Arizona’s HB2416 is an All Out Assault on Women’s Health

On Saturday, April 2nd, Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer attended a dinner with the Center for Arizona Policy, an anti-choice PAC whose sole mission is to outlaw abortion.  At the dinner, Brewer signed HB2416 into law.  This bill has several restrictions on abortion.  And Brewer’s choice to sign the bill at the CAP dinner is a very clear signal about the status of women’s health in the state of Arizona.  The Republican super-majority in the state legislature and the governor would rather play politics with women’s lives than actually pass policies that will help reduce the need for abortion by making birth control and comprehensive sex education the hallmark of our state’s public health approach.

AJ’s article mentioned that HB2416 restricts access to medical abortion (which is performed by administering two pills that induce abortion) by legally requiring a physician to perform abortions.  But AJ didn’t tell you an important part of how that was accomplished.  HB2416 defines medical abortion as “surgery.”  Next time you take your allergy pills in the morning, you should ask yourself, “am I having a surgery?  Do I need to check myself into a hospital to take this pill?”  Because that is what HB2416 says is the law – as far as the abortion pill is concerned, anyway.

Defining medical abortion as surgery will have a very harsh effect on women in rural communities.  Currently, there are only two women’s health clinics in the state of Arizona that employ a physician – the rest have nurse practitioners and midwives.  Those clinics are located in Tucson and Phoenix.  Women who live outside of the Tucson and Phoenix metro areas will have to travel several hours to get to an abortion clinic.  And with the state’s 24 hour waiting period (which was passed in 2009 under HB2564), that trip may involve an overnight stay in a motel, or several additional hours of travel if the women decide to drive back and forth for their appointments.  [Read more...]

Illinois Courts Uphold Parental Consent Laws

Hot on the heels of Arizona’s recent passage of anti-choice legislation, a federal appeals court upheld Illinois’s parental consent law. According to the Huffington Post:

Anti-abortion activists applauded the appeals court’s decision as a long-overdue victory, while opponents of the law, which went unenforced during years of legal wrangling, said the measure was guaranteed to usher in dangerous problems.

“It’s about time the law was approved,” said Thomas Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, which fought to have the measure enforced. “It’s ridiculous that it took this long to get a decision.”

Lorie A. Chaiten of the American Civil Liberties Union, which battled to keep the law from going into effect, said the law “creates unnecessary, dangerous hurdles to accessing essential health care for young women facing an unintended pregnancy in the state of Illinois.” [Read more...]

Arizona Governor Approves Abortion Restrictions

On Monday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer approved two pieces of legislation that will significantly restrict access to abortion in the state. The first bill imposes a 24-hour waiting period before women can obtain an abortion. It also requires abortion providers to read a script during a mandatory counseling session that tells women about so-called health risks related to abortion, alternatives to abortion. The bill also allows pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control or emergency contraception prescriptions.

The second bill tightens the already existing parental consent laws and requires a minor to have the consent of both parents before she can obtain an abortion. Bryan Howard of Planned Parenthood Arizona had this to say:

Despite energetic statements to the contrary, House Bill 2564 / Senate Bill 1206 will pose dire consequences for thousands of Arizona women . . . [A]bortion care will only remain in three of ten Arizona communities creating an undue burden on rural and poor women who need access to care. It will also increase expenses and medical risks as a result of delays caused by a mandated 24-hour waiting period. Likewise, these requirements are especially burdensome to women who may not be able to take extra days off from work, travel long distances, or find appropriate childcare while they are away from home. A woman coming from Yuma County would spend an average $523.08 in additional costs since services will not be available in her community. [Read more...]

Sarah Palin, Parental Consent, & How Her Political Ideologies Damage Women’s Health

sarah-palin Let me make this clear: Sarah Palin's legacy in Alaska has been an anti-woman one. Apparently Sarah Palin thinks it’s cool to put young women in high risk situations with their family by requiring that they get parental consent for reproductive services. Alaska State officials have certified a bill requiring parental consent before obtaining an abortion. The initiative will be showing up on a 2010 ballot in Alaska if they receive roughly 32,000 votes before the legislation begins in January.

In other words, young women aren’t smart enough to make informed decisions about their own bodies and as a result, the government should be mandating that their parents make those decisions for them. Come on people. When are we going to wake up and smell the hazelnut coffee with vanilla creamer? Women are not stupid; they know full well before entering a clinic for an abortion what they are getting themselves into. Conservative nut jobs in this country would like you to believe that they are helpless victims without responsibility or consciousness. I beg to differ.

I want to talk about this parental consent law for a moment. It is an anti-choice, anti-woman’s rights legislation. For starters, foundational to the belief that women should have to notify their parents about the choices they make regarding their bodies, is sexism. Despite the legality of abortion in this country (not mentioning accessibility issues), politicians around the country are deciding to make an exception to the rule of law by undermining young women’s capacity to be autonomous human beings with subjectivity and self worth. Suddenly we’ve found another excuse (eg. age) to tear women down and create political barriers to accessing health care services. Age, really?? [Read more...]

Thursday News Roundup

mouse_click_270x270Great links today in the click list. A really big thank you to all the tweeps who posted them. Thanks for the help!

Lawyer Who Helps Teens Obtain Abortions Explains Why Parental Consent Laws Hurt Youth – Salon
Who Will Provide Abortion Services For Latinas? – Latina Institute
Why I am a Patient Escort at Planned Parenthood – PP of North County, New York
Wisconsin Governor Signs Domestic Partnerships Into Law – Mombian
How a Late-Term Abortion Saved My Life – RH Reality Check