to double its efforts to accost organizations like Planned Parenthood, which, itself, is turning out to be a losing proposition given how more than a dozen investigations have exonerated the clinics of illegal or unethical activities, including the sale of fetus parts.

Along those lines, acts of terrorism could become more frequent, principally due to the deceptively edited videos targeting Planned Parenthood, and now accompanied by the rage that’s already brewing as a result of the Hellerstedt decision. This fight for reproductive rights isn’t over by a long shot, but the era of reproductive Jim Crow appears to be concluding. Monday’s judgment has effectively decimated perhaps the most effective conservative weapon against choice since Roe.

By Bob Cesca/Salon

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Clinic Regulations

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Image: CBS Philly

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has struck down Texas’ widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court’s biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century. The justices voted 5-3 Monday in favor of Texas clinics that protested the regulations as a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an…

via Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Clinic Regulations — CBS Philly

Posted by Libergirl

The Rise of the DIY Abortion in Texas

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The Alamo flea market sits right off South Texas’s lengthy Highway 83, a sprawling, dusty, labyrinth of a place. Under canopies in the converted parking lot, vendors in dark sunglasses stand behind tables heaped with piles of clothing, barking in Spanish and hawking their wares. The air is hot and muggy, thick with the scent of grilled corn and chili.

Customers browse simple items—miracle-diet teas, Barbie dolls, or turquoise jeans stretched over curvy mannequins—but there are also shoppers scanning the market for goods that aren’t displayed in the stalls. Tables lined with bottles of medicine like Tylenol and NyQuil have double meanings to those in the know: The over-the-counter drugs on top provide cover for the prescription drugs smuggled over the border from nearby cities in Mexico. Those, the dealer keeps out of sight.

I’m here to look for a small, white, hexagonal pill called misoprostol. Also known as miso or Cytotec, the drug induces an abortion that appears like a miscarriage during the early stages of a woman’s pregnancy. For women living in Latin America and other countries that have traditionally outlawed abortion, miso has been a lifeline—it’s been called “a noble medication,” “world-shaking,” and “revolutionary.” But now, it’s not just an asset of the developing world. FULL STORY

By Erica Hellerstein

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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