July 21, 2011 — Allowing women to obtain medication abortion services via telemedicine is equally effective and acceptable to patients as receiving the drugs during a face-to-face office visit, according to a study published in the journal Obstetrics and GynecologyMSNBC reports.

The report is among the first to study the effects of telemedicine abortion, which conservative lawmakers have increasingly targeted through legislation banning the practice. The research — led by Daniel Grossman, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California-San Francisco and a senior associate at the research organization Ibis Reproductive Health — followed 578 women in Iowa who sought medication abortion services at Planned Parenthood clinics. According to Grossman, 223 of the patients elected to have the procedure via telemedicine and 226 chose face-to-face office visits.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has offered abortion services through telemedicine since 2008, allowing women living in rural areas without abortion providers to obtain abortion care early in pregnancy, MSNBC reports (Carroll, MSNBC, 7/20). Through the program, a woman seeking abortion care receives an ultrasound and examination from a nurse and then consults with a physician via the Internet on a private computer. If the physician determines that the patient is an appropriate candidate for medication abortion, he or she dispenses the medication remotely by pressing a button that opens a container with the drugs at the patient’s location (Women’s Health Policy Report, 5/24).

Many states stipulate that only physicians can provide medication abortion care and that they must counsel women before administering the pills. A few states allow nurse practitioners and other mid-level health care providers to dispense the medication, while at least five states recently enacted bans against using telemedicine for abortion services.

Study Findings

According to the study, medication abortion successfully terminated pregnancy in 99% of telemedicine patients and 97% of patients who received in-person care. There was no significant difference in complications between the two groups. Telemedicine patients were more likely to report satisfaction with their care, though 25% of telemedicine patients said after the procedure that they would have preferred being in the same room as the doctor.

Using telemedicine to provide abortion care has prompted objections from antiabortion-rights advocates, who claim the practice endangers women’s health. However, medical ethicist Arthur Caplan said this opposition has more to do with a desire to limit abortion access than with actual concern for women’s safety. “Clearly we don’t have enough primary care providers,” he said, adding, “One way to solve this is through telemedicine. We don’t want to be attacking that, we probably want to be celebrating it” (MSNBC, 7/20).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/24/america-pregnant-women-murder-charges

Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges

Women’s rights campaigners see the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion

Ed Pilkington in New York

guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 June 2011 18.30 BST

 

Across the US, more and more prosecutions are being brought against women who lose their babies. Photograph: Alamy

Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.

Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby’s death – they charged her with the “depraved-heart murder” of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

Gibbs is the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby. But her case is by no means isolated. Across the US more and more prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals.

“Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws,” said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). “It’s turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights.”

Bei Bei Shuai, 34, has spent the past three months in a prison cell in Indianapolis charged with murdering her baby. On 23 December she tried to commit suicide by taking rat poison after her boyfriend abandoned her.

Shuai was rushed to hospital and survived, but she was 33 weeks pregnant and her baby, to whom she gave birth a week after the suicide attempt and whom she called Angel, died after four days. In March Shuai was charged with murder and attempted foeticide and she has been in custody since without the offer of bail.

In Alabama at least 40 cases have been brought under the state’s “chemical endangerment” law. Introduced in 2006, the statute was designed to protect children whose parents were cooking methamphetamine in the home and thus putting their children at risk from inhaling the fumes.

Amanda Kimbrough is one of the women who have been ensnared as a result of the law being applied in a wholly different way. During her pregnancy her foetus was diagnosed with possible Down’s syndrome and doctors suggested she consider a termination, which Kimbrough declined as she is not in favour of abortion.

The baby was delivered by caesarean section prematurely in April 2008 and died 19 minutes after birth.

Six months later Kimbrough was arrested at home and charged with “chemical endangerment” of her unborn child on the grounds that she had taken drugs during the pregnancy – a claim she has denied.

“That shocked me, it really did,” Kimbrough said. “I had lost a child, that was enough.”

She now awaits an appeal ruling from the higher courts in Alabama, which if she loses will see her begin a 10-year sentence behind bars. “I’m just living one day at a time, looking after my three other kids,” she said. “They say I’m a criminal, how do I answer that? I’m a good mother.”

Women’s rights campaigners see the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion, in which conservative prosecutors are chipping away at hard-won freedoms by stretching protection laws to include foetuses, in some cases from the day of conception. In Gibbs’ case defence lawyers have argued before Mississippi’s highest court that her prosecution makes no sense. Under Mississippi law it is a crime for any person except the mother to try to cause an abortion.

“If it’s not a crime for a mother to intentionally end her pregnancy, how can it be a crime for her to do it unintentionally, whether by taking drugs or smoking or whatever it is,” Robert McDuff, a civil rights lawyer asked the state supreme court.

McDuff told the Guardian that he hoped the Gibbs prosecution was an isolated example. “I hope it’s not a trend that’s going to catch on. To charge a woman with murder because of something she did during pregnancy is really unprecedented and quite extreme.”

He pointed out that anti-abortion groups were trying to amend the Mississippi constitution by setting up a state referendum, or ballot initiative, that would widen the definition of a person under the state’s bill of rights to include a foetus from the day of conception.

Some 70 organisations across America have come together to file testimonies, known as amicus briefs, in support of Gibbs that protest against her treatment on several levels. One says that to treat “as a murderer a girl who has experienced a stillbirth serves only to increase her suffering”.

Another, from a group of psychologists, laments the misunderstanding of addiction that lies behind the indictment. Gibbs did not take cocaine because she had a “depraved heart” or to “harm the foetus but to satisfy an acute psychological and physical need for that particular substance”, says the brief.

Perhaps the most persuasive argument put forward in the amicus briefs is that if such prosecutions were designed to protect the unborn child, then they would be utterly counter-productive: “Prosecuting women and girls for continuing [a pregnancy] to term despite a drug addiction encourages them to terminate wanted pregnancies to avoid criminal penalties. The state could not have intended this result when it adopted the homicide statute.”

Paltrow sees what is happening to Gibbs as a small taste of what would be unleashed were the constitutional right to an abortion ever overturned. “In Mississippi the use of the murder statute is creating a whole new legal standard that makes women accountable for the outcome of their pregnancies and threatens them with life imprisonment for murder.”

Miscarriage of justice

At least 38 of the 50 states across America have introduced foetal homicide laws that were intended to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from violent attacks by third parties – usually abusive male partners – but are increasingly being turned by renegade prosecutors against the women themselves.

South Carolina was one of the first states to introduce such a foetal homicide law. National Advocates for Pregnant Women has found only one case of a South Carolina man who assaulted a pregnant woman having been charged under its terms, and his conviction was eventually overturned. Yet the group estimates there have been up to 300 women arrested for their actions during pregnancy.

In other states laws designed to protect children against the damaging effects of drugs have similarly been twisted to punish childbearers.

New racist anti-choice billboards show up in NYC

By MIRIAM | Published: FEBRUARY 24, 2011

Picture of a young black girl with the message "The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb"

The huge billboard featured above recently went up in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Sponsored by the Texas group Life Always, this billboard is just one in a series of similarly targeted billboards that have gone up around the country. This one is conveniently located around the corner from the NYC Planned Parenthood.

Responses from the organization behind the billboard specifically talk about targeting Planned Parenthood and the rates of abortion among African-American women.

Reproductive justice advocates are livid.

From Sistersong and the Trust Black Women Partnership:

Yesterday, racist billboards went up in Soho attacking black women and our human rights by claiming “the most dangerous place for an African American child is in the womb.” SisterSong, a coalition of 80 women of color and Indigenous women’s organizations, denounces this cynical attempt to use race during Black History Month as an excuse to assault women’s rights. Black women are not the pawns of these white people who erect such billboards. We find them offensive, racist, sexist and – most of all – disrespectful of our decision making, our 400-year history of raising and caring for black children, and our human right to make health care choices for ourselves.

Read the full statement here.

Also, an interesting note. The mother of the child pictured (who is only 6 years old)apparently had no idea how her daughter’s image was going to be used: “I would never endorse something like that,” says Tricia Fraser, Anissa’s mother. “Especially with my child’s image.” Her daughter’s photo was taken by an ad agency and then sold to a stock photo company, where the anti-choice group purchased it for the ad. Fraser is now demanding that her daughter’s image be taken off the billboard.

UPDATE: Want to take action against the offensive billboard? Contact the advertising company that hosts the billboard and ask them to remove it:

Lamar Advertising
General Manager: Peter Costanza, pcostanza@lamar.com
437 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Phone: 212-644-6147
Fax: 212-644-6148

 

New racist anti-choice billboard campaign to target Latinas

By MIRIAM | Published: JUNE 8, 2011

Billboard that reads, The most dangerous place for a Latino is in the womb

The racist trope regarding abortion rates in African American communities, promoted primarily through billboard campaigns, has expanded to include Latinas.

According to the Daily Caller, the billboard pictured is set to show up in Los Angeles next week, connected to a group called Latino Partnership for a Conservative Principles. Among the board members of the group is Luis Fortuno, the Governor of Puerto Rico.

The message is very similar to the billboard that we fought against in Manhattan earlier this year, with a few exceptions. This billboard is bilingual, which means that in the Spanish version of the statement the word madre (mother) appears, and is emphasized. In the English version that attacked African-American women, the word mother, even the word woman, was entirely absent. It was a shocking contrast to the fact that the ads themselves were actually targeting Black women as the ones putting Black children in danger, even though they never actually mentioned them.

I’m disgusted, but not particularly surprised. Like Steph, as a Latina, I’m angry that my community is being targeted. But I’m not more angry than I was when I saw the first billboards attacking African-American women. I already felt attacked by those original billboards, because these tactics aren’t actually about the communities they target.

They are instead about attacking abortion, trying to race bait, divide the pro-choice community along racial lines. They implicitly make women of color the culprit, the ones responsible for this myth of genocide in our communities. Whether it’s African-American women, or Latinas, or Indigenous women–they are simply using women of color to forward their anti-choice agenda.

Regardless of whether they are attacking your community, they are attacking all of us and we need to fight back.

I’ll keep an eye out for any action items targeting these billboards and post them.

by Brady Swenson, RH Reality Check

May 26, 2011 – 10:14pm

 

May 27, 8:45am
The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Wisconsin police have arrested a 63-year-old man for planning an attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic.

A man who drove to Madison, Wisconsin to kill an abortion doctor faces federal charges for intending to attack a Planned Parenthood office in Madison, Wisconsin and murder abortion providers. Ralph Lang, 63, was arrested Wednesday night when his gun went off in his motel room not far from the Planned Parenthood clinic that he planned to attack Thursday. According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court Lang said he had a gun “to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies.”

A copy of the formal complaint filed against Lang is available here.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Lang said he planned on shooting the clinic’s doctor “right in the head,” according to the complaint. Asked if he planned to shoot just the doctor or nurses, too, Lang replied he wished he “could line them up all in a row, get a machine gun, and mow them all down,” the complaint said.

Teri Huyck, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said the organization’s primary concern “today and everyday” is the health and safety of its patients, staff and volunteers.

“With the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Madison Police Department, we have taken the security precautions necessary to continue with our work,” she said.

Huyck extended gratitude to the law enforcement agencies working with Planned Parenthood so it can continue to be a “safe and trusted health care provider for Wisconsin women and families.”

by Carole Joffe, University of California

June 8, 2011 – 7:28am (Print)

This article is cross-posted from ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health), a website of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health

It was the “of course” in Dr. Anja Hauge’s (not her real name) e-mail to me that was my first hint that when it comes to abortion, Norway and the United States exist in two different universes.

On a recent visit, I had asked a Norwegian colleague to arrange an interview for me with a physician involved in abortion provision. Dr. Hauge, a prominent gynecologist, agreed to meet with me, and in her introductory e-mail, mentioned that she worked in a large hospital department, where “we, of course, also provide abortions.”

“Of course”?! In the United States, to use “abortion,” “hospital” and “of course” in the same sentence is oxymoronic. Only about 5 percent of all abortions performed in the United States occur in hospitals, and even these relatively few procedures are increasingly under attack. The Republican-led Congress, in one of its first acts after taking control in January, passed the Orwellian-named“Protect Life” Act which stipulates that hospitals receiving federal funds are permitted to refuse abortions to women in life-threatening situations. Just recently, the House passed the so-called Foxx amendment, which would withhold newly available funds for comprehensive medical training from hospitals that provide abortion training.

When I met Dr. Hauge in person, my sense of being on a different planet intensified. To summarize our conversation:

  • Abortion is “completely integrated” into the Norwegian health care system, paid for (like other medical procedures) by the government, and available virtually everywhere in the country;
  • ob/gyn residents are expected to undergo training in abortion provision, and though opt-out provisions exist, very few young physicians make use of them;
  • health care professionals involved in abortion provision are neither sanctioned by medical colleagues nor harassed by anti-abortion activists.

Abortion, in short, is largely a non-politicized issue, both within Norwegian medical circles, and the population at large.

Comparing the two countries

On paper, interestingly, Norway’s abortion regulations appear to be somewhat stricter than those in the United States. Up through 12 weeks of pregnancy, abortion is routinely available. But between 12 and 18 weeks, a woman must go before a committee before obtaining an abortion, and after 18 weeks, abortions are only permitted in instances of threats to the life or health of the woman and serious or lethal fetal anomalies.

But it is only on paper, of course, that the U.S. situation is more liberal. One of three American women do not live in a county with a provider (several states are now down to one clinic); many women can’t pay for abortion and the majority of states do not permit use of public funding for abortion. (The search for money often pushes poorer women into later abortions, which are more expensive and even harder to find).  And, as the recent anniversary of the assassination of George Tiller reminds us, abortion providers are terrorized in this country in a way that leaves Norwegians incredulous—and of course, appalled.

But to my American ears, the most interesting part of our conversation came when we discussed the Norwegian committee system, which deals with requests for abortions after 12 weeks. When these requests are denied by local hospitals, there is an automatic appeal to a central committee. This central committee came into existence a little more than a year ago, because of the authorities’ concern about differing rates of turndowns across the country. Moreover, Dr. Hauge told me, every two years the Ministry of Health convenes a conference to which hospital representatives from all over the country come, to discuss abortion issues.

To be sure, the overwhelming majority of requests for abortions between 12 and 18 weeks are initially approved. Several gynecologists are frustrated with the need for committee approval starting at 12 weeks, and would prefer to see the limit raised to 16 or 18 weeks.  As Dr. Hauge put it, “It is humiliating for the woman and a waste of everyone’s time.” But hearing from her that there is a government body that “watches carefully” to assure that abortion policy is being carried out fairly made my head spin.

Norway ranks 1st in State of the World’s Mothers report; United States 31st

So how do Norway and the United States, two countries that legalized abortion at approximately the same time (the former in 1978, the latter in 1973), compare—not only with respect to abortion, but along the whole spectrum of reproductive health outcomes?

Norway, where abortion is freely available, subsidized by the government, and apparently not stigmatized, was recently named by a leading children’s advocacy group as “the world’s best place to be a mother” because of its family-friendly policies and excellent record of both maternal and infant mortality.

The United States, in contrast, notwithstanding the sanctimonious bows to motherhood by anti-abortion politicians, came in 31st—the worst of any developed nation, due mainly to its shameful record of both maternal mortality and under-five mortality.

Norway not only has a better record than the United States with respect to teenage pregnancies and births, but also has a lower abortion rate—a reflection, among other things, of Norwegians’ better access to contraception, its comprehensive sex education policies, and its generally more mature attitude toward human sexuality.

As I ended my interview with Dr. Hauge, I asked her, as I always do with U.S. physicians, if she wanted her name changed when I wrote about our encounter. She laughed apologetically and said, “It’s better if you change it. I’m not worried about Norwegians, but I don’t want some American (anti-abortionist) reading about me.”

When I returned to my hotel room after our meeting, I opened my computer to find that an arrest had been made in Wisconsin of yet another disturbed individual with plans to murder local abortion providers. Two different planets indeed.

2011 has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of legal restrictions on abortion in the USA as pro-life groups step up their campaign against a woman’s right to an abortion. Alastair Gee reports.
States across the USA are introducing new restrictions on abortion in what is being seen as the biggest legislative onslaught by pro-life politicians in decades.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, which researches reproductive health and rights, in 2011 about 70 restrictions have been adopted in 14 states (panel), ranging from a Kansas provision that requires abortion providers to describe the fetus to women as a “whole, separate, unique, living human being” to a South Dakota regulation compelling women who want an abortion to undergo counselling at pro-life pregnancy centres.
Panel
Selected abortion legislation passed in 2011
Arizona
  • State universities prohibited from using state or federal funds to train abortion providers
Idaho
  • Ban on abortion after 20 weeks, with few exceptions, is enacted based on idea that fetuses feel pain after this point
Kansas
  • Ban on abortion after 20 weeks, with few exceptions, is enacted based on idea that fetuses feel pain after this point
  • Women to be presented with a statement that an abortion “will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being”.
  • Children require written consent from two parents before obtaining an abortion
Mississippi
  • Ban on schools teaching that abortion can be used to prevent the birth of a baby
New Hampshire
  • Legislature passes bill requiring abortion providers to notify the parent of a child seeking an abortion 48 h before it is undertaken
North Dakota
  • State to publish materials referencing the scientifically dubious link between abortion and breast cancer
South Dakota
  • Mandatory 3-day wait before a woman can have an abortion
  • Mandatory counselling at an anti-abortion pregnancy centre
Texas
  • Doctors required to describe the fetus to women, as well as offer the option of playing its heartbeat
Utah
  • Private coverage of abortion banned, with few exceptions; also, state health-insurance exchanges will not be allowed to cover abortions, with few exceptions
“This is a year that poses significant challenges to Roe vs Wade”, said Elizabeth Nash, a policy expert at the Guttmacher Institute, referring to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion until viability, defined as beyond 24 weeks.
Opponents of abortion, for their part, say that abortion restrictions are long overdue. “As long as we have liberalised abortion in this country, countless unborn children will die every year”, said Daniel McConchie, vice president of government affairs at Americans United for Life, an organisation that provides model anti-abortion legislation to conservative lawmakers across the country. As they toldThe Lancet, conservative politicians are determined to circumscribe abortion laws that they view as overly permissive. “I am pro-life and my ultimate goal is to overturn Roe vs Wade”, said Carl Wimmer, a Republican representative in Utah.
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Full-size image (95K) Washington Post/Getty Images
US anti-abortion groups march to express opposition to Rode vs Wade, Jan 24, 2011
Individual states have some latitude to enact their own abortion legislation, and recent efforts to clamp down on abortion gained momentum after the 2010 US elections, when the Republicans won hundreds of seats in state legislatures. In Kansas, for instance, restrictions on late-term abortions were vetoed by a previous Democratic Governor, Kathleen Sebelius. But since Sam Brownback, a Republican, took the post this year, the state has passed a range of abortion laws, including lowering the age at which a fetus can be terminated to 20 weeks and enforcing stricter reporting requirements for children.
The health-care reform initiated by President Barack Obama also spurred a heated debate over abortion, particularly whether the insurance plans to be offered on the new state-based insurance exchanges would cover the procedure. “It almost seemed like the entire law was about abortion, because that’s where the debate was”, said Nash of the Guttmacher Institute.
Four key issues have now emerged: the age at which fetuses can be aborted; what kind of information women should receive about a fetus before it is terminated; whether insurance policies should cover abortions; and how long women should have to wait between an initial consultation and the abortion procedure.
This year, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Idaho have banned abortion after 20 weeks, based on the disputed supposition that fetuses can feel pain after that point. Nebraska passed a similar law in 2010.
In Nebraska, anti-abortion activists say that the new law is merely a corrective that takes into account new medical understandings of fetal pain since Roe vs Wade. “The court did not have a window into the womb”, said Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life. “Now it makes sense to push to the envelope on this matter because of new technology.”
But LeRoy Carhart, a doctor who provides late-stage abortions in Nebraska, said that such procedures were necessary when a fetus would not survive until birth or would experience great suffering after it was born, eventualities that are not provided for in the new law. Carhart, who was a colleague of George Tiller, the abortion doctor who was shot to death by an anti-abortion activist in 2009, characterised the law as an attack on women’s rights. “All it’s doing is denying women the right to take care of their lives the way they want to”, he said. He now sends patients who need late-stage abortions to a clinic in Maryland.
At the heart of the issue is a debate on when fetuses experience pain. According to a 2010 report by the UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), this does not happen before 24 weeks as the central nervous system is not sufficiently developed. Indeed, Mark Rosen, an obstetrical anaesthesiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said the new laws are “not based on science”. But researchers are not unanimous. KJS Anand, a professor of paediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, contests the RCOG paper and said his research accords with the legislation.
Another contentious issue is the kind of information women should be compelled to receive about a fetus before it is terminated. In Texas, a new law mandates that women should be provided with a description of the fetus, and offered the option of hearing the heartbeat if it can be detected. Roger Evans, senior legal counsel at the reproductive health services provider Planned Parenthood, described this as “torture”.
And, in Nebraska, a new law specifies that ultrasound screens should always be turned towards the patient, although women can choose to look away. Proponents of the law argue it is necessary because some clinics might have prevented women from seeing the screen. But others say that the law is intended to dissuade women from having an abortion by fostering a sense of emotional connection with the fetus, or simply by making the process more complicated.
“It has changed nothing in my practice except it makes it harder and more expensive for women to have abortions”, said Carhart, the Nebraska abortion provider. He added that the screens in his practice were already always turned towards patients.
Insurance coverage is another major area of debate. In Utah, for example, the legislature has passed a law banning insurance companies from offering coverage for abortion, with few exceptions, such as when pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. “It’s fundamentally wrong to force people to subsidise and help pay for a behaviour that they fundamentally disagree with”, said the law’s sponsor, Republican representative Carl Wimmer. A supervisor at one of the state’s main abortion clinics, the Utah Women’s Clinic in Salt Lake City, said it did not accept payments through insurance in any case, but Wimmer said his legislation was a “pre-emptive action” before states begin to offer their own insurance policies as a result of health-care reform.
A final issue is how long women should have to wait between an initial consultation and the actual procedure. South Dakota has passed the strictest law in the country, imposing a mandatory 72-h waiting period. The law’s Republican sponsor, Roger Hunt, told The Lancet that his main objective is to ensure that women “have adequate time to think about…terminating an unborn child’s life”.
Once it goes into effect in July, the law will make abortion far more difficult for South Dakota women, said Sam Ellingson, programme coordinator at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in South Dakota. The state has only one provider of non-medically necessary abortions, in Sioux Falls, so the waiting period means that some women will have to make a long journey twice or stay in the city. “It’s an attempt to put obstacles in a woman’s path”, she said.
The law has another provision with a more transparent purpose: women who want an abortion must undergo counselling at so-called pregnancy counselling centres. But, according to the law, such centres can only be certified if they help mothers “maintain and keep their relationship with their unborn children” and do not recommend abortion.
Abortion restrictions that reach further are on the horizon. Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban abortion once a heartbeat can be detected. “It’s a virtual ban on abortion because you can probably detect a heartbeat at 6 to 8 weeks”, said Rachel Sussman, a policy analyst at Planned Parenthood.
Pro-choice organisations are now considering their legal options. In South Dakota, the ACLU is challenging the 72-h waiting period. And in Nebraska, Carhart said that he and his attorneys are biding their time before challenging the ban on late-stage abortions. Meanwhile, opponents of abortion, say that the latest restrictions are just the beginning.

Idaho Woman Charged For “Unlawful Abortion,” Turned In By Anti-Choice Advocate

posted by: Robin Marty 1 day ago

 

Unable to afford the doctors visits and medical bills associated with an actual medical abortion, Jennie L. McCormack of Idaho instead had her sister purchase drugs online to ingest in order to cause a miscarriage.  McCormack, who is the mother of three, is now being charged with “unlawful abortion” according to the Associated Press.

If McCormack is found guilty, she could be subject to a $5,000 penalty as well as up to five years in prison.

McCormack’s case is a sign of the true desperation of women in this country.  She said she believed she was only 14 weeks along, although the examination of the remains concluded it was more likely 20-25.  She is already a mother of more than one child, one still a toddler.  But financially she was cut off from any choice she wanted to make about how many people she wanted in her family, unable to procure an abortion she couldn’t afford and now facing criminal penalties for taking the only option left to her.

According to the report, McCormack was turned into the police by the sister of one of her friends, a woman who stated “There’s other things she could have done. She could have asked for some type of help.”

But it’s obvious that the only “help” that was acceptable in this situation, according to the tipster, was to have the baby, and that the woman who contacted the police did it solely to punish McCormack.  “I’m a grandmother myself. And the love and the compassion I have for my grandkids? They’re my life. And I felt that if somebody didn’t speak up for this baby, who would? It doesn’t have a voice anymore,” Carnahan said.

Idaho has recently passed a 20 week abortion ban, making any abortion after that point a criminal activity.  How many more women will take it into their own hands to try and self-abort due to the lack of ability to obtain a doctor who can perform the procedure safely?  And how many women are conservatives willing to throw a friend in jail for the crime of not wanting to add another mouth to feed to their families?

Ask the Idaho courts to drop charges against Jennie McCormack by clicking here.