Archive for reproductive rights

vendredi noir [Roe v. Wade]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2022 by xi'an

a forecasted end to Roe v. Wade

Posted in Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2022 by xi'an

“After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had. The majority [of the Supreme Court] accomplishes that result without so much as considering how women have relied on the right to choose or what it means to take that right away. The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment of its decision (…) Now a new and bare majority of this court – acting at practically the first moment possible – overrules Roe and Casey. It converts a series of dissenting opinions expressing antipathy toward Roe and Casey into a decision greenlighting even total abortion bans. It eliminates a 50-year-old constitutional right that safeguards women’s freedom and equal station. It breaches a core rule-of-law principle, designed to promote constancy in the law. In doing all of that, it places in jeopardy other rights, from contraception to same-sex intimacy and marriage. And finally, it undermines the court’s legitimacy.”  Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, June 24, 2022

“Judge Thomas noted that in its rationale, the court’s majority found that a right to abortion was not a form of “liberty” protected by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution — as the court had said in Roe. Then, he took aim at three other landmark cases that relied on that same legal reasoning: Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 decision that declared married couples had a right to contraception; Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 case invalidating sodomy laws and making same-sex sexual activity legal across the country; and Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 case establishing the right of gay couples to marry.” The New York Times, June 24, 2022

bad news for reproductive rights

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2022 by xi'an

Last week, when reading about Japan [late in] coming close validating drug induced abortion, I found out that both surgical and medical abortions in Japan do require [by law] the consent of the woman’s partner! As denounced by both the World Health Organisation and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, this is an appalling restriction, a violation of reproductive rights, and  a potential tool for partner abuse.

And then came the news of Poland setting a database of pregnancies, reported by medical personnel. Which is of course worrying in a country where abortion is essentially illegal. As the über conservative Polish authorities could use the database to hunt and prosecute women who have self-administered abortions….

Meanwhile, Oklahoma governor just signed a law making abortion illegal at conception, following another law turning abortion practice into a felony… Not even waiting for the SCOTUS [likely] abrogation of Roe v. Wade.

brave [not!] new [not!] world

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2022 by xi'an

“…the “central paradox” in the debate over the future of abortion: [14] States with the most restrictive abortion policies also show the weakest maternal and child health outcomes and are least likely to invest in at-risk populations.” The Commonwealth Fund, March 8

“In Louisiana, lawmakers are considering a proposal to classify ending a pregnancy at any point from the moment of fertilization as homicide. And the Idaho State Legislature may hold hearings on outlawing emergency contraceptives…” NYT, May 11

“Arizona enacted an abortion ban in cases of genetic indication, and South Dakota banned abortion if the fetus has Down syndrome.” Guttmacher Institute,

Most of the 21 states with laws on the books that would “snap back” abortion restrictions if the court overturns Roe fall into the bottom half of state rankings on a wide array of measures tracking the well-being of children and families, including childhood poverty, low birth weight and premature births, access to health insurance for low-income mothers, availability of prenatal care and the share of kids enrolled in early childhood education… ” CNN, December 14, 2021

“Six states banned providers from mailing the abortion medication to patients, and seven states either required the provider and patient to meet in person or banned the use of telehealth.” Guttmacher Institute,

“Arkansas also passed legislation in 2021 that would make abortion in the state an unclassified felony unless a procedure is undertaken to save the life of a pregnant woman.” Newsweek, May 20, 2021

“…in Alabama, legislation signed in 2019 bans the procedure at any stage of a pregnancy, with doctors facing the possibility of life imprisonment for performing one.” Newsweek, May 20, 2021

“Lawmakers in Missouri weighed legislation early this year that would allow individuals to sue anyone helping a patient cross state lines for an abortion (…) In Texas, a law passed last year made it illegal to ship medication for self-managed abortion, including across state lines” The Guardian,  5 May

 

put the data aside [SCOTUS v. evidence]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2022 by xi'an

Reposted from a Nature editorial:

(…) Moving in the opposite direction runs contrary to 50 years of research from around the world showing that abortion access is a crucial component of health care and is important for women’s equal participation in society. After the Supreme Court agreed to hear Mississippi’s case last year, Nature covered some of this evidence, submitted to the court by US scientific societies and more than 800 US researchers in public health, reproductive health, social sciences and economics, to the court in advance of the case’s hearing in December.

Some outcomes of outlawing abortion can be predicted by what’s known. Researchers expect overall infant and maternal health to decline in the United States in the wake of abortion bans, because more unintended pregnancies will be brought to term. Unintended pregnancies are associated with an increased risk of health problems for babies, and often for mothers, for several reasons — including reduced prenatal care.

Maternal health is also expected to decline overall. One straightforward reason is that the risks of dying from pregnancy-related causes are much greater than the risks of dying because of a legal abortion. A predicted rise in maternal mortality among Black women in the United States is particularly distressing, because the rate is already unacceptably high. In one study, sociologist Amanda Stevenson at the University of Colorado Boulder modelled a hypothetical situation in which abortions are banned throughout the United States, and found that the lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes for non-Hispanic Black women would rise from 1 in 1,300 to 1 in 1,000.

One claim made by abortion opponents in this case is that abortions no longer benefit women and even cause them harm, but dozens of studies contradict this. In just one, health economist Sarah Miller at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her colleagues assessed around 560 women of comparable age and financial standing who sought abortions. They found that, five years after pregnancy, women who were denied the procedure had experienced a substantial increase in debt, bankruptcies, evictions and other dire financial events — whereas the financial standing of women who had received an abortion had remained stable or improved. A primary reason that women give for wanting an abortion is an inability to afford to raise the child, and this study suggests that they understand their own situations.

Abortion bans will extract an unequal toll on society. Some 75% of women who choose to have abortions are in a low income bracket and nearly 60% already have children, according to one court brief submitted ahead of the December hearing and signed by more than 150 economists. Travelling across state lines to receive care will be particularly difficult for people who do not have the funds for flights or the ability to take time off work, or who struggle to find childcare.

Unfortunately, some of the justices seem to be disregarding these data. At the December hearing, Julie Rikelman, a lawyer at the non-profit Center for Reproductive Rights, headquartered in New York City, brought up studies presented in the economists’ brief; Roberts interrupted her and suggested “putting that data aside”. In the leaked draft opinion, Alito also elides a body of research on abortion policy, writing that it’s “hard for anyone — and in particular for a court — to assess” the effect of the right to abortion on women’s lives.

Such an attitude suggests that the justices see research as secondary to the question of whether the US Constitution should protect abortion. But the outcome of this ruling isn’t an academic puzzle. The Supreme Court needs to accept that the consensus of research, knowledge and scholarship — the evidence on which societies must base their laws — shows how real lives hang in the balance. Already, the United States claims the highest rate of maternal and infant mortality among wealthy nations. Should the court overturn Roe v. Wade, these grim statistics will only get worse.

%d bloggers like this: