Daily Women's Health Policy Report

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Daily Women's Health Policy Report by the National Partnership for Women & Families
Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

Okla. Abortion Restrictions Face Likely Legal Challenge, But Supporters, Opponents Dispute Outcomes

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:21

Oklahoma lawmakers who championed antiabortion-rights legislation that is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1 expressed confidence on Thursday that the measures would withstand likely legal challenges, while abortion-rights supporters argued that the laws will be overturned, The Oklahoman reports.

Okla. Abortion Restrictions Face Likely Legal Challenge, But Supporters, Opponents Dispute Outcomes

July 28, 2014 — Oklahoma lawmakers who championed antiabortion-rights legislation that is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1 expressed confidence on Thursday that the measures would withstand likely legal challenges, while abortion-rights supporters argued that the laws will be overturned, The Oklahoman reports. According to the Oklahoman, other lawsuits have successfully challenged the abortion restrictions in the state in the past.

New Restrictions

According to The Oklahoman, one (SB 1848) of the new laws would require abortion providers in the state to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (Green, The Oklahoman, 7/25). The measure also requires the state health board to develop operational standards for clinics that perform abortions (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/29).

A second measure (HB 2684) would require physicians in the state to administer medication abortion drugs according to FDA protocol. The second bill was written in direct response to a state Supreme Court decision that struck down a similar state law as unconstitutional because it effectively banned all medication abortion in the state (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/17). The state's high court also said in the ruling that 96% of medication abortion is prescribed in a regimen that differs from FDA's protocol, noting that "medical research and advances do not stop upon a particular drug's approval by the FDA."

Lawmakers, Abortion-Rights Supporters Dispute Court Outcomes

State Sen. Greg Treat (R) said that while a legal challenge is likely, "I think we are on safe legal ground, and that it is very defensible, although I can't say unequivocally, because when it goes to a courtroom, you never know what an individual judge could rule."

Meanwhile, Amanda Allen, state legislative council for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the admitting privileges and clinics standards legislation attempts to make it harder for a woman to find an abortion clinic and as such, other legal challenges have said such measures place an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

She added that the new medication abortion bill does "not clear the constitutional defect ... because the highest court in the state of Oklahoma made very clear that FDA labeling is not intended to preclude physicians from using their best medical judgment." CRR was involved in the previous medication abortion legislation but has not made a decision on whether to challenge the current law, Allen said (The Oklahoman, 7/25).


Fla. Judge Issues Temporary Injunction Against Planned Parenthood Clinic

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:20

The Osceola County Court in Florida on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction against a Planned Parenthood clinic located in Kissimmee, Fla., after a neighboring property owner filed complaints that the clinic was violating property restrictions, the Osceola News-Gazette reports.

Fla. Judge Issues Temporary Injunction Against Planned Parenthood Clinic

July 28, 2014 — The Osceola County Court in Florida on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction against a Planned Parenthood clinic located in Kissimmee, Fla., after a neighboring property owner filed complaints that the clinic was violating property restrictions, the Osceola News-Gazette reports.

According to the News-Gazette, MMB Properties -- which owns a medical office building in Oak Commons Medical Park -- asked the court for a permanent injunction against the Planned Parenthood clinic in June.

MMB's complaint alleged that the clinic was performing three practices -- operating as an outpatient surgical center, an emergency medical center and a diagnostic imaging center -- that are prohibited within the medical park under the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. In addition, the complaint said that protests targeting the clinic have disrupted the medical businesses inside MMB's building and spurred complaints from patients.

The court on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction, barring the clinic from offering abortion services or any other outpatient surgical services or emergency medical services. According to the News-Gazette, the injunction will hold until the trial date on the case, which has yet to be scheduled.

Comments

Jenna Tosh, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, said that the organization will appeal the ruling. "Planned Parenthood will continue providing essential reproductive health services at our new Kissimmee Health Center, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect women's access to care," Tosh said.

Separately, Anna Eskamani, director of external affairs for PPGO, said that Planned Parenthood was aware of the restrictions when it purchased the clinic and had determined after due diligence that services offered by the clinic did not violate the medical park's contract restrictions.

Eskamani added that while the injunction halts abortion services at the clinic, it does not prevent the clinic from offering the majority of services it provides (Reynolds, Osceola News-Gazette, 7/24).


Louisiana Antiabortion-Rights Advocates File Suit Against State To Publicize Abortion Records

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:20

A lawsuit announced during an antiabortion-rights protest at a Louisiana clinic seeks access to mandatory reports that detail all pregnancies terminated in the state, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

Louisiana Antiabortion-Rights Advocates File Suit Against State To Publicize Abortion Records

July 28, 2014 — A lawsuit announced during an antiabortion-rights protest at a Louisiana clinic seeks access to mandatory reports that detail all pregnancies terminated in the state, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports. The protest was organized by Operation Save America in front of the Delta Clinic, an abortion provider in Baton Rouge. The clinic was closed that day.

By law, Louisiana physicians must fill out "The Report of Induced Termination of Pregnancy" for each woman who undergoes an abortion. The records do not use patient names, but rather a code number, and are used to calculate abortion statistics.

According to the Advocate, the suit asks the state Department of Health and Hospitals to make the records public. Antiabortion-rights protester Richard Mahoney, who announced the suit, said it stems from the department's refusal to make public records he requested three years ago. The department responded to the request in 2011, noting that state law prohibits the disclosure of patient data gathered from physicians.

Mahoney said that the information contained in the reports, which would include how many minors have received abortions and how many abortions led to complications in the state, could cause the state's remaining abortion clinics to close. He added that copies of the reports that he found in clinic trash bins led him to believe that the reports had been completed before physicians actually saw patients.

State DHH spokesperson Olivia Watkins in an email Thursday said the department is reviewing a copy of the lawsuit (Ballard, Baton Rouge Advocate, 7/27).


Gov. Christie Has Moved Steadily To Restrict Access To Abortion, Bloomberg Reports

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:19

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday at the National Governors Association said Republicans needed to reshape how they promote and discuss abortion and other social issues without altering their antiabortion-rights stance, even as he works to restrict the procedure in his own state, Bloomberg reports.

Gov. Christie Has Moved Steadily To Restrict Access To Abortion, Bloomberg Reports

July 28, 2014 —New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday at the National Governors Association said Republicans needed to reshape how they promote and discuss abortion and other social issues without altering their antiabortion-rights stance, even as he works to restrict the procedure in his own state, Bloomberg reports.

Christie -- a possible candidate for the White House in 2016 -- said at NGA's summer conference on Friday that people "want folks who are authentic and who believe what they say is true, but also who are tolerant and willing to listen to other points of view."

Christie's Antiabortion-Rights Stance

Christie has said that he opposes abortion except in instances of rape, incest or danger to the woman's life. He is the first New Jersey governor to publicly adopt an antiabortion-rights stance since the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, according to Bloomberg.

In 2009, when he first ran for governor, Christie called for officials to "work to reduce abortions in New Jersey through laws such as parental notification, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on partial-birth abortion." However, according to Bloomberg, New Jersey's Democratic-controlled legislature has not moved a bill that would restrict abortion since Christie took office in 2009. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, New Jersey is second only to Maine in terms of abortion access in states with Republican governors.

Christie did cut $7.5 million from the state's 2011 budget that would have funded 58 clinics providing preventive and family planning services to low-income women.

State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) -- sponsor of legislation that would restore the funding -- said that six of the clinics closed within a year of the budget being approved. According to Bloomberg, Christie's stance has not necessarily alienated female voters. Christie won 56% of female voters in his 2013 re-election campaign against Barbara Buono, a Democrat who supports abortion rights.

Comments

Deb Huber, acting president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for Women, said that Christie "single-handedly defunded Planned Parenthood in New Jersey." She said that while Christie "doesn't brag about it in those terms ... wait until he runs for president" and voters "may hear those words coming out of his mouth."

Meanwhile, state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) said, "Our legislature believes in pro-choice," adding that antiabortion-rights organizations "can organize and make their attempt to get the governor's support, but they won't have the legislature's support" (Young, Bloomberg, 7/28).

Poll: Women Plan To Vote on Opposition to Hobby Lobby

In related news, 57% of women said that they plan to vote for candidates in the midterm election who have voiced opposition to the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling, according to a new poll from Hart Research Associates, a Democratic polling firm, The Hill reports.

According to the poll, 72% of women said that the Hobby Lobby decision was somewhat or very important to them, with the ruling garnering more interest among younger, single and minority women. Overall, the poll found that 58% of women between the ages of 18 and 55 said that they oppose the ruling.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said, "This poll shows that women are focused on the Hobby Lobby ruling, they're angry about it, and they're going to vote based on it this November. The Hobby Lobby decision has lit a fuse that cannot be put out."

Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, said that while other polls have shown that Republicans have a slight lead for the Senate in the midterm elections, Democrats are "holding their own" and could potentially win in more competitive states with support from single women, The Hill reports (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 7/25).


Gov. Christie Has Moved Steadily To Restrict Access To Abortion, Bloomberg Reports

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 15:23

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday at the National Governors Association said Republicans needed to reshape how they promote and discuss abortion and other social issues without altering their antiabortion-rights stance, even as he works to restrict the procedure in his own state, Bloomberg reports.

Gov. Christie Has Moved Steadily To Restrict Access To Abortion, Bloomberg Reports

July 28, 2014 —New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday at the National Governors Association said Republicans needed to reshape how they promote and discuss abortion and other social issues without altering their antiabortion-rights stance, even as he works to restrict the procedure in his own state, Bloomberg reports.

Christie -- a possible candidate for the White House in 2016 -- said at NGA's summer conference on Friday that people "want folks who are authentic and who believe what they say is true, but also who are tolerant and willing to listen to other points of view."

Christie's Antiabortion-Rights Stance

Christie has said that he opposes abortion except in instances of rape, incest or danger to the woman's life. He is the first New Jersey governor to publicly adopt an antiabortion-rights stance since the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, according to Bloomberg.

In 2009, when he first ran for governor, Christie called for officials to "work to reduce abortions in New Jersey through laws such as parental notification, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on partial-birth abortion." However, according to Bloomberg, New Jersey's Democratic-controlled legislature has not moved a bill that would restrict abortion since Christie took office in 2009. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, New Jersey is second only to Maine in terms of abortion access in states with Republican governors.

Christie did cut $7.5 million from the state's 2011 budget that would have funded 58 clinics providing preventive and family planning services to low-income women.

State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) -- sponsor of legislation that would restore the funding -- said that six of the clinics closed within a year of the budget being approved. According to Bloomberg, Christie's stance has not necessarily alienated female voters. Christie won 56% of female voters in his 2013 re-election campaign against Barbara Buono, a Democrat who supports abortion rights.

Comments

Deb Huber, acting president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for Women, said that Christie "single-handedly defunded Planned Parenthood in New Jersey." She said that while Christie "doesn't brag about it in those terms ... wait until he runs for president" and voters "may hear those words coming out of his mouth."

Meanwhile, state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) said, "Our legislature believes in pro-choice," adding that antiabortion-rights organizations "can organize and make their attempt to get the governor's support, but they won't have the legislature's support" (Young, Bloomberg, 7/28).

Poll: Women Plan To Vote on Opposition to Hobby Lobby

In related news, 57% of women said that they plan to vote for candidates in the midterm election who have voiced opposition to the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling, according to a new poll from Hart Research Associates, a Democratic polling firm, The Hill reports.

According to the poll, 72% of women said that the Hobby Lobby decision was somewhat or very important to them, with the ruling garnering more interest among younger, single and minority women. Overall, the poll found that 58% of women between the ages of 18 and 55 said that they oppose the ruling.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said, "This poll shows that women are focused on the Hobby Lobby ruling, they're angry about it, and they're going to vote based on it this November. The Hobby Lobby decision has lit a fuse that cannot be put out."

Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, said that while other polls have shown that Republicans have a slight lead for the Senate in the midterm elections, Democrats are "holding their own" and could potentially win in more competitive states with support from single women, The Hill reports (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 7/25).


Lack of Awareness, Uneven Implementation Hamper Laws Aiming To Prevent Shackling of Imprisoned Pregnant Women, Column Argues

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 15:07

Shackling pregnant inmates during and after labor can be a "threat to the health of both mother and child," yet it remains "a multistate problem," Audrey Quinn, a multimedia journalist who covers health, science and the economy, writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

Lack of Awareness, Uneven Implementation Hamper Laws Aiming To Prevent Shackling of Imprisoned Pregnant Women, Column Argues

July 28, 2014 — Shackling pregnant inmates during and after labor can be a "threat to the health of both mother and child," yet it remains "a multistate problem," Audrey Quinn, a multimedia journalist who covers health, science and the economy, writes in a New York Times opinion piece. The practice "is common," Quinn argues, citing a Correctional Association of New York study to be released in September that found 23 of 27 surveyed women reported being shackled before, during or after their delivery.

Twenty-one states have laws preventing shackling, but they vary, and Quinn writes there is "evidence of negligence in the implementation of these laws across the country" and that "isn't the only problem."

"The language of some of the laws gives wide latitude to corrections officers to use restraints if they identify security risks," which "creates opportunities for the continuation of shackling," Quinn writes.

Quinn cites several examples of pregnant inmates who had been wrongfully shackled during labor in states that have anti-shackling laws like California, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. According to Quinn, "in many correctional systems, doctors, guards and prison officials simply are not told about anti-shackling laws, or are not trained to comply."

Most prominent, she writes, is a case involving Nevada inmate Valerie Nabors. Nevada prohibits restraints during labor and delivery. When Nabors went into labor, she was taken to a hospital via ambulance with her hands cuffed and ankles shackled together. The ambulance supervisor had protested the shackling, noting that medical personnel would not be able to help Nabors if there were complications during transport, and a nurse at the hospital also questioned the use of restraints.

Nabors' restraints were removed only after a delivery room nurse insisted, but within 10 minutes of having an emergency caesarean section, her ankles were shackled and she was restrained to the hospital bed. Nabors "suffered several pulled muscles" and "X-rays revealed a separation of her pubic bones," which her physician said "were a direct result of the restraints."

Nabors, who was awarded $130,000 in a settlement after suing the state, is a rare case as "[v]ictims of illegal shackling rarely litigate, often because of feelings of shame or fear of repercussions," Quinn cautions (Quinn, New York Times, 7/26).


Louisiana Antiabortion-Rights Advocates File Suit Against State To Publicize Abortion Records

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 14:27

A lawsuit announced during an antiabortion-rights protest at a Louisiana clinic seeks access to mandatory reports that detail all pregnancies terminated in the state, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

Louisiana Antiabortion-Rights Advocates File Suit Against State To Publicize Abortion Records

July 28, 2014 — A lawsuit announced during an antiabortion-rights protest at a Louisiana clinic seeks access to mandatory reports that detail all pregnancies terminated in the state, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports. The protest was organized by Operation Save America in front of the Delta Clinic, an abortion provider in Baton Rouge. The clinic was closed that day.

By law, Louisiana physicians must fill out "The Report of Induced Termination of Pregnancy" for each woman who undergoes an abortion. The records do not use patient names, but rather a code number, and are used to calculate abortion statistics.

According to the Advocate, the suit asks the state Department of Health and Hospitals to make the records public. Antiabortion-rights protester Richard Mahoney, who announced the suit, said it stems from the department's refusal to make public records he requested three years ago. The department responded to the request in 2011, noting that state law prohibits the disclosure of patient data gathered from physicians.

Mahoney said that the information contained in the reports, which would include how many minors have received abortions and how many abortions led to complications in the state, could cause the state's remaining abortion clinics to close. He added that copies of the reports that he found in clinic trash bins led him to believe that the reports had been completed before physicians actually saw patients.

State DHH spokesperson Olivia Watkins in an email Thursday said the department is reviewing a copy of the lawsuit (Ballard, Baton Rouge Advocate, 7/27).


Okla. Abortion Restrictions Face Likely Legal Challenge, But Supporters, Opponents Dispute Outcomes

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 13:11

Oklahoma lawmakers who championed antiabortion-rights legislation that is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1 expressed confidence on Thursday that the measures would withstand likely legal challenges, while abortion-rights supporters argued that the laws will be overturned, The Oklahoman reports.

Okla. Abortion Restrictions Face Likely Legal Challenge, But Supporters, Opponents Dispute Outcomes

July 28, 2014 — Oklahoma lawmakers who championed antiabortion-rights legislation that is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1 expressed confidence on Thursday that the measures would withstand likely legal challenges, while abortion-rights supporters argued that the laws will be overturned, The Oklahoman reports. According to the Oklahoman, other lawsuits have successfully challenged the abortion restrictions in the state in the past.

New Restrictions

According to The Oklahoman, one (SB 1848) of the new laws would require abortion providers in the state to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (Green, The Oklahoman, 7/25). The measure also requires the state health board to develop operational standards for clinics that perform abortions (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/29).

A second measure (HB 2684) would require physicians in the state to administer medication abortion drugs according to FDA protocol. The second bill was written in direct response to a state Supreme Court decision that struck down a similar state law as unconstitutional because it effectively banned all medication abortion in the state (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/17). The state's high court also said in the ruling that 96% of medication abortion is prescribed in a regimen that differs from FDA's protocol, noting that "medical research and advances do not stop upon a particular drug's approval by the FDA."

Lawmakers, Abortion-Rights Supporters Dispute Court Outcomes

State Sen. Greg Treat (R) said that while a legal challenge is likely, "I think we are on safe legal ground, and that it is very defensible, although I can't say unequivocally, because when it goes to a courtroom, you never know what an individual judge could rule."

Meanwhile, Amanda Allen, state legislative council for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the admitting privileges and clinics standards legislation attempts to make it harder for a woman to find an abortion clinic and as such, other legal challenges have said such measures place an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

She added that the new medication abortion bill does "not clear the constitutional defect ... because the highest court in the state of Oklahoma made very clear that FDA labeling is not intended to preclude physicians from using their best medical judgment." CRR was involved in the previous medication abortion legislation but has not made a decision on whether to challenge the current law, Allen said (The Oklahoman, 7/25).


Fla. Judge Issues Temporary Injunction Against Planned Parenthood Clinic

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 13:07

The Osceola County Court in Florida on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction against a Planned Parenthood clinic located in Kissimmee, Fla., after a neighboring property owner filed complaints that the clinic was violating property restrictions, the Osceola News-Gazette reports.

Fla. Judge Issues Temporary Injunction Against Planned Parenthood Clinic

July 28, 2014 — The Osceola County Court in Florida on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction against a Planned Parenthood clinic located in Kissimmee, Fla., after a neighboring property owner filed complaints that the clinic was violating property restrictions, the Osceola News-Gazette reports.

According to the News-Gazette, MMB Properties -- which owns a medical office building in Oak Commons Medical Park -- asked the court for a permanent injunction against the Planned Parenthood clinic in June.

MMB's complaint alleged that the clinic was performing three practices -- operating as an outpatient surgical center, an emergency medical center and a diagnostic imaging center -- that are prohibited within the medical park under the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. In addition, the complaint said that protests targeting the clinic have disrupted the medical businesses inside MMB's building and spurred complaints from patients.

The court on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction, barring the clinic from offering abortion services or any other outpatient surgical services or emergency medical services. According to the News-Gazette, the injunction will hold until the trial date on the case, which has yet to be scheduled.

Comments

Jenna Tosh, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, said that the organization will appeal the ruling. "Planned Parenthood will continue providing essential reproductive health services at our new Kissimmee Health Center, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect women's access to care," Tosh said.

Separately, Anna Eskamani, director of external affairs for PPGO, said that Planned Parenthood was aware of the restrictions when it purchased the clinic and had determined after due diligence that services offered by the clinic did not violate the medical park's contract restrictions.

Eskamani added that while the injunction halts abortion services at the clinic, it does not prevent the clinic from offering the majority of services it provides (Reynolds, Osceola News-Gazette, 7/24).


Featured Blogs

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 16:59

"Anti-Choice Protests Target New Orleans Clinics, Homes, Churches" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 7/24) and "Number of Texas Women Living 200 Miles From an Abortion Clinic Has Jumped by 2,800 Percent" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/23).

July 25, 2014

FEATURED BLOG

 "Anti-Choice Protests Target New Orleans Clinics, Homes, Churches," Teddy Wilson, RH Reality Check: "In the first few days of planned protests in New Orleans, anti-choice activists have disrupted the community by targeting reproductive health-care clinics, personal residences, and even houses of worship in the hopes of intimidating abortion providers and reproductive rights supporters," Wilson writes. Wilson explains that the protests, organized through Operation Save America, target "two New Orleans clinics that provide abortion care, a construction site where a Planned Parenthood facility is being built, and the home of a physician who is an abortion provider," among other locations. The protests "have focused primarily on harassing the staff, volunteers, and patients of reproductive health-care clinics," Wilson writes, adding that the protests "come in the wake of legislative efforts to reduce access to reproductive health care in Louisiana" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 7/24).

What others are saying about the antiabortion-rights movement:

~ "Anti-Choice Groups Seek to Stack State Courts," Zoe Greenberg, RH Reality Check.

~ "I Scream, You Scream, the Anti-Choice Crowd Is Mad About Ice Cream," Madeleine Davies, Jezebel.

FEATURED BLOG

 "Number of Texas Women Living 200 Miles From an Abortion Clinic Has Jumped by 2,800 Percent," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": The omnibus antiabortion-rights package (HB 2) approved in Texas a "year ago this month" has "wreaked havoc on reproductive health access in the state, and half of Texas' clinics have been forced to shut down," writes Culp-Ressler, citing research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. According to TPEP's research, "the new abortion law is compromising women's ability to exercise their right to choose," as demonstrated by a "13 percent decline in the legal abortion rate in the Lone Star State," Culp-Ressler writes. She adds that because the rate is "steeper than the recent declines in the number of abortions observed across other states," it suggests that "the decreased access to clinics is preventing some Texas women from being able to have the medical procedure," an unsurprising finding given that "the number of women of reproductive age who live at least 200 miles away from an abortion clinic has skyrocketed by 2,800 percent -- jumping from 10,000 women in 2013 to 290,000 women in 2014." Culp-Ressler adds, "[I]t's important to remember that the new report focuses solely on legal abortions obtained in clinics, and doesn't reflect the number of women who may be resorting to illegal means of ending a pregnancy" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/23).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "The Onion's Brilliant Take on Abortion Restrictions Will Make You Laugh/Sob," Katie McDonough, Salon.

~ "Super-Restrictive Ireland Abortion Laws Are Violating Women's Rights, and the UN Knows It," Lauren Barbato, Bustle.





NYT's 'Op-Talk' Blog Highlights Debate Over 'Personhood' Laws

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 16:56

New York Times columnist Anna Altman in an "Op-Talk" piece highlights the conflicting sides of the debate over "so-called personhood laws," which often "recognize fetuses, embryos and fertilized eggs as persons who are separate" from the women who carry them.

NYT's 'Op-Talk' Blog Highlights Debate Over 'Personhood' Laws

July 25, 2014 — New York Times columnist Anna Altman in an "Op-Talk" piece highlights the conflicting sides of the debate over "so-called personhood laws," which often "recognize fetuses, embryos and fertilized eggs as persons who are separate" from the women who carry them.

According to Altman, while personhood laws vary in the 38 states that have them, they mostly "seek to protect this category of persons, whether from strangers or from the" women themselves. Altman writes, "Causing especially intense controversy are laws targeting substance abuse during pregnancy," noting a few recent examples of women who were incarcerated for using illicit drugs while pregnant. Tennessee Rep. Terri Weaver (R) -- who sponsored a personhood measure (SB 1391) that permits a pregnant woman to be charged with a criminal offense if she uses illicit drugs -- said "these defenseless children deserve some protection and these babies need a voice."

During an NPR "Fresh Air" segment exploring the issue last year, Barbara Levy of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists detailed potential issues with such laws. She said, "I understand the concern about the unborn fetus," but "the very best outcome for the unborn fetus is to treat the mom and the baby as a unit." She added that it is extremely important "to get the best care for the mom. That means she has to be comfortable and free to seek care without concern that she will be placed in jail."

Meanwhile, Kylee Sunderlin, a Soros Justice fellow at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, told Altman that incarceration can place extra burdens "on women who may be already struggling." Altman also discusses the experience of Deborah Jiang-Stein, whose own mother had substance use issues and gave birth to Jiang-Stein while in prison. Jiang-Stein, who wrote a recent Washington Post opinion piece describing her experience, has said that "addiction is a physical and mental health disease, and not a criminal justice problem."

Critics of the laws say that while the measures are "ostensibly intended to safeguard children," they "are making it harder for their mothers to care for them," Altman concludes (Altman, "Op-Talk," New York Times, 7/23).


N.Y. Will Allow Medicaid Reimbursements for Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives for New Mothers

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 16:55

New York has joined five other states in making it easier for new mothers in the Medicaid program to access long-acting reversible contraceptives after giving birth, NPR's "Shots" reports.

N.Y. Will Allow Medicaid Reimbursements for Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives for New Mothers

July 25, 2014 — New York has joined five other states in making it easier for new mothers in the Medicaid program to access long-acting reversible contraceptives after giving birth, NPR's "Shots" reports. Under a policy change announced last week, women participating in the fee-for-service portion of the program can receive coverage for LARCs immediately after giving birth.

According to "Shots," most states' Medicaid programs will not reimburse physicians for delivering a newborn and administering LARCs during a single visit. Women can receive Medicaid coverage for LARCs at a six-week post-partum appointment, but "Shots" reports that many women are much less likely to obtain contraception at that point.

New York City Assistant Health Commissioner Deborah Kaplan said the state's "bottom line priority" is to get rid of barriers to contraceptive access. Kaplan added, "We want women to have the options and then [work] with their provider to make the best decision with all the information available" (Farrington, "Shots," NPR, 7/23).


Blogs Comment on Annual Pelvic Exams, Equal Rights Act, More

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 16:43

We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from The Nation, Ms. Magazine and more.

Blogs Comment on Annual Pelvic Exams, Equal Rights Act, More

July 25, 2014 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from The Nation, Ms. Magazine and more.

WOMEN'S HEALTH: "Do Healthy Women Need Annual Pelvic Exams?" Rachel Walden, OurBodies OurSelves' "Our Bodies, Our Blog": "More than 60 million pelvic exams are performed each year, but a new guideline from the American College of Physicians suggests that for most healthy women, they're not needed," Walden writes, noting "that the recommendations apply only to 'average risk' adult women who are not pregnant and who do not have any symptoms, such as pelvic pain, which might mean there is a problem such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, other pelvic organ problems, or infection." During a review of prior exam guidelines, ACP "considered whether the harms of the pelvic exam are outweighed by the benefits, and whether these vary by patient or provider characteristics." The group found there was no existing data supporting their effectiveness and recommended "against routine pelvic exams." However, Walden notes that the "American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists responded to the recommendation by urging women to continue to see their healthcare providers each year for well-woman visits," which "can sometimes include a pelvic exam, but are also an opportunity to get medication refills, review your medical history, have age-appropriate screenings and immunizations, and discuss other concerns with your provider" (Walden, "Our Bodies, Our Blog," OurBodies OurSelves, 7/24).

REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE: "We're Arresting Poor Mothers for Our Own Failures," Bryce Covert, The Nation: Covert discusses the cases of Shanesha Taylor, "who was arrested for leaving her children in the car while she went to a job interview," and Debra Harrell, a "South Carolina mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter play in a park alone while she worked her shifts at McDonalds." She writes that while "[n]either of these are ideal situations for children," none of them was harmed, and questions who is really at fault for the children being "put in these situations to begin with?" Covert notes, "These weren't mothers doing drugs or other dangerous activities and neglecting their children; they were both mothers trying to hold down jobs to provide for their children while stuck swirling in a Catch-22": not being able to "work or interview without childcare" and not being able to "afford childcare without a job that pays enough to cover the ever-increasing cost." Covert concludes, "Low-income mothers of color are trying to fulfill their end of the bargain. But they face multiple roadblocks, many of which we've set up in front of them. No one should be surprised when they end up making choices we don't think are best" (Covert, The Nation, 7/22).

ANTIABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "Anti-Choice Protests Target New Orleans Clinics, Homes, Churches," Teddy Wilson, RH Reality Check: "In the first few days of planned protests in New Orleans, anti-choice activists have disrupted the community by targeting reproductive health-care clinics, personal residences, and even houses of worship in the hopes of intimidating abortion providers and reproductive rights supporters," Wilson writes. Wilson explains that the protests, organized through Operation Save America, target "two New Orleans clinics that provide abortion care, a construction site where a Planned Parenthood facility is being built, and the home of a physician who is an abortion provider," among other locations. The protests "have focused primarily on harassing the staff, volunteers, and patients of reproductive health-care clinics," Wilson writes, adding that the protests "come in the wake of legislative efforts to reduce access to reproductive health care in Louisiana" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 7/24).

What others are saying about the antiabortion-rights movement:

~ "Anti-Choice Groups Seek to Stack State Courts," Zoe Greenberg, RH Reality Check.

~ "I Scream, You Scream, the Anti-Choice Crowd Is Mad About Ice Cream," Madeleine Davies, Jezebel.

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Number of Texas Women Living 200 Miles From an Abortion Clinic Has Jumped by 2,800 Percent," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": The omnibus antiabortion-rights package (HB 2) approved in Texas a "year ago this month" has "wreaked havoc on reproductive health access in the state, and half of Texas' clinics have been forced to shut down," writes Culp-Ressler, citing research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. According to TPEP's research, "the new abortion law is compromising women's ability to exercise their right to choose," as demonstrated by a "13 percent decline in the legal abortion rate in the Lone Star State," Culp-Ressler writes. She adds that because the rate is "steeper than the recent declines in the number of abortions observed across other states," it suggests that "the decreased access to clinics is preventing some Texas women from being able to have the medical procedure," an unsurprising finding given that "the number of women of reproductive age who live at least 200 miles away from an abortion clinic has skyrocketed by 2,800 percent -- jumping from 10,000 women in 2013 to 290,000 women in 2014." Culp-Ressler adds, "[I]t's important to remember that the new report focuses solely on legal abortions obtained in clinics, and doesn't reflect the number of women who may be resorting to illegal means of ending a pregnancy" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/23).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "The Onion's Brilliant Take on Abortion Restrictions Will Make You Laugh/Sob," Katie McDonough, Salon.

~ "Super-Restrictive Ireland Abortion Laws Are Violating Women's Rights, and the UN Knows It," Lauren Barbato, Bustle.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN/RAPE/SEXUAL HARASSMENT: "The Disturbing Reason Why Some Rape Kits Are Tested While Others Aren't," Mindy Townsend, Care2: It is "hard to blame anyone for not reporting a rape," and "[i]t certainly doesn't help that," according to the Department of Justice, "there are an estimated 400,000 untested rape kits in cities across the country," Townsend writes. However, what "makes the whole situation even more problematic" is that "law enforcement ... is prioritizing 'classic' rape cases -- stranger rape, violent rape -- over the vast majority of cases, which means that the vast majority of victims are being left without justice." She concludes, "Think of how many rapes could have been avoided if we just took sexual assault seriously to begin with and stopped giving preferential treatment to only a certain type of rape" (Townsend, Care 2, 7/22).

What others are saying about violence against women/rape/sexual harassment:

~ "NFL Will Bench You Longer for Driving With No License Than Violently Assaulting Women," Katie McDonough, Salon.

~ "World's Most Famous College Marching Band Fires Director, Was a Cesspool of Sexual Harassment," Judd Legum, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."

~ "Montana Judge Censured for Suggesting Teenage Rape Victim Partly to Blame for Attack," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check.

EQUAL RIGHTS: "It's Been 90 Years: Time To Pass the ERA," Stephanie Hallett, Ms. Magazine blog: "Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court Thursday morning to demand that the Equal Rights Amendment finally pass," Hallett writes. She adds that the lawmakers, joined by Feminist Majority Foundation President Ellie Smeal, "NOW President Terry O'Neill and other feminist leaders and activists, called on legislators to codify women's equality in the constitution." She notes that both Speier and Maloney have introduced legislation to enact the ERA, Speier through legislation (H.J. Res. 113) that would allow the states that failed to ratify the amendment by its last deadline in 1982 to do so now, and Maloney through a resolution (H.J. Res. 56) that would reintroduce the ERA and submit it to states for ratification. "Ninety years is long enough -- it's time to pass the ERA," Hallett writes (Hallett, Ms. Magazine blog, 7/24).

What others are saying about equal rights:

~ "After Hobby Lobby, Democratic Legislators Push Anew for Equal Rights Amendment," Emily Crockett, RH Reality Check.


Report Shows Rates of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Decline, But 63M Women Still at Risk of Practice Over Next 40 Years

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 16:32

The rate of women undergoing genital mutilation/cutting has declined in the past 30 years in many of the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is concentrated, but the total number of women undergoing the procedure has increased because of population growth, according to a UNICEF report, NPR's "goats and soda" reports.

UNICEF Report Finds Decline in Rates of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, But 63M Women Still at Risk of Practice Over Next 40 Years

July 25, 2014 — The rate of women undergoing genital mutilation/cutting has declined in the past 30 years in many of the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is concentrated, but the total number of women undergoing the procedure has increased because of population growth, according to a UNICEF report, NPR's "goats and soda" reports.

The report -- presented at London's first "Girl Summit" this week -- found that more than 130 million women in those 29 countries have undergone some form of FGM/C and that another 63 million are at risk of undergoing the practice by 2050.

Report 'Exciting and Worrying'

Researchers found a significant decline in rates of women undergoing FGM/C in some countries. For example, in Kenya, nearly 50% of girls ages 15 to 19 underwent FGM/C in 1980, compared with less than 20% in 2010 (Poon, "goats and soda," NPR, 7/24). According to the report, the prevalence of women undergoing FGM in the past 30 years has also dropped by about two-thirds in Tanzania and by up to 50% in the Central African Republic, Iraq, Liberia and Nigeria (UNICEF release, 7/22).

However, the report found that progress against FGM/C is distributed unevenly among the 29 nations. While the rate of women undergoing FGM/C in Somalia has declined, it is still more than 90% ("goats and soda," NPR, 7/24). Other countries with FGM/C rates near or above 50% include Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Mali, according to the report ("goats and soda" chart, NPR, 7/24).

Susan Bissell, chief of child protection at UNICEF, called the report "exciting and worrying," adding that "population growth will far surpass the gain we've been seeing if we don't step it up." She noted that more women have begun speaking out against FGM/C, saying, "Ten years ago, it was like a handful of feminist organizations talking. But now everybody's talking, and when you have public discourse, things change" ("goats and soda," NPR, 7/24).


Conservatives Crafting Antiabortion-Rights Message Ahead of Midterm Elections

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:18

A "vocal group of social conservatives, dismayed both by [Republicans'] apparent dismissiveness of their passion and by the Democrats' success at portraying Republicans as prosecuting a 'war on women,' are rewriting the anti-abortion movement's script," the New York Times reports.

Conservatives Crafting Antiabortion-Rights Message Ahead of Midterm Elections

July 25, 2014 — A "vocal group of social conservatives, dismayed both by [Republicans'] apparent dismissiveness of their passion and by the Democrats' success at portraying Republicans as prosecuting a 'war on women,' are rewriting the anti-abortion movement's script," the New York Times reports. The social conservatives believe that Republicans "say too little, and do it in the wrong way," according to the Times.

Republicans' rhetoric re-evaluation comes after several divisive comments on women's issues were made during the 2012 midterm elections that alienated female voters. Some Republicans believe that making antiabortion-rights language a larger part of campaigns will help rally the party's base.

How Republicans Are Refining Antiabortion-Rights Language

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, has coordinated roughly half-a-dozen "boot camps" across the country to train Republican politicians on how to phrase their opposition to abortion rights, the Times reports. During the boot camps, lawmakers are filmed answering a question about why they oppose abortion rights and then are critiqued on their answers. According to the Times, Dannenfelser has suggested that Republicans keep their comments about abortion to a maximum of two sentences.

Similarly, another consultant -- Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster -- has told Republicans to consider the word "rape" a "four-letter word" and to "[p]urge it from [their] lexicon." Conway also has urged them to challenge Democrats when they use the term "women's health," arguing that women's health issues "are osteoporosis or breast cancer or seniors living alone who don't have enough money for health care."

Marilyn Musgrave, a former member of Congress from Colorado and longtime abortion-rights opponent, has advised candidates to engage Democrats by asking, "Exactly when in a pregnancy do you think abortion should be banned?" Meanwhile, Susan B. Anthony List has hired a polling firm that found women switched their vote to a Republican candidate after learning that a Democratic candidate did not support limiting abortion after five months' gestation. According to the Times, Dannenfelser's organization plans to fund $3 million in political ads in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina (Peters, New York Times, 7/24).


CDC: More Teenagers Receiving HPV Vaccine, But Vaccination Rate Still Too Low

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:15

The number of girls receiving the full dosage of the human papillomavirus vaccine increased by about four percentage points between 2012 and 2013, but the overall rate remains well short of CDC's 80% vaccination goal, according to new research from the agency, Reuters reports.

CDC: More Teenagers Receiving HPV Vaccine, But Vaccination Rate Still Too Low

July 25, 2014 — The number of girls receiving the full dosage of the human papillomavirus vaccine increased by about four percentage points between 2012 and 2013, but the overall rate remains well short of CDC's 80% vaccination goal, according to new research from the agency, Reuters reports.

According to CDC, 79 million U.S. residents have HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country, and there are 14 million new cases each year. The virus has been linked to cervical, vaginal, penile and anal cancers (Beasley, Reuters, 7/24).

For the survey, CDC researchers randomly interviewed parents of about 18,000 adolescents by phone. The teenagers' medical records were also examined. According to CDC's Anne Schuchat, many people declined to respond, and those who did could be considered "more likely to embrace HPV vaccinations," meaning HPV vaccination rates might be even lower than what CDC reported (AP/U-T San Diego, 7/24).

Key Findings

The report found that 37.6% of girls ages 13 to 17 received all three doses of the HPV vaccine in 2013, compared with 33.4% in 2012.

Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, "It's frustrating to report almost the same HPV vaccination coverage levels among girls for another year."

Meanwhile, the percentage of boys who received all three doses more than doubled to 13.9% in 2013 from 6.8% in 2012 (Reuters, 7/24).

In addition, the survey found that 57.3% of girls ages 13 to 17 received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared with 53.8% in 2012. The percentage of boys who got at least one dose rose to 34.6% in 2013, compared with 20.8% in 2012 (Bankhead, MedPage Today, 7/24).

Still, the survey found that while CDC recommends that all girls and boys ages 11 and 12 receive the vaccine, doctors failed to recommend it to one-third of girls and more than 50% of boys (Reuters, 7/24).


N.Y. Will Allow Medicaid Reimbursements for Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives for New Mothers

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:11

New York has joined five other states in making it easier for new mothers in the Medicaid program to access long-acting reversible contraceptives after giving birth, NPR's "Shots" reports.

N.Y. Will Allow Medicaid Reimbursements for Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives for New Mothers

July 25, 2014 — New York has joined five other states in making it easier for new mothers in the Medicaid program to access long-acting reversible contraceptives after giving birth, NPR's "Shots" reports. Under a policy change announced last week, women participating in the fee-for-service portion of the program can receive coverage for LARCs immediately after giving birth.

According to "Shots," most states' Medicaid programs will not reimburse physicians for delivering a newborn and administering LARCs during a single visit. Women can receive Medicaid coverage for LARCs at a six-week post-partum appointment, but "Shots" reports that many women are much less likely to obtain contraception at that point.

New York City Assistant Health Commissioner Deborah Kaplan said the state's "bottom line priority" is to get rid of barriers to contraceptive access. Kaplan added, "We want women to have the options and then [work] with their provider to make the best decision with all the information available" (Farrington, "Shots," NPR, 7/23).


NYT's 'Op-Talk' Blog Highlights Debate Over 'Personhood' Laws

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:06

New York Times columnist Anna Altman in an "Op-Talk" piece highlights the conflicting sides of the debate over "so-called personhood laws," which often "recognize fetuses, embryos and fertilized eggs as persons who are separate" from the women who carry them.

NYT's 'Op-Talk' Blog Highlights Debate Over 'Personhood' Laws

July 25, 2014 — New York Times columnist Anna Altman in an "Op-Talk" piece highlights the conflicting sides of the debate over "so-called personhood laws," which often "recognize fetuses, embryos and fertilized eggs as persons who are separate" from the women who carry them.

According to Altman, while personhood laws vary in the 38 states that have them, they mostly "seek to protect this category of persons, whether from strangers or from the" women themselves. Altman writes, "Causing especially intense controversy are laws targeting substance abuse during pregnancy," noting a few recent examples of women who were incarcerated for using illicit drugs while pregnant. Tennessee Rep. Terri Weaver (R) -- who sponsored a personhood measure (SB 1391) that permits a pregnant woman to be charged with a criminal offense if she uses illicit drugs -- said "these defenseless children deserve some protection and these babies need a voice."

During an NPR "Fresh Air" segment exploring the issue last year, Barbara Levy of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists detailed potential issues with such laws. She said, "I understand the concern about the unborn fetus," but "the very best outcome for the unborn fetus is to treat the mom and the baby as a unit." She added that it is extremely important "to get the best care for the mom. That means she has to be comfortable and free to seek care without concern that she will be placed in jail."

Meanwhile, Kylee Sunderlin, a Soros Justice fellow at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, told Altman that incarceration can place extra burdens "on women who may be already struggling." Altman also discusses the experience of Deborah Jiang-Stein, whose own mother had substance use issues and gave birth to Jiang-Stein while in prison. Jiang-Stein, who wrote a recent Washington Post opinion piece describing her experience, has said that "addiction is a physical and mental health disease, and not a criminal justice problem."

Critics of the laws say that while the measures are "ostensibly intended to safeguard children," they "are making it harder for their mothers to care for them," Altman concludes (Altman, "Op-Talk," New York Times, 7/23).


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Examines Efforts To Encourage More Vaginal Births Instead of C-Sections

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:03

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at how new guidelines on caesarean sections might be affecting rates of vaginal births.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Examines Efforts To Encourage More Vaginal Births Instead of C-Sections

July 25, 2014 — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at how new guidelines on caesarean sections might be affecting rates of vaginal births (Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/21).

C-sections account for one in three births in the U.S. Although the procedure can be lifesaving, it carries serious health risks and is sometimes performed for non-medical reasons, such as convenience or physicians' fear of lawsuits (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/20).

At Allegheny Health Network in Pennsylvania, the number of c-sections spiked last year, prompting obstetrical department leaders to issue guidelines on when they should be performed. The department also began monitoring doctors' individual c-section rates. Allan Klapper, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Allegheny, said, "It really took just a month or two, and the rates plummeted down to where they'd been historically" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/21).

In February, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine published guidelines in an effort to reduce c-sections. The recommendations suggest doctors should give healthy pregnant women more time to labor before considering a c-section (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/20).

The Post-Gazette reports that there is increased interest in services by midwives and doulas. Ann McCarthy -- clinical director of the Midwife Center for Birth and Women's Health -- said the clinic is "struggling to keep up with the demand," with the center's midwives delivering 423 infants in 2013 and having an 8.5% c-section rate (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/21).


Datapoints: 'Bad Medicine' in the States, Myths About Abortion Providers & More

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 20:40

This month's visual snapshot of women's health developments highlights dangerous state laws that put political ideology above medical evidence. We also debunk a common claim from abortion-rights opponents about abortion providers in minority communities.

Datapoints: 'Bad Medicine' in the States, Myths About Abortion Providers & More

July 24, 2014 — This month's visual snapshot of women's health developments highlights dangerous state laws that put political ideology above medical evidence. We also debunk a common claim from abortion-rights opponents about abortion providers in minority communities.

'Bad Medicine'



The majority of states have enacted laws that go against medical evidence and mandate how women's health care providers must practice abortion care, according to a report and infographic out this month from the National Partnership for Women & Families.

The report -- "Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda is Undermining Women's Health Care" -- found that 33 states have passed at least one abortion-related law imposing ultrasound requirements, biased counseling, mandatory delays or medication abortion restrictions that are not supported by medical evidence. Sixteen of the 33 states have all four types of medically unsound laws on the books, the report found (National Partnership release, 7/14).


Abortion Providers and Minority Communities



While antiabortion-rights activists like to claim that most abortion providers are located in predominantly black or Hispanic neighborhoods -- supposedly because they "target" minority women for abortions -- the fact is that the majority of abortion providers are in areas where most residents are white, according to this infographic from the Guttmacher Institute.

Findings from Guttmacher's most recent census of abortion providers nationwide found that fewer than one in 10 abortion providers are located in majority-black neighborhoods, while about 13% are in majority-Hispanic neighborhoods. By contrast, six in 10 abortion providers are located in majority-white neighborhoods, Guttmacher found (Guttmacher release, June 2014).


TRAP Surge



Guttmacher's midyear report on state-level reproductive health care laws highlights a surge in targeted regulation of abortion providers, or TRAP, laws in recent years. Nationwide, nearly six in 10 women live in states with such laws, which include requirements such as mandating that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals (Guttmacher release, 7/8).