Evolving State-Based Contraceptive and Abortion Policies

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2481-2482
Authors: Divya Mallampati, Melissa A. Simon, Elizabeth Janiak
“This Viewpoint discusses the importance of US state-based contraceptive and abortion policies given renewed focus by the Trump administration on restrictions to federal funding for reproductive services.”
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Guam abortion reporting requirements may conflict with federal privacy laws

PacificDailyNews, 27 June 2017
Author: Haidee V Eugenio
“A law passed late last year toughens mandatory reporting requirements for abortions on Guam, but the Department of Public Health and Social Services has not verified whether the requirements are being followed, citing a possible conflict with federal medical privacy laws. The federal law includes a privacy provision that limits the disclosure of patient information without the patient’s approval.”
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France to legislate on assisted reproduction: spokesman

Reuters, 28 June 2017
Authors: Jean-Baptiste Vey, Brian Love and Andrew Roche
“The French government wants to give lesbian couples and single women access to assisted reproduction, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, setting the scene for a major extension of gay rights under new President Emmanuel Macron. French law currently restricts techniques such as artificial insemination using donated sperm to heterosexual couples. The National Consultative Committee on Ethics (CCNE) said on Tuesday it was in favor of extending medically assisted procreation to female couples and single women.”
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A health issue, not a crime: it’s time to scrap outdated abortion laws

The Guardian, 25 June 2017
Author: Caroline de Costa Heather Douglas
“On Wednesday the Queensland law reform commission (QLRC) received a reference to consider how Queensland should amend laws relating to termination of pregnancy and remove abortion offences from the criminal code. The QLRC has 12 months to report on how to repeal these archaic Queensland laws dating back to 1861.”
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Abortion figures prompt fresh calls for reform of Northern Irish law

The Guardian, 13 June 2017
Author: Amelia Gentleman
“More than 700 women traveled from Northern Ireland to England for an abortion in 2016, obliged to travel because the procedure remains illegal in most circumstances in the region. Figures released by the Department of Health on Tuesday will attract renewed attention to Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion legislation. Terminations are illegal in Northern Ireland unless a woman’s life is in danger or there is a serious risk to her physical or mental health.”
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The Abortion Battlefield

NYRB, 22 June Issue 2017
Author: Marcia Angell
“Almost immediately, Roe v. Wade became a moral and political—and sometimes a literal—battlefield, and it remains so. Two excellent books, Women Against Abortion: Inside the Largest Moral Reform Movement of the Twentieth Century, by Karissa Haugeberg, and About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-First-Century America, by Carol Sanger, tell the story. Both authors support abortion rights, but they also present the opposition to abortion fairly and, in the case of Haugeberg, sometimes sympathetically.”
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Online access to abortion pill may be safe alternative to clinics

Reuters, 1 June 2017
Author: Lisa Rapaport
“Women who don’t have access to reproductive health clinics can safely use telemedicine services to consult with a doctor and get drugs to terminate their pregnancy without surgery, suggests a study of Irish women. About one quarter of the world’s population lives in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws and where women may resort to unsafe methods to end pregnancies. This results in an estimated 43,000 deaths every year. The current study showed that 95 percent of the women reported successfully terminating their pregnancies without surgical intervention using medication they received in the mail after providing their medical details and consulting with a trained helpdesk team on how to use the drug.”
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I’ve seen first hand why we need safe access zones around abortion clinics

SMH, 29 May 2017
Author: Philip Goldstone
“Earlier this month, Dr Mehreen Faruqi’s private member’s bill seeking to decriminalise abortion in NSW was defeated by the NSW Legislative Council. Had it been successful, the bill, among other things, would have implemented 150-metre safe access zones around clinics that provide abortion services. The zones ensure patients can enter a clinic without being harassed by protesters and recorded without their permission. They provide a bubble of safety around a clinic so patients can have their privacy upheld and can access sexual and reproductive health services without being intimidated.”
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Planned Parenthood forced to close four clinics in Iowa after funding cut

The Guardian, 19 May 2017
Author: Molly Redden
“An aggressive campaign by Iowa lawmakers to strip Planned Parenthood of much of its public funding will force it to close four clinics serving 15,000 patients, the women’s health group said on Thursday. Individual states have made piecemeal efforts to block Planned Parenthood from receiving public funds meant to help states provide low-income women with STI tests, contraception, and cancer screenings. For Iowa, the closures mean that women on Medicaid in four cities – Burlington, Keokuk, Sioux City, and the Quad Cities – will have one less option for family planning services, such as contraception, covered by their insurance.”
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Illinois lawmakers delay bill to expand abortion as veto looms

Reuters, 11 May 2017
Author: Timothy Mclaughlin
“Democratic lawmakers in Illinois on Thursday said they have placed on hold a bill that expands state-funded coverage of abortions for low-income residents and state employees but faces a likely veto from the state’s Republican governor. The bill also aims to keep abortions legal in Illinois. The Illinois’ Medicaid program covers abortions in cases of rape, incest and when a mother’s life or health is threatened. The expansion would enable poor women to obtain elective abortions. Also, the legislation would allow state employees to have the procedures covered under state health insurance.”
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