- Let’s start this rundown off right with some heartening, touching news: Our uber-conservative governor, Doug Ducey, shocked us all by clearing the way for same-sex couples to adopt and foster children in Arizona. (AZ Central)
- Somebody pinch me. More Arizona goodness: A Scottsdale venture capitalist is doing his part to ensure that women in the United States have access to affordable birth control. How terrific! (Tucson Sentinel)
- Delaying pregnancy could reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. (Live Science)
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 90 percent of teenagers who are sexually active used some form of birth control the last time they were intimate. Ninety percent! Ahhh-mazing. (Tech Times)
- Dear Religious Right: My president is not here for your “conversion therapy” shenanigans. (NYT)
- Will California pass a bill to force “crisis pregnancy centers” to start giving abortion options? If so, I’ll go ahead and wager my entire bank account that these lying liars will close every single location. Sorry, but the truth is they’d much rather deceive women than help them. (RH Reality Check)
- Joining Utah, South Dakota, and Missouri, North Carolina is on track to become the fourth state in the nation to enact a three-day waiting period for abortion. Congratulations on sucking, all of you. (The News & Observer)
- Kansas has banned the safest and most convenient procedure for women undergoing second-trimester abortions. (NYT)
- The whirlwind of Republican idiocy continues in Alabama, where conservatives are now trying to prevent abortion clinics from being located within 2,000 feet of a public school. Because someone terminating a pregnancy could somehow affect anonymous, oblivious school children? Does Alabama ban guns (including concealed carry) within 2,000 feet of public schools? Nope!!! (Montgomery Advertiser)
- Younger Republicans are less pig-headed about birth control than their older peers, but still fairly pig-headed. (HuffPo)
- Women who develop gestational diabetes early in their pregnancies are more likely to give birth to children who will later be diagnosed with autism. (Reuters)
On May 31, 2009, Dr. George Tiller was murdered by Scott Roeder while attending church services in Wichita, Kansas. This Saturday is the fifth anniversary of his assassination. From 1975 until his death, Tiller was an ob/gyn who also performed late-term abortions.
Dr. Tiller is remembered for the compassion he showed his patients.
A late-term abortion is a medical procedure in which a pregnancy is terminated during the later stages. The definition of “late-term” varies — even among medical journals — because of its correlation to fetus viability (i.e., when a fetus can survive outside of the uterus on its own). The medical community has not established an age at which a fetus becomes viable, as its survivability is contingent upon conditions internal and external to the womb; however, the survivability of a fetus greatly increases after 25 weeks, or almost 6 months from a woman’s last menstrual period. For reference, the expected gestation of a pregnancy is 40 weeks, or 9 months. Only 1.2 percent of abortions take place at or after 21 weeks.
Late-term abortions remain particularly controversial because of the issue of fetus viability, as well as the methods used to perform the medical procedure (e.g., inducing labor). Late-term abortions also have the potential to be more physically and emotionally challenging for the woman than those performed during earlier stages of pregnancy. While a woman should not be required by law to account for herself and the reasoning behind her medical decision-making, there are numerous medical reasons why a late-term abortion is a valid medical choice. Continue reading
- Dear Jan Brewer and all the other ridiculous Republicans in this state: Your attempts to thwart the reproductive rights of Arizona women WILL NOT STAND! You have no business trying to dictate when a fetus is viable. None of you are ob/gyns. Just give it up already. You have lost the battle and the war. #Booya (AZ Central)
- OK, so, remember how the Repubs came up with the astronomically stupid idea to force women to see or have doctors describe the contents of their uterus via ultrasound before they could undergo an abortion? Well, the studies on the impact of this practice are in, and guess what? It turns out women already know what’s in their uteruses! A whopping 98.4 percent of those women went on to undergo their abortions anyway. What they saw wasn’t a shocking revelation! Those who thought women were too stupid to make an informed choice without seeing the embryo or fetus occupying their body were totally wrong. Shocker. (Slate)
- President Obama is taking an unprecedented step in judicial history by nominating the first black lesbian federal judge, who will preside in the 7th Circuit, covering Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. (The Root)
- There’s a pretty active debate on whether or not MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” has had a direct effect on the downturn in teenage pregnancy rates. Speaking from a personal standpoint, it sure helped cement my commitment to staying childfree! (Time)
- In related news, it ain’t cheap to have a baby. And after that, guess what? You have to spend money on it for at least 19 to 20 years. Minimum! (NBC News)
- Further evidence that the health and wishes of a pregnant woman are trumped by the “rights” of a fetus: Marlise Munoz, a 33-year-old woman in Texas, suffered a tragic fall that resulted in her being on life support and clinically brain dead. Under Texas law, brain dead individuals are considered deceased. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped John Peter Hospital in Fort Worth from refusing to act in accordance with her personal end-of-life directive. Instead, they have forced her to remain on life support. Why? Because of the 19-week-old fetus still occupying her womb. Her family is suffering and understandably distressed. Her husband Erick is determined to fight this out in court. We’ll be watching and hoping. (RH Reality Check)
- Just so you know, abortion is just like slavery! This message was brought to you by complete idiot Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas. Who should be ashamed for equating hundreds of years of brutal whippings, back-breaking and unrelenting labor, rape, lynching, and all of the other unspeakable acts of cruelty inflicted upon blacks in this country to a woman exercising her right not to be forced to give birth and choosing not to carry a non-viable, non human being in her body. (Politico)
- Is it a coincidence that the anti-contraception movement wasn’t on the radar of evangelicals until 2011, after Obama took office? HELL NO. (Salon)
Serving as the medical director of a reproductive health clinic made Dr. George Tiller a lightning rod for constant vitriol — and more than once a target of violence. Picketers routinely gathered outside his clinic in Wichita, Kansas, a site of their protests because it provided abortions, including late-term abortions. In 1986, Tiller saw the clinic firebombed. Seven years later, in 1993, he suffered bullet wounds to his arms when an anti-abortion extremist fired on him outside the property. Finally, in 2009, he was fatally shot while attending worship services at a Wichita church.
Anti-abortion extremists can create life-threatening scenarios for those who seek reproductive health care.
In the wake of Dr. Tiller’s death, many reproductive rights advocates argued that his assassination could have been avoided. The shooting was not the first time his murderer, 51-year-old Scott Roeder, broke the law.
Roeder could have been stopped prior to the shooting under a federal law, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which was enacted in 1994 — 19 years ago this Sunday — to protect the exercise of reproductive health choices. The FACE Act makes it a federal crime to intimidate or injure a person who is trying to access a reproductive health clinic. It also makes it unlawful to vandalize or otherwise intentionally damage a facility that provides reproductive health care.
Roeder’s ideology was the root of his criminality. Roeder subscribed to a magazine, Prayer and Action News, that posited that killing abortion providers was “justifiable homicide.” Roeder also had ties to a right-wing extremist movement that claimed exemption from U.S. laws and the legal system. Continue reading
- A federal district court has decided that emergency contraception must be sold over the counter without any age restrictions. WOOO HOOO! (WaPo)
- In a rare moment of common sense, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has decided to end her (losing) battle with Planned Parenthood. (RH Reality Check)
- Why the pro-choice community needs to talk about the horrifying Gosnell abortion trial. (Jezebel)
- A bill defining life at the “moment of fertilization” has been sent to the governor of Kansas to be signed into law after passing in both the state House and Senate. Ten bucks says another state will try to trump this ruling by declaring “life at the moment of ejaculation.” (Ms. Magazine)
- Sorry, anti-choicers, you can no longer give away “fetus dolls” to students in New Mexico. (Raw Story)
- Alabama is trying to go the way of its suckatcular neighbor, Mississippi, with regard to new stipulations on abortion clinics. (CNN)
- A rash of radical “heartbeat” abortion bans are a growing threat to Roe v. Wade. (MSNBC)
- Compared to those born in the 1970s, teens today are waiting longer to have sex. (Guttmacher)
- Forbes rightly deduces that all the controversy over contraception misses the economic point. (Forbes)
- Some nutjob doctor in Oklahoma is behind the state’s charge to allow employers to deny women contraceptive coverage because, according to him, “Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother. They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies.” UM, WHAT?!?! (Ms. Magazine)
- The Hawaii State Senate has voted for a bill that would require hospital emergency departments to offer emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault. (Hawaii News Now)
- Despite declining fertility, women over age 40 still require effective contraception if they wish to avoid pregnancy. (Science Daily)
- Arkansas went ahead and banned abortions after 12 weeks, which, by the way, is 100 percent unconstitutional. (The Atlantic)
- They may not get away with it though! (ABC News)
- A new study highlights the educational and economic divide among the growing number of women who use Plan B pills. (Salon)
- Here are two nifty charts showing where all 50 states stand on abortion. (WaPo)
- Kansas just passed 70 pages of anti-choice BS. (RH Reality Check)
- Arizona, ever the maverick state when it comes to anti-choice tomfoolery, wants to offer doctors who lie to pregnant women complete immunity from consequences. (Care2)
- Here’s your all-encompassing digest of anti-abortion laws around the country. You might wanna have an alcoholic beverage nearby while reading. (Jezebel)
- Republicans have inspired a plethora of insane sex legislation. (Mother Jones)
- A male birth control pill on the horizon? Legions of pill-popping women are waiting! (Detroit Free Press)
- Speaking of men, where the hell are they during this war on birth control? (CNN)
- Planned Parenthood’s fearless leader, Cecile Richards, was a smash on The Daily Show Wednesday night. (RH Reality Check)
- More on the awe-inspiring badass that is Ms. Richards. (The Nation)
- Kansas has gone absolutely mad with 69 pages of anti-abortion malarkey, including, but not limited to, taxing women for abortions. (HuffPo)
- Dear Rush Limbaugh, sex is not, I repeat, not a recreational activity. (Fem 2.0)