[identity profile] lynn82md.livejournal.com
In large parts of the country, women’s access to safe and legal abortion care is increasingly coming to depend on the willingness of judges to rigorously examine and reject new (and medically unnecessary) restrictions imposed by Republican legislatures.

In just that sort of searching review, a federal judge last week struck down as unconstitutional an Alabama law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The requirement — advertised, falsely, as necessary to protect women’s health — is one of the main strategies being deployed nationally by opponents of abortion rights to shrink the already inadequate number of abortion providers.

The decision, by Judge Myron Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, followed a 10-day hearing. The ruling is a big victory for Alabama women and should be an instructive model for other courts.

The starting point for Judge Thompson’s analysis was the Supreme Court’s 1992 Casey decision, which said a state abortion regulation goes too far when it imposes an “undue burden” on a woman’s ability to choose to have an abortion before a fetus is viable. The judge said that despite the state’s effort to minimize the rule’s impact, it would shut down three of Alabama’s five abortion clinics. All five provide only early abortions, well before viability. He noted that the rule would actually harm women, especially poor women, by forcing them to wait longer and travel longer distances for the procedure.


more )
[identity profile] lynn82md.livejournal.com
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republican who oppose abortion promoted legislation Wednesday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

These Republicans want to move ahead despite recent court decisions that have struck down similar state laws. The GOP lawmakers also are taking on their own leadership, which has shown little desire to hold votes on contentious social issues.

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, joined by 10 other Republicans and anti-abortion advocates at a news conference, said there was a "good chance" that his bill would see action in the full House this year.

Franks and others said the legislation would gain momentum from the recent conviction of a Philadelphia abortion provider, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, for killing three babies born alive at his clinic.

In the four decades that abortion has been legal in the United States "many, until Gosnell, somehow construed abortion as victimless. That has changed," said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.


More )

Franks and others said the legislation would gain momentum from the recent conviction of a Philadelphia abortion provider, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, for killing three babies born alive at his clinic.

In the four decades that abortion has been legal in the United States "many, until Gosnell, somehow construed abortion as victimless. That has changed," said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J

I doubt that Mr. Smith since abortion and infantside are two whole completely different things. You see, what Dr. Gosnell did was murder three born babies while abortion is terminating a pregnancy that results in the death of a fetus, which is non-viable in most abortions.
[identity profile] lynn82md.livejournal.com
I got this snippet from the middle of the article. It's very long, but I think it's an interesting article even though some parts make me roll my eyes.

Last summer, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld this expanded interpretation of the chemical-endangerment law, ruling that the dictionary definition of “child” includes “unborn child,” an interpretation that will be challenged when the state’s Supreme Court considers Kimbrough’s case in the coming months. But the implications of that ruling go far beyond Alabama. Critics like Ketteringham argue that Alabama’s chemical-endangerment law offers a back door into what has become known as the “fetal personhood” argument.

Personhood USA, an organization based in Colorado, was founded in 2008 by Keith Mason after he became frustrated by the mainstream anti-abortion movement’s incremental approach of restricting the availability of legal abortion. “From my perspective, I saw a movement that was largely dying or dead and had a lack of enthusiasm from younger people and from people who had been in the fight for so many years,” he told me. “Something had to change. Personhood is that rallying point, because it’s the crux of the issue.” His movement seeks to establish the fetus’s right to live as equal to that of the mother’s.

Personhood advocates regard fetal rights as a civil rights issue, and they often compare themselves to abolitionists. “I think it would be unequal protection to give the woman a pass when anyone else who injects drugs into a child would be prosecuted,” Ben DuPré, director of Personhood Alabama, said. “What it boils down to is, aren’t these little children persons?”

The goal of Personhood USA is to establish that a fully rights-endowed person is created when sperm meets egg. To that end, it has introduced initiatives and measures in legislatures in 22 states. Though none of these measures have become law, some, like Proposition 26 in Mississippi, have made it to a ballot referendum, and other measures have passed legislative chambers in North Dakota, Montana and Oklahoma. The problem with those measures, from a legal perspective, says Lynn Paltrow, executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, is that “there is no way to treat fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses as separate constitutional persons without subtracting pregnant women from the community of constitutional persons.”


What is everyone's thoughts on this?
[identity profile] lynn82md.livejournal.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities say two out-of-state doctors who traveled to Maryland to perform late-term abortions have been arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder, an unusual use of a law that allows for murder charges in the death of a viable fetus.

Dr. Steven Brigham, of Voorhees, N.J., was taken into custody Wednesday night and is being held in the Camden County jail, according to police in Elkton, Md. Authorities also arrested Dr. Nicola Riley in Salt Lake City and she is in jail in Utah. Each is awaiting an extradition hearing.

A grand jury indicted the two doctors after a 16-month investigation, police said.

The investigation began in August 2010 after what authorities say was a botched procedure at Brigham's clinic in Elkton, located near the border of Maryland and Delaware.

An 18-year-old woman who was 21 weeks pregnant suffered a ruptured uterus and an injured bowel, according to documents filed in a previous investigation by medical regulators. Rather than call 911, Riley drove her to a nearby hospital, where both she and Brigham were uncooperative and Brigham refused to give his name, documents show.

A search of the clinic after the botched abortion revealed a freezer containing 35 late-term fetuses, including one believed to have been aborted at 36 weeks, the documents show.

Brigham, 55, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy. Riley, 46, faces one count each of first- and second-degree murder and one conspiracy count.

The charges relate to the botched procedure as well as other abortions performed at the Elkton clinic or fetuses found there, authorities said.

Cecil County State's Attorney Ellis Roberts declined to elaborate on the charges or the circumstances that led to them, saying it would be inappropriate to comment before Brigham and Riley, who were taken into custody on fugitive warrants, had seen the indictments.

Maryland is one of 38 states that allows murder charges to be brought against someone accused of killing a viable fetus. The 2005 state law has so far only been used for cases in which defendants were accused of assaulting or killing pregnant women.

What are your thoughts on this?
[identity profile] lynn82md.livejournal.com
Remember few months ago I posted about the Ohio Senate committee scheduled a fetus as a witness during upcoming abortion bill hearing in March?

Yeah, apparently they did detect a heartbeat during that hearing and now The Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as six weeks.

The Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as six weeks.

The House voted 54 to 43 for the ban, along party lines, with most Republicans voting in favor.

If enacted, the law would be a challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which upheld a woman's right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, usually at 22-24 weeks.


And trust me, I did a double take on this snippet:
Ohio Right to Life also has expressed concerns about the heartbeat bill. The organization said the bill is unconstitutional and believes it is not wise to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer's dollars defending it.
I would never have imagine seeing a pro-life group voicing a bill that would ban abortions after six weeks because they thought it was unconsitutional. I thought they would be celebrating this rather than be concern about it.

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