New Abortion Ban Lawsuit Places Black Georgians Squarely at the Center of the Fight

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New Abortion Ban Lawsuit Places Black Georgians Squarely at the Center of the Fight

A new lawsuit filed last week could eventually force the U.S. Supreme Court to examine how laws that attack abortion access disproportionately affect Black women and other women of color.

Centering the conversation on some of the state’s most vulnerable people was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU’s) motivation for naming SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging HB 481, Georgia’s six-week abortion ban.

“I think the ACLU was very intentional,” Monica Simpson, executive director of SisterSong, told me in an interview. “The way that they wanted to approach this particular lawsuit was to make sure it was rooted in reproductive justice.”

Reproductive justice centers “three interconnected human rights values: the right not to have children using safe birth control, abortion, or abstinence; the right to have children under the conditions we choose; and the right to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.” Black women coined the term in 1994.

New York Is the First City To Fund Abortion Directly. Let's Make Sure It's Not the Last

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New York Is the First City To Fund Abortion Directly. Let's Make Sure It's Not the Last

Last week, abortion access advocates in New York made history. When the ink dries on next year’s budget, New York will become the first city in the country to directly fund abortion by allocating $250,000 to the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF), which supports anyone who is unable to pay fully for an abortion and is living in or traveling to New York state by providing financial assistance and connections to other resources. This funding will help ensure that every person is able to decide when and whether to become a parent regardless of their income, type of insurance, or citizenship status.

In the face of increasing attacks on abortion access throughout the country, New York City’s commitment to funding abortion sends a powerful message—one that activists in other cities and states can push for.

This is an essential step as we work toward ending the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for most abortions. And we know it won’t be the last: Advocates in progressive cities like ours can seize the opportunity to turn supporters into champions, to advocate for policymakers who talk the talk about abortion access to also walk the walk. Even in progressive states, people face barriers to abortion access.

The Little Sisters of the Poor Joined Trump Administration To Attack Contraception Coverage At SC

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The Little Sisters of the Poor Joined Trump Administration To Again Attack Contraception Coverage At SC

Conservatives have spent the better part of a decade arguing the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, which provides insurance coverage for a host of contraception without additional cost or co-pay, violates religious freedom principles. Those efforts have had mixed results. Despite two turns before the U.S. Supreme Court, dozens of lower court orders, and a handful of executive orders from President Trump, the benefit remains in place—but employers who object to it can avoid complying with it.

This week, the Roberts Court will consider taking up a case that could settle the birth control benefit’s fate once and for all.

The case is The Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence v. California. Yes, that’s right. The Sisters are at it again.

To understand how yet another case like this could end up before the Roberts Court, let’s revisit for a moment the history of the contraception mandate. Originally proposed in 2012, the birth control benefit requires most employers to include coverage of FDA-approved contraceptives without co-pay in their employer-sponsored health insurance plans. The benefit contains an exemption for religious employers and an accommodation for religiously affiliated employers. The benefit, and the exemption and accommodation, launched a wave of objections and lawsuits that has not yet receded. The first batch of those lawsuits reached the Roberts Court in 2014 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Court ruled that some for-profit employers could take advantage of the accommodation process.

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.

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.

Christy Turlington Burns Honors Mothers With Vogue Mexico Covers + Onia Swim Collab

Christy Turlington Burns Honors Mothers With Vogue Mexico Covers + Onia Swim Collab

Salvadorian-American activist supermodel Christy Turlington Burns has three covers for the May 2019 issue of Vogue Mexico. Photographer Alique captures Christy styled by Celia Azoulay in Altuzarra, Isabel Marant and Tory Burch.

Christy Turlington was one of the first top models to embrace activism and leveraging her global popularity to turn her gaze on others and not her supermodel self. To reach her goal, Turlington founded Every Mother Counts in 2010.

The nonprofit engages and mobilizes new audiences to support maternal health programs around the world, including the United States where maternal deaths among women of color and women living in states like Texas are skyrocketing. The closure of Planned Parenthood clinics in red states has caused maternal death rates in Texas to reach third-w0rld levels.