Ohio Anti-Choicers Resurrect Heartbeat Bill

Less than a week after Barack Obama won Ohio in the presidential election, state Republicans have decided that there’s no time like the present to resurrect a controversial, possibly unconstitutional, and already-rejected bill that would sharply restrict abortions.

The so-called “Heartbeat Bill,” would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected—which can be as early as 18 days in some pregnancies, or before a lot of women even know they’re pregnant. When the state’s House Health Action Committee first heard testimony on the proposed bill, two of the witnesses to “testify” were fetuses: that is, two pregnant women were given ultrasounds in the hearing room. [Read more...]

Do Pro-choicers Need to Chill Out?

Today’s guest post comes to us via Abigail Collazo from Fem2pt0. Abigail serves as the Editor for Fem2pt0. Abigail has worked on women’s issues in both the nonprofit and government sector for over 10 years, with a particular focus on global women’s rights.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post thinks the debate surrounding abortion, or what he refers to as “Roe Week,” is absurd.

In his latest column, Milbank criticizes abortion provider Merle Hoffman for raising a ‘false alarm’ about the threat to reproductive rights in this country.  He then goes on the cite the numerous marches and events that will take place on both sides of the debate over the next week as the country celebrates – or laments – the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in this country.

All of this attention troubles Dana Milbank.  He writes, “if these groups cared as much about the issue as they claim, and didn’t have such strong financial incentives to avoid consensus and compromise, they’d cancel the carnivals and get to work on the one thing everybody agrees would be worthwhile — reducing unwanted pregnancies.”

He chastises the choice movement by telling us that “not every compromise means a slippery slope to the back alley.”  He tells us to stop with the “sky is falling” argument and to acknowledge that the majority of Americans have legitimate concerns. [Read more...]

AZ Legislature Takes Anti-Choice to a New Level

In case the rest of the world has any doubt that Arizona is full of gun-slinging, ignorant assholes, one look at the state legislature’s agenda should clear up any confusion.  Several anti-choice bills have been introduced at the legislature in the past few weeks, and they make the already draconion abortion restrictions in our state look like a cake walk compared to what is potentially coming down the pike.  Let me summarize the worst offenders in the bunch.

HB2416
HB2416 would introduce several new restrictions on abortion access, including:

  • Expands the definition of abortion clinic from those that perform surgical abortion to also include those that dispense medications which induce abortion without surgery.
  • Requires Arizona courts to appoint guardians ad litem for minors who are asking courts to waive the state parental consent requirement.
  • The bill expands required components of informed consent to include mandatory ultrasound and “auscultation” (using a stethoscope to listen to fetal organs, including the heart).
    - Both components must be provided at least one hour before medication is administered or the surgical procedure is provided.
    - Must offer the patient to view the ultrasound and to hear the heartbeat, etc.
    - Must offer to provide a detailed explanation of what the ultrasound depicts.
    - Must offer the patient a print version of the ultrasound.
    - Patient must certify in writing that the ultrasound and auscultation were offered, and whether she accepted or declined the offer.
  • Bans use of “telemedicine.”

There are so many problems with this bill it’s hard to know where to start the tirade. For starters, how many pills are considered a form of surgery? Can you imagine if a doctor had to have admitting rights at a hospital if they wanted to prescribe Viagra? The men of this state would be rioting in the streets! What if they needed to have admitting rights to prescribe allergy medicine, or insulin? I think you get my drift. Taking a pill is not the same as having surgery. It’s a total no brainer. [Read more...]

Planned Parenthood Arizona Files Lawsuit Over Restrictive Abortion Laws

planned parenthood logoPlanned Parenthood of Arizona a filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the constitutionality of several provisions in the omnibus anti-abortion law that threatens women’s access to health care in Arizona. The law was signed by Governor Jan Brewer in July of this year.

“Planned Parenthood of Arizona is committed to ensuring women and families in this state have access to the comprehensive reproductive care they need,” said Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “This law puts the health and well being of more than half of our state’s residents at risk by restricting women’s access to comprehensive care. We believe the regulations should not be put into place until the court rules on the legality of this onerous law.”

The omnibus bill is scheduled to go into effect on September 30th. However, the lawsuit was filed in state court, and Planned Parenthood Arizona has asked the court to prevent the new restrictions from going into effect while the litigation is pending. According to an e-mail that was sent out to Planned Parenthood supporters yesterday, Planned Parenthood Arizona is committed to providing affordable access to health care for women and families and will continue to do so through the litigation process.