This week’s big story has been the news that Alabama’s requirement that all abortion providers have local hospital admitting privileges has been found unconstitutional because it causes an undue burden on a person’s right to obtain an abortion. The judge released an over 160 page ruling supporting his decision, and he pulled few punches when it came to blaming anti-abortion activists for creating a culture of violence that makes it hard for clinics to find providers and hospitals to feel comfortable offering privileges.
Alabama, of course, says they will likely challenge the decision. Meanwhile, two clinics in the state are already closed because of the requirement to rebuild their structures to new regulations, forcing pregnant people to already leave the state to access care.
The judge also compared closing clinics to infringing on gun rights, a comparison that left many conservatives seething.
This week eyes were also on Texas, where the state is defending the portion of HB 2 that requires all abortion clinics to rebuild as ambulatory surgical centers, a move expected to close all but seven clinics in the state. My San Antonio explains succinctly how the state’s clinics would all be eliminated. For a look at the day to day testimony, be sure to read Andrea Grimes.
So are we seeing the the death knells of the anti-abortion movement? Yes, says Jessica Valenti over at The Guardian, citing the activists’ intense need to block clinic access both legislatively and physically at all cost as a desperate final gambit. Unfortunately, the abortion opponents themselves don’t agree, saying those aren’t the end of their bag of tricks but a sign of how successful they are at winning their battle. Whether it is the end or not, it is time to stop “underhanded attempts to obstruct abortion access,” according to the LA Times.
Meanwhile, those who support reproductive rights are having a battle of our own over where the movement is going and how to best position our myriad of goals — especially when those goals extend beyond the limited language of “choice.” Adweek decided to ask a few branding experts what they would pick to replace “pro-choice” and provides the results here.
A Florida judge upheld a local “quiet zone” around one abortion clinic, showing that the Massachusetts buffer zone case didn’t mean that all clinic protections are unconstitutional as well. But in California, defacing the sidewalk is considered a constitutional right even if it is part of an attempt to intimidate and harass an abortion provider in his home.
Speaking of Massachusetts, police are already expressing support for the new law to protect clinics now that the Supreme Court ended the state’s buffer zones. Let’s see how long it takes before this gets challenged, too.
In Ohio, the last clinic in Toledo files to keep their practice open despite failure to obtain a transfer agreement. The state says it’s too dangerous for the clinic to operate without an agreement with a local hospital, despite the fact that not one patient has been admitted in 10 years. Apparently that’s the kind of quality medical decisions you get when you keep replacing your board of health members with people with no medical background.
Kentucky Senator and GOP presidential nominee wannabe Rand Paul is claiming no one in the GOP wants to ban birth control. Apparently he’s forgotten that he has been running on a “Human Life Amendment” platform that actually would do just that.
In a disturbing trend, more teens appear to be giving birth unassisted, either because they are not aware they are pregnant or are trying to hide their pregnancies out of fear of reprisal or coercion into abortion. This is a reminder of why we need better, age appropriate sex ed, and more protections for teens to obtain all reproductive health care — birth control, abortion and prenatal care — without a parent’s permission and with strict confidentiality.
Finally, in good news, pressure is mounting on Eden Foods, one of the companies that refuses to provide birth control coverage for its employees, as some Minnesotans successfully get their co-op to stop offering their products. Also, France has voted to make abortion legal for any reason for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, citing equal rights for women.
Do you think that all people deserve abortion access, regardless of their economic status, race, or whether they live in rural or urban areas? Then be sure to check out the new “Be Bold” bus tour sponsored by All Above All, which wants to end the Hyde Amendment and other restrictions on insurance use for abortion care.
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