Bills, Bills, Bills

Congratulations, Mississippi, you’re a trendsetter. As anti-choice politicians push forward in their bid to close the last abortion clinic in the state, legislators in North Dakota are seeking to close their state’s only clinic, too. Yesterday, state lawmakers passed a bill that requires physicians providing abortions at the Red River Clinic in Fargo to have admitting privileges at area hospitals—the same tactic that is threatening Mississippi’s Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO).

The Red River clinic has often been the target of harassment and threats, and the physicians that work there don’t actually live in the state; in an arrangement similar to the one at JWHO, they travel from other states to provide abortion care. It’s too early to tell if hospitals in the Fargo area will grant these privileges, but as Amanda Marcotte pointed out in The American Prospect, “The chances of the doctors getting the privileges now are low, because hospitals don’t want to draw the same protests” as the clinic has faced.

[Read more...]

South Dakota Might Make it Legal to Kill Abortion Providers

For two elections in a row, the South Dakota legislature has tried unsuccessfully to ban abortions. Even so, it came as a shock to learn that the state legislature is considering a bill that would legalize killing abortion providers. That’s right: legalize killing abortion providers. I’ll pause for a moment to let that sink in.

House Bill 1171, sponsored by Republican Phil Jensen, would expand the definition of justifiable homicide to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus. But not just your own fetus; no, HB 1171 would allow anyone to kill in the name of protecting “the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child.” So in theory, if you’re a pregnant woman that wants an abortion but your husband disagrees, he could kill your abortion provider and have that be considered justifiable homicide.

Jensen claims that he merely wants to ensure that the state’s criminal code is operating with consistency in regards to how fetal death is punished. Currently, South Dakota – along with a number of other states – allows for people to be charged with murder or manslaughter for committing crimes that result in the death of a fetus. But there’s a massive difference between counting a pregnant woman’s murder as two crimes, and saying that it’s okay to commit murder in the name of a fetus. [Read more...]

Wednesday News Roundup

mouse2Health Care Debate Takes Shape Via Social Networking – The Hill
What is a TRAP Bill? – National Abortion Federation
Abortion Should Not Imperil Health Care Reform – Charleston Gazette
AIDS in South Africa: Women, The Church, and Global Indifference – Religious Dispatches
South Dakota Rules Anti-Abortion Donors Will Remain Anonymous – First Amendment Center
Abortion: A Healthy Choice – HuffPo
Why Private Insurance Should Cover Abortion – Wall Street Journal

Friday News Roundup

mouse2Dr. Susan Wicklund Blames Protesters For Dr. Tiller’s Death – West Virgina Public Broadcasting
Why I’m a Clinic Escort – Abortion Clinic Escort Blog
New AZ Law Could Limit Access to Plan B – Daily Wildcat
Coming Out in Middle School – New York Times
5 Ways to Save Money on Birth Control – US News & World Report
South Dakota Attorney General Appeals Abortion Ruling – Ms.
Glenn Beck Faces Backlash . . . From the Right – Alternet

Tuesday News Roundup

mouse2Misconceptions #1: Only a “Certain Kind of Woman” Has an Abortion – Cherry Hill Women’s Center
When You Discover You’re Intersex – Womanist Musings
C-Sections: The New “Pre-Existing Condition” – RH Reality Check
Scott Roeder’s Trial to be Delayed Until January – Roeder Watch
South Dakota Appeals Abortion Ruling – Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Watch List: Lake of Fire

lakeoffirepostersm11Lake of Fire” is a documentary by Tony Kaye about the radical anti-choice movement. He looks at the history of violence against abortion providers and provides a very frightening view of the domestic terrorists who threaten women’s access to reproductive health care.

The film was released in 2006 and opens with a focus on the passage of a South Dakota law that outlawed abortion. HB 1215 was signed into law by South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds in March of 2006. The legislation prohibits abortion under any circumstance, including rape and incest. The only exception is to protect the life of the mother. The health of the mother is not considered in the exception process. The intent of the bill’s sponsors was to have the law questioned before the Supreme Court. They were hoping that George Bush would have had a third justice nominated to the Supreme Court so that the case would have overturned Roe v. Wade.

South Dakota’s anti-abortion law did not pass in a vacuum. “Lake of Fire” traces the emergence of the militant anti-abortion movement in the US, beginning with a 1993 anti-choice demonstration on the National Mall in Washington, DC that has become an annual event each year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. White crosses are staked into the lawn. I assume the protesters intend these crosses to represent the babies that are killed each year by abortion. The organizers of the protest say that this should be “a daily event,” and that they are honoring “God’s laws.” [Read more...]