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Repro Wrap: U.S. Senate is All Abortion, All the Time, and Other News

Repro Wrap: U.S. Senate is All Abortion, All the Time, and Other News

It’s a Congressional smorgasbord of abortion headlines this week, as the Senate held a confirmation hearing for what is likely the least progressive candidate nominated by a Democratic President for a federal bench ever. The hearing did little to change the minds of Democrats opposed to the bid, and even Senate leadership is saying the confirmation is probably a no go.

But the Boggs nomination wasn’t the only Senate fight, as South Carolina Lindsay Graham tweaked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over not bringing a 20 week post-fertilization ban up for a vote. Reid, meanwhile, proposed that Sen. Graham was likely far more interested in his reelection chances than he was in getting a bill to pass.

Senators Reid and Graham aren’t the only congressional members making headlines over abortion restrictions this week. Florida Senator Marco Rubio gleefully hit back at those who accused him of ignoring climate change issues by comparing it to abortion, saying if Democrats won’t agree to the “settled science” of human life beginning at conception, why should he have to believe scientific consensus on global warming. MSNBC’s Irin Carmon takes Sen. Rubio to town on his comparison, including noting that “life” isn’t “a scientific term.” Meanwhile, former senator and likely Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has thrown his hands into the air and advocated free birth control for everyone, utterly confusing people on both sides of the reproductive rights debate.

South Dakota is already one of the toughest states in the country to obtain an abortion. It has just one clinic in its borders, and the legislature mandated a 72 hour wait between the initial appointment with a doctor and the follow up appointment to actually terminate the pregnancy. Meanwhile, a law requiring all pregnant people to visit a crisis pregnancy center for counseling in between the appointments is still being fought in the courts. Yet some conservatives believe the state still isn’t doing enough to discourage abortion, and they want to push the GOP further to the right to get it done.

In Texas, you don’t need more far right Republicans in office to make the abortion situation more dire. Things are getting worse every day. One Texas provider tells of how bad it has become in the state, and how it can happen anywhere. “Take heed, non-Texans, and keep a close eye on your own statehouses. Texas’ 2013 package contained many elements but often was summarized journalistically as the ’20-week ban’ — the other stuff was harder to encapsulate. Yet ultimately, those other elements had far more impact, because most abortions happen before 12 weeks.”

Louisiana should know, since they are on the brink as well. The Louisiana bill that is expected to close almost every clinic in the state has passed its final hurdle this week, and, after a quick reconciliation hearing will head to the governor to be signed into law. But although Governor Bobby Jindal is a definite yes when it comes to signing the legislation, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is still a wildcard when it comes to whether or not he will personally veto his state’s 72 hour wait, which is heading to his desk as well. Also, Planned Parenthood in Kansas has decided to stop fighting a law that ousts them from receiving any funding from the state for any of their programs or services.

In Ohio, one lawmaker is trying desperately to get a “heartbeat” ban, which would make abortion illegal as early as 2 weeks after a missed period, up for a vote, after nearly three years of it being blocked in the Senate. Heartbeat bans have already been found unconstitutional, most recently in North Dakota. Yet now the North Dakota Attorney General has announced they will appeal the ruling, since apparently the state has copious money to burn on legal expenses.

Susan Cahill, whose clinic was vandalized beyond repair in Montana, is discussing the agonizing choice of retiring for her own safety or reopening but potentially putting herself back into danger.

Now for some good news. Mississippi will not be seeing personhood on the ballot again, as a new push to give legal rights to fertilized eggs fails to get enough signatures to make the ballot. And Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is making moves to rescind the medically unnecessary clinic building requirements that were a hallmark of the previous governor’s legacy and that had been shutting down abortion providers throughout the state.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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6:21AM PDT on May 24, 2014

I dont give a crap how many stars you get. There are an amazng number of srupid people in this country. I have travelled all over this country and there are pockets of stupididty it us hard to comprehend. You can feel the IQ level drop as you go into some of the areas. Jerry Springer his ilk shows us daily how dumb much of our country is. So yes even someone as backward thinking as you can get stars.

Abortion isnt legal becasue anyone LIKES it. Its legal because wpmen were being butchered by unqualified people or even worse by themselves in desperation. Almost all abortions happen in the first trimester. Well before the 20 week limit.The only reason the Republicans party beats you over the head with this is becasue it fires up the religious base with emotionalism. They dont give a flying fig about abortion. If it stopped getting votes for them they would drop it like so much rubbish. The simple fact is they dont have many issues to run on that they can use. Much of what Obama has tried ti implement were former Republican ideas that the Rs have had to abandon while Obama is in office. They of course will pick them back up after an R somehow manages to recpature the whitehouse. But right now it is important to deny Obama any use of them. Hell even the ACA is mostly a former Republican plan that the health insurance companies have manged to successfully lobby against.
Abortions will happen regardless of its legality or safety. Thats the only reason it became le

4:27AM PDT on May 24, 2014

Nikolas K. Women make decision concerning their bodies and pregnancies. They do not have to at any point refer to any one. That does include you. You can play the poor misunderstood long suffering cheristian wailing in the wilderness. truthfully it is a very old shtick. it garners no sympathy from me.

Especially as it is only about getting attention. you have my attention. I have nothing, but contempt for a person that uses such a patently obvious manipulating device. 'OOHH I see the world grumbling and I am such _____ . So I will stand here and lament the fall of western civilization..'

Well aren't you just the poor, misunderstood martyr.

Bah! a woman right to make decision to have an abortion is hers to make. Not mine, yours, or any ones. She has three legal decision that she can make. To keep, to have an abortion, or to adopt out. None of those three are yours or mine to interfere. Unless we are involved in the adoption process or might be the daddy. In which case at the birth you or I have some say. But an abortion is hers to make. It is her life and health that is on the line. Not your, mine or any one else.

Roe and Casey both make that very plain. Deal with it. Western civilization will continue in spite of you lamenting and acting the poor misunderstood martyr. Did I satisfy your martyrdom enough, Nikolas. I hope so.

11:52PM PDT on May 23, 2014

Interesting that i get many stars, so maybe your of track my brother. that ok, the truth is hard for many to face when they enjoy being asleep and not having to think for themselves. Enjoy your dream.

6:33AM PDT on May 23, 2014

Well NIk………when you tell the truth we will reward you with stars for it. But usually you are way off in far right land somewhere.

2:51AM PDT on May 23, 2014

No wonder our planet is so screwed up. When women who should have a responsibility in bringing into this world children who will grow up and make it a perfect world with the proper training and loving examples from their mothers, fail to deliver . Sadly this will not happen while we have women who are unable to take responsibility for their actions and then have a doctor murder their unborn child because its going to interfere in their lifestyle which is all about me, me and not about being responsible and full of unconditional love for all humanity let alone their unborn child. Looking at the majority of comments here on this post is a sad indictment of what i have just said. I look forward to the verbal attacks here, as I'm sure I will prick a few minds who cannot handle truth.

2:41AM PDT on May 23, 2014

Thank you for sharing it.

5:28AM PDT on May 22, 2014

Agrees with Gene and maybe they should give them a resounding defeat in the bedroom as well HAHHAH

12:29AM PDT on May 22, 2014

Thanks

11:03AM PDT on May 21, 2014

Yet the republican party continues to talk about what it can do to win women over. But does not understand what an oxymoron what they say and what they do is. They want men to control women, plain and simple, in every way possible, but definitely starting with reproductive rights. Now I know the biological imperative that drives the male of most species to wish to spread his seed as far and wide, and often, as possible, but this makes that a laughingstock. My most fervent hope is that women reward these men in the best way possible, with resounding defeats at the ballot box and with lawsuits challenging every one of these silly, illegal (since 1972) attempts to tell women how to handle their own reproductive rights. They can attempt to sow as many seeds as they wish, but my hope is that they all land on concrete where they may not propagate, for this part of our species has long outlived its usefulness.

5:11AM PDT on May 21, 2014

Report in tHE LANCET states --the USA ranks 60th out of 180 countries for maternal deaths. Spontaneous abortions are seen in 20% of all diagnosed preganancies and more go unreported or possibly unnoticed in earliest stages. Reproductive freedom should remain in the heart of the promise of human dignity, self- determination ..... and above all liberty, and that those rights cannot be nullified by a bunch of white men who want to impose their WILL onto women who are people too.

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