Results tagged “abortion restrictions” from Blog for Choice
This intrusive new law will force women who face serious health problems later in their pregnancies to wait until their lives are in jeopardy before a doctor can legally terminate their pregnancy and has no exception to provide care for women carrying a fetus with a severe anomaly. Ohio is on the fast track to becoming the most dangerous state in the country for pregnant women.Last fall, Governor Kasich promised voters that he would work tirelessly to create jobs and grow our economy. Instead he has joined the legislature's War on Ohio Women. He and the Ohio Legislature are endangering women's health because they don't trust women and their doctors to make personal, private decisions for themselves.
It is obvious that Ohio Senate leaders know this move is shameful; they waited until the eleventh hour to launch this attack so that no public testimony opposing these dangerous measures could be heard. They've even stopped answering their phones.
During the House's debate, Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told [pro-choice Rep. Barbara Bollier]: "We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life?"Bollier asked him, "And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy?"DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, "I have a spare tire on my car.""I also have life insurance," he added. "I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for."
Like many politicians in other states, Kansas legislators have clearly abandoned their promise to focus on jobs and the economy to advance a ban that directly interferes in a woman's relationship with her doctor. Bans like this one could deny needed care to women with wanted pregnancies who experience heart-breaking complications, such as a fetal anomaly. This extreme bill is out of step with the values and priorities of Kansas voters.
"Gov. Daugaard is ignoring the citizens of South Dakota, who have twice expressed that they do not want the government to intrude on their private medical decisions. It is outrageous for politicians to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship in such an egregious way. Forcing women, against their will, to consult with an unlicensed, anti-choice, individual about their pregnancies flies in the face of patient privacy."
It is clear that this committee is more interested in making headlines than discussing how to improve women's access to health care or create good jobs in our state. This bill could entangle Ohio in an expensive legal fight, and is out of touch with our state's values and priorities.It is beyond disappointing that the committee won't allow video testimony so they can hear from women who have made the profoundly personal decision to terminate a pregnancy. The politicians behind this bill refuse to acknowledge what Ohioans understand: Every woman's situation is different, and it's unacceptable for anti-choice lawmakers to think they should make the personal, private decisions that belong to women and their doctors.
Ohio's new legislative leadership campaigned on a promise of creating jobs and revitalizing the economy. Instead, at the first available opportunity, these politicians are pushing an anti-choice agenda that is out of touch with Ohio's values and priorities. Ohio's anti-choice politicians who campaigned on less government intrusion in our lives are actually fine with government intrusion as long as it involves the personal, private decisions that take place between a woman and her doctor.
This bill is beyond intrusive. These politicians want to tell women who they can talk to before making a profoundly personal medical decision. It is hard to out-do insurance companies and HMOs when it comes to being told what doctor you can see or where you can access medical care, but the legislators behind this bill are doing just that. They want South Dakota to become the first state to pass a bill that disrespects the doctor-patient relationship and turns women's health care into a game of government mandates.
- This bill is not about public funding. Federal law is clear: federal funding of abortion is forbidden, except in very narrow circumstances.
- The legislation would force millions of American families to pay more taxes if their health plan covers abortion care, jeopardizing abortion coverage in the private market. About 87 percent of insurance plans on the market currently offer abortion coverage.
- The bill jeopardizes the ability of private citizens to use their own dollars to purchase abortion coverage in the new health system, and levies harsh financial penalties on businesses and families who choose comprehensive insurance coverage.
Rigorous U.S. scientific studies have not substantiated the claim that abortion, compared with its alternatives, causes an increased incidence of mental health problems. The same conclusion was reached in 2008 by an American Psychological Association task force, which I chaired, as well as by an independent team of scholars at Johns Hopkins University. As recently as September, Oregon State University researchers announced the results of a national study showing that teenagers who have an abortion are no more likely to become depressed or to have low self-esteem one year or five years later, compared with their peers who deliver.
Phew... What a week! Today marks the final night of Hanukkah and the one-week-away mark for Christmas... So NARAL Pro-Choice America sends greetings to all of our members who are marking these holidays and others.
Now, all of our eyes are on the Senate, where health reform continues to create news. I'll get to that in a moment, I promise. But, if you would like to read about choice-related news that doesn't include Sen. Ben Nelson's obstructionism, you're in the right place.
Make it Snowe, Make it Snowe, Make it Snowe: Here in the nation's capital, we're bracing for the so-called "snow of the season." But pro-choice Americans have a different reason to try and make it snow.
Look - I won't beat around the bush... we know that health-reform is in serious trouble. Anti-choice Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) is refusing to vote to move the health-care bill forward - all because the bill doesn't include his outrageous Stupak-style ban on abortion coverage. We've all had enough of Sen. Nelson, so we've turned our attention to Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
We need Sen. Snowe to step up and be the 60th vote for health-care reform. She's voted twice against a ban on abortion coverage. So, please sign our emergency petition asking Sen. Snow to vote to advance health-reform legislation that doesn't jeopardize women's abortion coverage in the new system. Our deadline is tomorrow at noon. Sign, and then share on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. (Yes, you. We know you tweet! It's ok, so do we.)
A Powerful Story from a Brave Maryland Woman: Last Friday's Baltimore Sun included a powerful story written by a woman who had an abortion after her doctors discovered serious health complications. It's incredibly poignant and a compelling addition to the health-care debate, and the ridiculousness of the so-called abortion rider. More than 500 of our Facebook friends read this story. Here's an excerpt that shows you why this struck a chord with so many people:
To say I am angered by those who are trying to prevent abortion coverage in the health care system is an understatement. I applaud our leaders, including Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, who are fighting to ensure women like me have access to the reproductive health care we need. Although the Senate defeated the Nelson-Hatch Amendment to the health care reform bill this week, the House's version of the bill still contains an amendment that could restrict women's access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market - even if they use their own money to purchase coverage.
I am writing today for all the women who are too fearful or made to feel ashamed to put a face on abortion. I'm writing today for all the women who, like me just five months ago, never imagined they would need the help of an abortion. And, I'm writing today on behalf of my child, who I know is in a much better place and no longer suffering.
I urge you to read this story in its entirety.
A New Pro-Choice Bill for the New Year: In the good-news department, we're proud to announce that Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME) introduced the Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act this week!
This bipartisan bill would guarantee that servicewomen stationed overseas have timely access to emergency contraception (EC). Sounds like a no-brainer, but servicewomen and providers alike have reported that they cannot obtain the medication when they need it. It's ridiculous.
"This important bill ensures that women who serve our country will have access to a safe, effective back-up form of birth control," Keenan said. "Sen. Franken's bill is based on the principle of fairness: Women in the military serving overseas should be able to access EC the same way women stateside do. This is especially important, given the increase in reports of sexual assaults in the military. It's a tragedy that women in uniform are denied such basic health care. We applaud Sens. Franken and Snowe and Rep. Michaud for protecting the reproductive health of our brave servicewomen."
A huge pro-choice thank you goes out to Sens. Franken and Snowe and Rep. Michaud.
The Greatest Gift of All - An End-of-the-Year Endorsement from NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC: Our political department has been busy tying up the end-of-the-year PAC endorsements from some awesome pro-choice candidates. This week, we announced the PAC endorsements of pro-choice Rep. Kendrick Meek in his bid for the open U.S. Senate seat in Florida, and three pro-choice House incumbents for the 2010 election cycle: Rep. John Adler in New Jersey's 3rd District, Rep. Tim Bishop in New York's 1st District, and Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in Ohio's 15th District. Additionally, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Ann McLane Kuster for New Hampshire's 2nd District, where she is seeking to succeed Rep. Paul Hodes, a NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Putting Pen to Paper: It's official: President Obama signed legislation that includes a repeal of an onerous anti-choice policy in Washington, D.C. and eliminates funding for discredited Bush-era 'abstinence-only' programs. Nancy Keenan commented:
"I commend pro-choice leaders for putting sound science and teens' health before political ideology. This investment of funding signifies an important step toward ensuring teens receive the accurate information necessary to prevent unintended pregnancy and avoid sexually transmitted disease."
Thanks, Mr. President!
So that about sums up our week!
NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts recently released new research showing that the availability of abortion care in the Commonwealth has declined dramatically since the early part of the decade.
The study found that Massachusetts - like the rest of the nation- has witnessed an overall decrease in the number of health care providers offering abortion services. They are also increasingly concentrated in the Metro-Boston area - leaving women in the Southeast, Central, and Western regions with the least access to these medical services.
Massachusetts prides itself on being a leader in improving access to health care, but we're heading in the opposite direction when it comes to meeting the needs of women as they make personal, private decisions about their pregnancies. Without providers, the right to choose could become but a hollow promise.
Moreover, while Massachusetts is recognized for its role in training many future physicians, there are gaps in what medical residents learn here. A review of the six ob/gyn and five family practice residency programs found that nearly half (4 family practice, 1 ob/gyn) did not offer training in abortion care. Of the remaining six that do, all but one is located in Boston.
Clearly, even in Massachusetts, women face significant barriers to abortion care. Our elected officials have an opportunity this session to show their support for women's private medical decisions - and the courageous physicians who care for them - by repealing the last vestiges of our anti-choice history.
NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is calling on legislators to pass An Act Updating the Public Health Laws. Sponsored by Sen. Chandler and Rep. Story, the bill would revoke three, archaic and unconstitutional statutes that could jeopardize women's health and well-being if they were ever enforced again, including a pre-Roe v. Wade ban on all abortions and a medically unjustified mandate that pregnancy terminations after twelve weeks take place in a hospital.
Learn more about the availability of abortion care in Massachusetts.
Emily Gardner is a Policy Associate for NARAL Pro-Choice America.
(Dr. Wicklund, at the head of the table, addresses NARAL Pro-Choice America staff and guests.)
Last week, Dr. Susan Wicklund, a NARAL Pro-Choice America board member and an abortion provider based in Montana, spoke to NARAL Pro-Choice America staff and guests about her experience as a provider who assists Native American women with reproductive-health services. Our Diversity Team organized the presentation as part of our ongoing diversity-related educational series.
Even though Montana is one of 17 states that allow state funds to pay for abortion care, Native-American women must clear additional hurdles, through HHS and others, that cause delays and, in some cases, put women's privacy at risk. Trying to maintain confidentiality while living on reservations or in communities with as few as 300 people is difficult, especially because of the stigma around abortion in many communities.
Dr. Wicklund also spoke of barriers to choice that many rural women face. The sheer distance that women in places like South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming have to travel to receive abortion care is astounding, and sometimes prohibitive. Dr. Wicklund used the example of Montana, which is hundreds of miles wide and contains only four health centers that provide abortion care. Some women live as far as 400 miles away from one of these health centers. For Native women living on reservations without cars, they have to rely on clinic volunteers to drive them to the nearest health center for abortion care. The number of abortion providers across the country is diminishing - which disproportionately affects rural women. Dr. Wicklund said that enacting pro-choice policies and electing pro-choice politicians is essential to protecting choice, but without providers, the right to choose is effectively meaningless.
NARAL Pro-Choice America is very grateful to have such a board member like Dr. Wicklund, who provides much-needed health-care services to women. Thank you, Dr. Wicklund, for taking the time to speak to us today, and for the extremely important work you do everyday.
(To learn more about Dr. Wicklund, please take a moment to read this story from The Charleston Gazette. You can purchase Dr. Wicklund's book, "This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor" at your local bookstore, or online here.)