The Escalation of Anti-Abortion Violence Ten Years After Dr. George Tiller’s Murder

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The Escalation of Anti-Abortion Violence Ten Years After Dr. George Tiller’s Murder

By Jill Heaviside & Rosann Mariappuram. First published on Rewire.News

As we mark the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, it is incredible to think that, just over a month ago, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse was really asking how “the pro-life position is in any way violent.”

Violence has been a central tenet of the anti-abortion movement since before the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. As activists have sought control over the reproductive freedom of millions of people—particularly women of color, low-income women and families, and queer, gender-nonconforming, and transgender communities—they have used violence as a tactic of control, abuse, and fear across the United States.

Dr. Tiller was Wichita’s only abortion provider for 40 years and was known for his deep commitment to trusting women and their families’ reproductive health decisions. Because of his work, Dr. Tiller was a target of many anti-abortion groups; before he was killed, he survived a clinic bombing and a prior shooting.

Dr. Tiller’s murder wasn’t an isolated incident. Anti-abortion extremists have killed at least 11 people since the 1990s. Their violent history includes the first recorded murder of an abortion provider, Dr. David Gunn, in 1993, and the 2015 shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, which claimed three lives and injured nine people.

Major Film Studios Follow Netflix In Putting Georgia On Notice Over Illegal Abortion Law

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Major Film Studios Follow Netflix In Putting Georgia On Notice Over Illegal Abortion Law

It was a slow start on whether or not America’s film industry would become involved in Georgia politics, threatening to abandon existing projects and future expansion of filming major projects like the revolutionary, Oscar-winning ‘Black Panther’ movie.

Netflix was the first major studio to take a stand against the medical-quackery ‘heartbeat bill banning abortion at about six weeks, joining the ACLU lawsuit in fighting the law not only as an infringement of Roe v. Wade, but as pseudo-science that has no basis in medical facts.

Today, an onslaught of new studios including Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBC Universal and Warner Media raises their collective business voices against the new law.

How One State Has Become a Model for Protecting Abortion Rights From Supreme Court Conservatives

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How One State Has Become a Model for Protecting Abortion Rights From Supreme Court Conservatives

As Republican-controlled state legislatures across the United States pass near-total abortion bans, Vermont Democrats are looking to establish the country’s most comprehensive abortion rights protections.

The pro-choice effort in Vermont is two-pronged: a constitutional amendment via Proposition 5 to guarantee personal reproductive liberty, and bill H 57, which codifies the right to an abortion and prohibits public entities from interfering with a person’s right to choose.

Vermont’s Democratic-majority house and senate have passed both measures this session, and H 57 will soon head to the governor’s desk, where he can either sign it, allow it to become law by taking no action, or veto it. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) does not plan to veto H 57, his spokesperson told Rewire.News.

There Is More Than One Religious View On Abortion -- Here's What Jewish Texts Say

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There Is More Than One Religious View On Abortion -- Here's What Jewish Texts Say

By Rachel Mikva, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Chicago Theological Seminary. First published on The Conversation.

Alabama’s governor signed a bill this week that criminalizes nearly all abortions, threatening providers with a felony conviction and up to 99 years in prison.

It is one of numerous efforts across the United States to restrict access to abortion and challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.

Six states have recently passed legislation that limit abortions to approximately six weeks after the end of a woman’s last period, before many know they are pregnant. Although the laws have not yet taken effect and several have been blocked on constitutional grounds, if enacted they would prohibit most abortions once a doctor can hear rhythmic electrical impulses in the developing fetus.

The Century-Old ‘Science Fiction’ Behind Ohio Rep’s Bill Covering Nonexistent Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment

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The Century-Old ‘Science Fiction’ Behind Ohio Rep’s Bill Covering Nonexistent Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment

Ohio Rep. John Becker (R) drew widespread criticism last week for an anti-abortion bill that would allow insurance coverage for the “reimplantation” of an ectopic pregnancy into the uterus—a treatment that does not exist. Physicians and pro-choice advocates have called the line in the bill “science fiction,” but Becker told Rewire.News he does have sources to back up his claim: two articles—one more than 100 years old—with anecdotal stories from physicians who claim that “reimplanting” ectopic pregnancies into the uterus is possible.

HB 182, which Becker first introduced in April, seeks to ban almost all insurance coverage of abortions in cases where the pregnant person’s life is not endangered. It also bans coverage of what Becker called “abortifacients,” or “drugs or devices used to prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum.” (This language seems based on a fundamental misunderstanding of pregnancy, medication abortion, and some forms of contraception.) Becker has saidthe intention of the bill is to “save lives” and cut costs for employers and insurers.

The bill received national attention when Dr. Daniel Grossman, an OB-GYN and director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) at the University of California, San Francisco, described ectopic pregnancies in a viral Twitter thread criticizing the bill. Ectopic pregnancies occur when a pregnancy grows outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube, though Grossman wrote that they can rarely develop in the cervix or the abdomen as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, “an ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed normally. The fertilized egg can’t survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated.”

Ectopic pregnancies are the leading cause of maternal death in the first trimester.

SIA Legal Team + If/When/How Unite As Pro-Choice Counter To Anti-Women Federalist Society

MERGER OF SIA LEGAL TEAM AND IF/WHEN/HOW REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE LAWYERS UNIT ANNOUNCED MARCH 13, 2019

MERGER OF SIA LEGAL TEAM AND IF/WHEN/HOW REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE LAWYERS UNIT ANNOUNCED MARCH 13, 2019

SIA Legal Team + If/When/How Unite As Pro-Choice Counter To Anti-Women Federalist Society

Two powerful groups fighting for women’s reproductive rights have joined forces under the If/When/How name. Their goal? Creating a national network to push back against restrictive abortion legislation in every state, helping those ‘whose rights are being trampled.’

The merger of SIA Legal Team and If/When/How—two existing pro-choice groups that already shape policy, file lawsuits, and inform lawyers around reproductive rights issues — launched today March 13. To date, most legal work in the reproductive rights arena has focused on protecting clinics and providers. Executive director Jill Adams says the new organization will also focus on providing a network of attorneys for everyday people facing reproductive rights challenges.

Ryan Magers Madison County, Alabama

Examples of new lawsuits include that of Alabama man Ryan Magers of Madison County, Alabama, who recently filed suit on behalf of an aborted fetus, claiming that his girlfriend had a medication abortion against his wishes in February 2017. In the law suit, filed in January, Magers filed a petition to serve as the “personal representative” of the aborted fetus’ estate.

Next, Magers sued the clinic that performed the abortion, the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville, on behalf of himself and “Baby Roe,” as the fetus is referred to in court documents.

On March 5, Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger granted Magers’ petition to represent the estate in a decision his attorney, Brent Helms, said broke new legal ground.

NARAL President Ilyse Hogue called the decision a “very scary case”. “This is the logical consequence of all anti-abortion activity,” tweeted Erin Matson, founder of Reproaction. “Fetuses are treated like people and women and people who can become pregnant are not.”

Abortions Rise Worldwide When US Cuts Funding To Women’s Health Clinics, Study Finds

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Abortions Rise Worldwide When US Cuts Funding To Women’s Health Clinics, Study Finds

By Yana Rodgers, Professor of Labor Studies, Rutgers University. First published on The Conversation

Fulfilling Republican efforts to “defund Planned Parenthood,” the Trump administration announced on Feb. 22 it would end federal funding to health providers that perform abortions.

This new ruling is the domestic version of the “global gag rule” that Trump imposed in 2017. It cuts U.S. global health funding from organizations abroad that perform – or even talk about – abortions, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

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First implemented under Ronald Reagan in 1984, the global gag rule has been rescinded by every Democrat and reinstated by every Republican to occupy the Oval Office, reflecting the partisan nature of abortion.

Supporters of the global gag rule say defunding abortion providers will reduce abortions. However, researchers from Stanford University in 2011 found that this U.S. policy actually made women in sub-Saharan Africa twice as likely to have an abortion.

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen Named Head Of Planned Parenthood

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Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen Named Head Of Planned Parenthood

Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has been named the new head of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Growing up poor in California as a Chinese refugee, Dr. Wen, her little sister and mother received ongoing health care from Planned Parenthood.

Wen is a prodigy who enrolled at Cal State University at age 13, graduating at 18 with a degree in biochemistry. She attended Washington University in St. Louis for medical school and was a fellow at Harvard. Dr. Wen also studied public health at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Before taking the health commissioner position in Baltimore, Dr. Wen forked as an emergency room doctor at George Washington University, where she was also a professor.

Dr. Wen says she is leaving a job she loves in Baltimore because of growing attacks by the Trump administration and other conservatives on Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive health rights.

“I see how the single, biggest health catastrophe of our times is the threat to women’s health,” Wen said. “I am deeply troubled by how women’s health issues are singled out, stigmatized and attacked.”

Planned Parenthood’s need for an articulate and fierce public voice is filled by the outspoken commissioner who is widely known for her newspaper op-eds and TV appearances, writes The Baltimore Sun.