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.”
Find article here.

A health issue, not a crime: it’s time to scrap outdated abortion laws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.”
Find article here.

 

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.”
Find review here.

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.”
Find article here.

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.”
Find article here.

Abortion pill group’s Facebook page deleted over promoting ‘drug use’

The Guardian, 12 May 2017
Author: Julia Carrie Wong
“Facebook has censored the page of an organization that helps women obtain abortion pills, citing its policy against the “promotion or encouragement of drug use”. Women on Web, which is based in Amsterdam, helps connect women with doctors who can provide abortion pills if they live in countries where abortion access is restricted. Facebook’s has faced particular difficulty enforcing its rules for “regulated goods” – prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms, and ammunition.”
Find article here.

Abortion law in NSW radically out of step with opinion and practice

SMH, 10 May 2017
Author: Julie Hamblin
“When the NSW Parliament debates the abortion law reform bill on Thursday, politicians could well reflect on why, in 2017, a bill to take abortion out of the Crimes Act should even be considered controversial. Of course minds differ about the morality of abortion, as one would expect in any society of diverse faiths, but that abortion is still a crime in NSW, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, is a sad reminder of how poorly our laws keep pace with social opinion.”
Find article here.

The Hyde Amendment at 40 Years and Reproductive Rights in the United States

JAMA. 2017;317(15):1523-1524.
Authors: Eli Y. Adashi; Rachel H. Occhiogrosso
“On September 30, 1976, in the waning months of the 94th Congress, freshman Representative Henry J. Hyde (R-IL) witnessed his namesake amendment enacted into law via the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriation Act of 1977 (PL 94-439). All of one sentence, the amendment stipulated that “None of the [Medicaid] funds contained in this Act shall be used to perform abortions except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.”
Find article here.