Last week we saw Ohio propose a bill that would forbid insurers from covering IUDs, claiming they were mini-abortions. This week, the Saline county commission once more rejected a grant to provide free IUDs to some low income women, citing the same claim. So why, exactly, has the IUD suddenly become the boogeyman when it comes to our discussion about contraception?
As Sarah Begley wrote over at Time, it’s not like anyone actually uses it as emergency contraception, yet that’s the ground under which Hobby Lobby says that it is opposed to the device being covered under their company insurance plan, citing their own religious objections to inhospitable uterine linings. Yet standard birth control pills themselves, which she notes can be taken en masse as a means of attempting a little do-it-yourself EC on your own, isn’t part of the craft store’s case against the administration.
“[P]erhaps the company is looking at the long game here. If SCOTUS rules in Hobby Lobby’s favor, it could set a groundbreaking precedent allowing companies to pick and choose what kinds of general health care they choose to cover based on religious grounds,” Begley postulates.
It’s probably true. After all, incremental has always been a strategy of the anti-abortion movement, with their tiny goal posts to try to overturn Roe v. Wade with just the right Supreme Court challenge.
To see the real beliefs of those who are citing “religious objections” to birth control, one only has to look at Dr. Amy Hogan, the physician who was brought in by the Salina, Kan., commissioners to back them up on IUDs as “murder.” Dr. Hogan’s goal, it appears, is to “liberate women from birth control,” and return to an age where immoral conduct such as unmarried sex is once more made criminal. “Her views are similar to the Comstock laws of 1873, since contraceptive drugs and devices violate nature’s laws and morality in addition to damaging health,” explains a glowing profile of the doctor, who also states that using contraception makes a woman’s cervical fluid “tar-like” and that most medical professionals have “no idea” how it even really works.
Is that the kind of medical expert you want making your public policy? Well, watch out, because her type is coming to a legislative hearing near you.
Michigan is proposing a package of anti-abortion bills, one of which would make the procedure illegal once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, a potential 6 week post last menstrual period abortion ban that has failed to ever actually pass a court challenge in any state it has passed in. In fact, Arkansas now has to pay $65,000 in attorney’s fees after losing their own court case over the issue.
The Governor of New Hampshire signed the state’s new buffer zone into law this week, despite a Supreme Court decision that many expect will overrule a similar but slightly larger zone in Massachusetts this month. Meanwhile, abortion opponents in Portland, Maine, has decided to sue over a similar zone in their city. For a worst case scenario of what it looks like at a clinic with no zone, I visited a Louisville, Ky., clinic the day before Mother’s Day, and my report is here.
A teen seeking judicial bypass finally receives it after a previous judge turned her down, serving as a reminder that parental consent laws often mean access to abortion is at the whim of a judge, and usually adds weeks to the time it takes to actually have the procedure. The other option, unfortunately, in trying to induce your own miscarriage, can come with the possibility of jail time, as this teen almost learned.
Corpus Christi, Texas, is about to lose its abortion clinic as the doctor has decided to retire. The question now? Did protests at the hospital that was providing his admitting privileges influence the decision? Was the hospital about to cave, as it tried to do in Dallas before the entity was forced to reverse its position?
Speaking of unnecessary privileges designed to cut off almost all abortion access in a state, Governor Bobby Jindal signed Louisiana’s TRAP bill that may close almost all local clinics. It goes into effect September 1.
Finally, a school in Augusta, Maine, is going to offer birth control to cut down on teen pregnancy. Also, a reminder that once upon a time, you really could be a Republican and an abortion rights advocate.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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