Withheld services could range from treatment of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, abortion and end-of-life issues.
Michiganders: Find your state Senator and contact them here!
Despite the fact that it is clearly unconstitutional, and despite the fact that Governor Beebe vetoed the bill. The House and Senate both voted to override the veto, and now Arkansas has one of the strictest abortion laws in the United States.
— Alan Peterson and Robin Bunton, The New Genetics and the Public’s Health
Did you know that “not a single government dollar helped develop the Pill”? The government didn’t become involved until the 1960s, well into the research process.
So who did fund the development of the Pill? Katharine McCormick, who was also a suffragette, millionaire, co-founder of the League of Women Voters and one of the first women to earn a degree in science from MIT (and occasionally a smuggler who brought then-illegal diaphragms into the US). After her husband’s death McCormick donated the equivalent of $23 million of her personal fortune to Gregory Pincus’s research team, which developed the first contraceptive pill. As if that weren’t enough, she moved from California to Boston to monitor the research:
“befitting her MIT training, McCormick tracked Pincus’s progress, offering criticisms and commentary, asking a litany of questions. “Little old woman she was not,” Pincus later recalled. “She was a soldier.”
McCormick wasn’t the only donor, philanthropic organizations, private citizens, industry and organizations (including Planned Parenthood) were also early funders. McCormick wasn’t alone, but her contributions - both financial and intellectual - were absolutely pivotal to the successful development of the Pill.
For more check out Andrea Tone’s Devices and Desires
This week New Mexico state representative Cathrynn Brown (R) introduced House Bill 206, that would require victims of rape to carry resulting pregnancies to term because the fetus would be considered evidence in the rape case. Passage of the bill would mean that women seeking abortions to terminate rape-induced pregnancies would be charged with a third-degree felony–carrying a sentence of up to three years in prison–for “tampering with evidence”.
Official language of the bill:
Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.
Salon has 5 things you may not know about Roe
Samara Azam-Yu at colorlines shares the 5 things she learned about abortion by checking her assumptions at the door.
An NBC/WSJ poll finds that a majority of Americans do not want Roe v Wade overturned
The Wall Street Journal Wonkblog provides a brief history of abortion activism since Roe V. Wade, and talks with activists who have spent their entire careers fighting for abortion rights. According to one, “it’s never been this frightening before.”
The Guardian provides a history of the Democratic and Republican party responses to Roe and after reviewing 40 years of party platforms finds that “the GOP has padded their pro-life credentials more than ever in 2012, following a pronounced trajectory towards the right.”
Jill Filipovic editorializes,
“Outlawing abortion doesn’t lead to a lower abortion rate, and some of the countries with the highest abortion rates on the planet are places where it’s illegal. So if outlawing abortion doesn’t mean fewer abortions, what purpose does it serve? Punishing women and making their lives miserable, apparently – illegal abortion doesn’t mean fewer abortions, it means more dangerous procedures and higher maternal mortality rates. Thirteen per cent of maternal deaths around the world result from unsafe illegal abortions.”
Finally, EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock suggests that the recent unprecedented electoral success of pro-choice Democratic women is cause for some optimism.
Katha Pollitt weighs in for The Nation:
Remember when Joe Walsh, the Republican congressman from Illinois, claimed a ban on abortion needs no exception to save the life of the woman? “With modern science and technology, you can’t find one instance,” he said, in which a woman’s life could have been saved by abortion. Well, how about this instance: In Ireland, where abortion is strictly forbidden, doctors allowed 32-year-old Savita Halapannavar to die of septicemia after days of horrendous suffering, because her 17-week-old fetus, which she was in the process of miscarrying, still had a heartbeat. Never mind that there was no way this fetus could have survived. Never mind that technically, Ireland’s abortion ban permits an exception when there is a “real and substantial risk to the life of the mother.” The doctors let Savita die, as she and her husband pleaded for them to end the pregnancy. “This is a Catholic country,” one doctor explained. The always cogent and knowledgeable Jodi Jacobson explains it all here and here.
If you think it couldn’t happen in the United States, you haven’t been paying attention…With conscience clauses expanding to cover not just individual doctors but whole hospitals, a pregnant woman may find her care is being dictated not by standard health protocols but by a religion she doesn’t even follow. Savita was a Hindu, after all. What about her conscience?
Who is more valuable, a living woman or a dying fetus? The Catholic Church has given its answer, and Savita Halapannavar is dead. If this was Islam, we’d never hear the end of it.