This morning, North Carolina’s state senate advanced a bill to further restrict abortion rights in the state. The bill the Senate voted on was supposed to be about prohibiting Islamic sharia law in the state, but ended up having unrelated anti-abortion legislation tacked onto it on Tuesday. The bill would require that abortion providers be present for all abortions, regardless of whether the pregnancy termination is surgicial (a surgery) or medical (pill form). Additionally, the bill would require clinics that provide abortions to have the same engineering standards as ambulatory surgical centers, which would require additional, expensive updates. Anti-abortion activists have been pushing for such bills around the country because they know clinics will be out of commission while seeking to meet the new requirements.
The Senators approved House Bill 695 by 29 to 12, prompting abortion rights supporters to shout “shame, shame, shame!”; the bill now heads back to the state House of Representatives for the changes to be approved. It is not known whether NC Governor Pat McCrory will veto the bill. [WRAL]
Today, the Texas state legislature will vote on Senate Bill 5 in a special session called by Texas Governor Rick Perry, following last week’s successful filibuster of the bill, which would close the vast majority of abortion clinics in the state. Naturally, pro-choice activists came out droves, determined to show Perry and his cronies that they won’t take this assault on reproductive rights lying down. Check out what the scene was like in photos and videos posted to Twitter, Instagram and Vine. Keep reading »
Last night, Ohio’s Governor John Kasich signed a host of restrictions on abortion into law, which went into effect today. Like other Republicans before him, Governor Kasich placed these legal restrictions on women’s reproductive rights flanked by a bunch of old, white men. Keep reading »
Men should be included in strategizing ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute. Researchers looked at data from the 2006 to 2010 National Survey of Family Growth reported by men about unplanned births. Through analyzing the rate of happiness that each father felt when his child was born, they found that fathers that planned the birth of their child were more likely to be happy about their bundle of joy coming into the world. Married men specifically were very happy about having a child in this manner.
The study, titled, “Exploring U.S. Men’s Birth Intentions,” by Laura Lindberg and Kathryn Kost, looked at a whole bunch of facts about unplanned pregnancy and found the rate of unintended births vary between a man’s union status, age, education level, race and ethnicity. However, quite a few unplanned pregnancies are unwanted by men. Keep reading »
Early this morning, after a 13-hour filibuster yesterday led by Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst finally officially ruled that Senate Bill 5 – the devastating anti-abortion bill that would decimate women’s access to reproductive healthcare — had not come to a legal vote before midnight and was therefore dead. Shortly before midnight, Davis’ filibuster was sustained and a few others had to step in to help stall a vote until the clock ran out, asking a number of parliamentary inquiries. Then, Republicans legislators attempted to push for a vote, but the pro-choice activists — Texas’s “feminist army” as they’ve come to be known — who filled the gallery drowned them out with chants and cheers, making it impossible for the vote to be completed before the clock struck midnight. (Meanwhile, as history was being made live, not a single major news network was broadcasting it.) Keep reading »
In an enormous victory for women and girls across the nation, the Food and Drug Administration finally approved the Plan B One-Step brand morning-after pill for over-the-counter use. Plan B One-Step is a one-pill version of emergency contraception and this approval covers women and girls of all ages. Like all EC, it is more effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, EC is almost 90 percent more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration backed off its resistance to making the morning-after pill accessible OTC to women and girls of all ages. Previously, Obama had been against girls younger than 15 being able to access the pill. Keep reading »
Liberal guys like me are often kind of squeamish when it comes to talking about abortion. I mean, we support it. We describe ourselves as pro-choice. We share the ridiculous things that asshole Republicans say on Facebook. (Did you hear the one about the masturbating fetus…?) If we’re straight, and we maybe decide to join our girlfriends or wives or whatever at the rally, we’ll wear the pink or orange t-shirt they pass out, and when they chant “My body, my choice!” we will chant “her body, her choice!” and consider ourselves allies. Look at us A-plus dudes, cisgender and incapable of becoming pregnant, out there to demonstrate for someone else’s rights! We could just stay out of it, but we care!
I know that’s how a lot of men think of abortion rights: like it’s someone else’s fight, and we might occasionally show up and offer support. And while I understand the impulse, that’s not good enough. The fact that guys like me need to realize is that abortion rights are our rights, too.
When I was 23, a young woman I knew needed an abortion. More importantly to me, so did I. Keep reading »
Yesterday, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives advanced a so-called “fetal pain” bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Fortunately, it is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama would veto the bill. Thus, the bill is largely symbolic.
The Orwellian-worded bill called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on the idea, unsupported by the medical community, that fetuses can feel pain (and pleasure! They like to masturbate!) after 20 weeks. Numerous other bills have cropped up around the country, from Minnesota to Indiana to Texas, based on the same idea.
Not surprisingly, Republicans have a renewed vigor for “fetal pain” bills after the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a doctor who was found to have been killing babies in botched abortions — ironically, because the women who went to his inexpensive, illegally-run clinic were unable to obtain safer, earlier abortions. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who made headlines last week for saying that pregnancy from rape is rare. Keep reading »