Earlier this year, a woman named Jennie Linn McCormack, 33, from Idaho, was charged with using abortion pills she bought over the Internet to terminate her pregnancy. When she realized she could not afford to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah for a surgical abortion at a clinic, McCormack purchased pills online from a health care provider. She ended her pregnancy on December 24, 2010, when she was between 20 and 21 weeks of pregnancy; police found a fetus in a box in her home. In doing so, this unemployed mother of three broke a 1972 Idaho law which stipulates that a woman cannot terminate her own pregnancy. The case was dismissed due to lack of evidence. (Had she been found guilty, she could have faced up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.) But McCormack is up for a challenge: she is now suing in federal court, claiming the state’s restrictions on abortion violate the Constitution. Keep reading »
A federal judge has struck down parts of an extreme Texas law going that would require a doctor to show a woman — including a rape victim — an ultrasound, describe the development of the fetus, and give her headphones to listen to a fetal heartbeat before an abortion. Doctors who refused to do these things to their patients — cruel by any compassionate standard — would have been penalized. An injunction issued yesterday blocks the state from enforcing penalties on both doctors and patients.
The judge ruled aspects of the law, which goes into effect on Thursday, were “unconstitutionally vague” and violate the free speech of both the doctor and the patient by requiring “government-mandated speech.” In his decision, the judge wrote the law “compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen.” He continued, “The court is inclined to agree with (the) defendants’ characterization that (the) “plaintiffs have chosen to throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks.” That’s how much respect these anti-abortion extremists have for you, ladies. Keep reading »
Abortion is a big no-no in the Catholic church — but not from Tuesday until this Sunday. The Vatican is offering forgiveness to women who’ve had abortions during a six day-long World Youth Day prayer event in Madrid, which will bring 1.5 million pilgrims from all over the world. Catholic women who have had an abortion (and in the U.S., that will be four in 10 of us in our lifetime —UPDATE: to clarify, four out of 10 unintended pregnancies end in abortion while two in ten of all pregnancies end in abortion. Thanks to commenter @MrsG for pointing this out. I apologize for the error.) can confess and supposedly be spared excommunication; women who’ve been excommunicated for the sin of abortion will be welcomed back into the church. Keep reading »