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Mean Girls' Take on Ridiculous Planned Parenthood Hearing

The House Judiciary Committee just held a hearing attacking Planned Parenthood. The issue at hand? Cutting off federal support for Planned Parenthood and thereby denying health care to women in low-income communities across the country.  

It was the first time I’d been to a congressional hearing and ― although I didn’t know what to expect ― I was excited. Read more »

How My Life Turned Into a Parks & Recreation Episode

Last Tuesday night, I rewatched the Parks and Recreation episode where the main character, Leslie Knope, tries to add fluoride to the city’s water. But her city council nemesis blocks her efforts and instead proposes that a sweet sugary drink (“Drink-ems”) should replace their water supply. Even though Leslie’s plan was supported by the facts (like fluoride is not a threatening chemical and that sugar drinks will harm the city’s population), they didn’t get her anywhere. In the end, she was successful only because she dropped the facts and instead made fluoride into something else that was “cool” (“H2-FLOW”).

It was a hilarious episode. But what was supposed to be just satire turned into real life for me the very next day. Read more »

The EACH Woman Act, Explained by Empire's Cookie Lyons

This summer, champions of women’s health in Congress introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Woman Act, which will lift the bans that deny women insurance coverage of abortion. This includes the Hyde Amendment, a harmful prohibition on abortion coverage for low-income women qualified for Medicaid. 

Another thing introduced in 2015 that is amazing and groundbreaking is Empire and its lead character Cookie Lyons (portrayed by Emmy-nominated Taraji P. Henson.) This strong, complicated, take-no-prisoners woman embodies all of our responses to over-turning this ban on low-income women’s access to abortion and the introduction of this important bill. Read more »

Doctors Can Continue to Practice Modern Medicine After Court Ruling

Yesterday, a state court issued a fantastic decision protecting women’s health. And no, it wasn’t in California or Washington. It was in Oklahoma! Read more »

EACH Woman Act Introduced to Strike Down Hyde

The first time I ever really thought about abortion was in high school. In my 10th grade American history class, I learned about the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade. My teacher explained how the ruling granted women the right to privacy and agency over their own bodies. Included in these rights was abortion. For a moment, I believed that the fight was won. I believed that since the Roe decision, all women have been free to make their own reproductive health care decisions.

However, that moment was brief. Soon I realized there was much more work to be done. I learned that just three years after Roe, Henry Hyde introduced the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment unjustly prohibits federal coverage of abortion care, unless in the case of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger. The amendment was created to stop women from getting abortions. Yes, you read that right. Henry Hyde himself clearly declared that this was the goal of the Hyde Amendment: “I would certainly like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion: a rich woman, a middle class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the…Medicaid bill.”

After nearly 40 years of the Hyde restrictions on abortion, as part of the All Above All coalition we are saying, “Enough is enough.” It is time to take action, and time to repeal Hyde. Read more »

Hyde Must Go the Way of Disco

When I, someone born in 1990, think of the worst things about the 1970s, I think of disco music, platform shoes, and bellbottom jeans (which somehow made a comeback during my childhood). However, while I question the fashion choices made during that decade (sorry Mom and Dad), the worst thing about the 1970s is the Hyde Amendment, which is still going strong. Fortunately, today, some members of Congress took the much-needed step towards getting rid of the Hyde Amendment.

The Hyde Amendment Read more »

Waiting for High Court After Its Stay of Texas Anti-Abortion Provisions

This post is cross-posted from ACSLaw's blog

On Monday, the Supreme Court stayed enforcement of key provisions of HB2—Texas’ sweeping anti-abortion law—pending the Court’s decision whether to hear an appeal in the case. Only 9 abortion clinics would have remained open in the state had the law gone into effect leaving over 1.3 million women of reproductive age [PDF] more than 100 miles from the nearest abortion clinic.

The Fifth Circuits Unsound Reasoning Read more »

"Hyde & Sneak:" Congress Will Vote to Expand Hyde Amendment—Again

Unbelievably, once again some Members of Congress are trying to pass an abortion restriction that would expand the Hyde Amendment — which is the provision of law that bars abortion from being included in federal programs — like Medicaid or (in this case) NIH research.

Instead of raising the minimum wage, or creating more jobs, or — I don’t know — making sure that women actually have access to reproductive health care, the House of Representatives is focused on spreading this insidious restriction. Read more »

Iowa Supreme Court Protects Women's Access to Abortion

Iowans won big on Friday when the state Supreme Court voted 6-0 to strike down a prohibition on the use of telemedicine for medication abortion. In August 2013, the Iowa Board of Medicine banned the use of telemedicine for medication abortion by requiring doctors to meet in-person with patients before prescribing the necessary medications. Ignoring the fact that telemedicine for medication abortion is extremely safe, the Board shut down the country’s first program while claiming to care about health and safety. Rightly, the Iowa Supreme Court considered the facts and struck down the restriction because it imposed an unconstitutional burden on the right of Iowa women to access abortion.

The Importance of Iowa’s Telemedicine Program Read more »

Supreme Court Lets Doctors Practice Medicine, Not Politics

Yesterday was a good day for women’s health and the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship. The Supreme Court refused to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision striking down a coercive North Carolina law that inserted politicians’ views where they don’t belong.

The law, passed in 2011, would have subjected every woman in North Carolina to an unnecessary and invasive procedure before she could get an abortion. And it forced doctors to prioritize the messages of anti-abortion politicians over good medicine. Every court that has considered this law, including a federal district court and the Fourth Circuit, found it unconstitutional. Read more »