This week, Ireland is still reeling from the news of the woman denied an abortion under the new law allowing terminations if a pregnant person is suicidal, and that the hospital staff and health services appear to have colluded to keep her pregnant until she was far enough along to produce a live birth.
Both sides have taken up the incident as a sign that the country’s abortion laws don’t work, but for two very different reasons. Those who believe people shouldn’t be forced into remaining pregnant and giving birth against a person’s will cite the case as a sign that Ireland really still is forbidding abortion at all points, and that it is only those who are rich who are able to skirt the law by traveling to another country. Those opposing abortion claim the law failed because it allowed her to have a c-section as soon as she reached a potential point of viability, and that she should have been forced to stay pregnant longer to ensure the baby had every chance at a healthy birth and subsequent life.
One thing that is certain is that no one completely understands if this case is an anomaly, a failure of resources or a deliberate attempt to circumvent the new exception for those who are suicidal. The Health services department has now pledged a complete and immediate inquiry into how the patient was toyed with and kept pregnant for so long, and whether there were deliberate attempts to break the law involved. Abortion opponents, on the other hand, say whatever the results, they won’t stop fighting until it once more becomes illegal to have an abortion for any reason in the country — yes, even if a person says she would rather die than give birth, and tries to kill herself when she can’t get the abortion she seeks.
Also in breaking news this week, an Indiana woman who was originally charged with criminal neglect for failing to care for a near viable fetus she gave birth to, thinking it was stillborn, is now being charged with feticide for allegedly attempting to induce her own miscarriage.
Anti-abortion activists are determined that the topic of a 20 week ban on abortions is going to be a key issue that will win them the senate, and they are taking that fight to a number of highly contested races. The most recent is North Carolina, where activists protested Democratic Senator Kay Hagan’s office and demanded she protect life. Headlining the event was the controversial Benham brothers, sons of Operation Save America’s former leader Flip Benham. The brothers recently lost an HGTV contract when their controversial and incendiary views on abortion and homosexuality made it into the public eye.
But while the abortion fight may be seen as helping some GOP candidates, in Colorado anti-abortion activists are worried that the state’s newest “personhood” ballot initiative may actually help Democratic candidates win instead. Meanwhile, senate GOP candidates are trying to keep their feet out of their mouths over whether or not they support support the administration’s newest work around on the birth control mandate, worried that either answer could lose them voter support.
Another clinic in Ohio shutters after the providers have been repeatedly harassed at the clinic, at home and at the local hospital. That brings the number of clinics to just eight, and Operation Rescue claims all of those are working off of invalid licenses, and are demanding the Ohio Department of Health shut them down. Even more disturbingly, it may be that the newest member of the Ohio Department of Health isn’t even qualified for the job. Also in Ohio, Priests for Life kicked off a “9 Week Election Novena” to help candidates who oppose abortion get or stay in office. But, you know, churches don’t get involved in campaigns.
The Huntsville, Alabama abortion clinic may not have reopened in their new location yet, but local neighbors are already annoyed by anti-abortion protesters hanging around. To cut down on the protesters, they are putting up nets to keep them off the neighborhood lawns.
Louisiana abortion clinics are making a last ditch effort to stay open after September 1st with a new lawsuit challenging the state’s admitting privileges law. Next door in Texas, there could be just one clinic per every 1 million people capable of getting pregnant as of Monday, too, as HB 2 is expected finally go into full effect.
Despite the birth control mandate in Obamacare going into effect, some people are still having a hard time accessing their prevention method of choice with no co-pay. The problem? Insurance companies are still trying to demand control over which birth control options they want to allow, in an attempt to cut their own costs.
Finally, in good news, the California legislature has required all insurance plans to cover elective abortions. And in this week’s must read, a look at the extreme cases of the abortion fight, IVF and fetal anomaly, and how laws meant to allegedly protect a fetus in a later abortion may inadvertently lead some to choose to abort rather than give birth and let the babies die in their arms as they wanted to do.
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