Traveling on subways in NY, I often saw ads asking if a woman was “alone, scared, pregnant” and suggesting she call a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) hotline for help. Spread throughout the city, these seemingly-innocuous English and Spanish ads often faded into the background—designed to capture your attention only if you, a friend, or family member needed help.
Since one in two pregnancies across the U.S. is unintended, women daily face a need for reproductive healthcare that might prompt them to call one of the 2,500 to 4000 CPCs located across the country. Unfortunately, instead of offering transparent, unbiased, comprehensive information that allows a woman to make her own informed choices, CPCs adamantly advocate against abortion regardless of the woman’s life and health circumstances, and needs.
Earlier this month, we told you about a bill introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives that would let bosses use their religion to discriminate against female employees and make decisions about their reproductive health care. Unfortunately, the House passed H.B. 108 last week, and it is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate today at 11:30 a.m. Read more »
As for me, well, let’s just say that I think I’ve held up pretty well for someone who grew up in the pre-sunscreen era and has two kids under the age of 4. Still, there’s no doubt I have more wrinkles, more aches and pains, and less flexibility than I used to. Read more »
For those of us born after Roe v. Wade was decided the reality of back alley abortions can seem remote. Stories of dirty facilities, infections and even death can sound fantastical to our modern ears. And, yet, they shouldn’t. Worldwide, there are 70,000 maternal deaths each year caused by unsafe abortions. Abortion bans can threaten the health and, even life, of women facing pregnancy complications.
Remember the terribly tragic story of Savita Halappanavar who was refused an abortion at a hospital in Ireland, and died because of it? Some legislators in Michigan evidently think refusing abortion in such cases is not only acceptable, but should not even bring any punishment on the hospital.
Michigan Senate Bill 975 passed the Senate last week – when they locked the public out of the state capitol – and is scheduled to be considered in a House committee this morning. It would allow a hospital to let a pregnant woman die, without risking its license or a lawsuit or even a fine. Read more »
Walsh ignores the reality that abortion is a medical procedure that can save women’s lives or improve their health. With maternal mortality on the rise, restrictive abortion policies that disregard these facts do more than overlook inconvenient truths—they can produce fatal outcomes.
In Ireland, a country with a near total ban on abortion, the procedure could have saved Savita Halappanaver’s life.
Last Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (PDF) upheld a district court decision finding that a Baltimore ordinance requiring limited service pregnancy centers, also known as crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), to post completely factual information stating that they “do not provide or make referrals for abortion or birth control services” violated the CPCs’ right to free speech.
According to the Fourth Circuit, the notice would have been compelled speech that required CPCs “to participate in the City’s effort to tell pregnant women that abortions are available elsewhere as a morally acceptable alternative, contrary to the moral and religious beliefs of the Pregnancy Center.” The majority opinion privileges the beliefs of those who oppose abortion over the rights of women to get accurate information by declaring that a mere factual statement that CPCs do not provide or make referrals for abortion or contraceptive services is also a moral statement and endorsement of the opinion that abortions and contraception should be available.
This is false logic. A factual statement is not an endorsement and, in and of itself, does not carry a moral valence. After all, nothing is stopping a CPC from posting a sign stating that it does not endorse abortions or contraception next to the required notice. This sign could even be five times the size of the notice so that there wouldn’t be any confusion regarding the CPC’s moral position. Read more »
When you woke up yesterday morning you may have seen that North Dakotans went to the polls Tuesday and defeated Measure 3. But unless you keep a close eye on North Dakota politics, you may not know what the measure is about. Tuesday, North Dakota voters sent a firm message to conservatives who are attempting to wrap limits to women’s health in a shroud of “religious liberty.” North Dakotans demonstrated that their health is not up for debate. The voters made that point by voting 64% to 36% against the measure, according to unofficial election results.
The measure would have added an amendment to the state constitution that “Government may not burden a person’s or religious organization’s religious liberty.”
So what would Measure 3 have meant for North Dakota?
The measure would have opened the door to use religious beliefs as a defense for breaking the law. It would have allowed people to refuse to follow virtually any law—allowing an argument that an individual has a right to abuse a child or wife, an employer to fire an unmarried pregnant woman, a doctor to deny emergency health care, or a health insurance provider to refuse to include certain health care procedures in its coverage, including birth control, all under the guise of a “sincerely held religious belief.” Tuesday’s defeat of the measure means laws that protect against child abuse and domestic violence, create an obligation to provide access to health care, and protect against discrimination in the workplace remain in place. Read more »
Do you think our nation’s leaders would allow a hospital to refuse to perform an emergency abortion on a woman – even if it means she would die? Unfortunately, if some leaders have their way, the answer would be yes. The House of Representatives actually passed a bill that would allow hospitals to turn away women needing emergency abortion care. This bill is just one example of the recent onslaught of attacks at both the federal and state level that that aim to deny women’s access to reproductive health care.
Getting the emergency care a woman needs should not depend on the hospital to which she is taken.