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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
Abortion is Safe, These Requirements Are Unnecessary
H.B. 2 mandates that physicians performing abortions have admitting privileges with a local hospital despite the fact that abortion is an extremely safe procedure throughout pregnancy. The bill also requires that all clinics providing abortion comply with expensive and unnecessary building standards, such as hall width and parking lot design. Neither provision promotes patient safety. Instead, they impose arbitrary and often impossible to meet standards so that clinics will be forced to close their doors. In fact, H.B. 2 was opposed by major medical groups. Read more »
While the week after Memorial Day may have been short on business days, it was not short on abortion rights victories in the courts. Last week, federal appellate courts struck down extreme abortion bans—Arkansas’ 12-week ban and Idaho’s 20-week ban. This is good news for women in Arkansas and Idaho!
Overturning One of the Most Extreme Bans in the Nation
In striking down Arkansas’ law, the Eighth Circuit saw the law for what it was—an outright ban on abortion. The circuit court wasn’t fooled by Arkansas’ argument that since women could get an abortion before 12 weeks, it wasn’t really a ban. The court’s rejection of Arkansas’ 12-week ban correctly recognizes that woman’s health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions. Politicians are not medical experts and this is not an area where politicians should be meddling. Read more »
I grew up in a small Texas town of about 7,000 people, 30 miles from the closest city. There was no public transportation and, really, no way for a teenager without a car to get around except to rely on parents and friends. The courthouse was in the next town over. Some of my high school classmates lived an hour or more away—on ranches and farms and in houses and trailers down country roads with miles between neighbors or in little communities of less than 200 people that couldn’t even support a gas station. Getting into town from these places could be an ordeal, getting into the city to see an abortion provider, near impossible.
So trust me when I tell you that Texas HB 3994 puts in place insurmountable barriers for many Texas adolescents seeking an abortion. Last Friday, this dangerous and extreme bill passed its last hurdle before heading to the governor’s desk . Once it becomes law, it will threaten the safety and health of Texas adolescents. Read more »
As many of you know, due to several extreme anti-abortion bills, over half the abortion clinics in Texas have been forced to close. Amy Hagstrom Miller, who led the fight against the Texas laws, is still fighting. She has just launched a new non-profit called Shift, because, as she says, she is “so over” abortion stigma.
Amy is the founder of Whole Women’s Health, a group of feminist clinics that provides holistic health care for women — including abortion. Whole Women’s Health was founded in Texas, and for the past few decades Amy has been at the forefront of the fight for women’s health and constitutional rights in that state. Read more »