Lots going on this week. Check it out.
Offering Abortion, Rebirth: A profile of one Arkansas abortion provider who started practicing soon after Roe.
Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will bring the abortion issue back before the Supreme Court. The case challenges a yet-to-be-applied New Hampshire law that requires 48-hour parental notice for abortion, without a health exception — so if a minor woman has a medical emergency that will, for example, make her sterile or blind but won’t kill her, she cannot have an abortion if her parents haven’t been notified. The second question in the case is whether or not the court can even rule on it, since it hasn’t been applied and therefore hasn’t caused injury to any individual.
While that second question is trickier, the first issue seems pretty clear to me: The Supreme Court already ruled that restrictions on abortion must have a health exception. Let’s see how much the new justice(s) actually value precedent when these cases come up.
File under worst repro rights decision the Bush administration has made in at least the past month: Extended the Global Gag Rule to HIV/AIDS prevention programs. This is one of those things that I read and just feel my heart sink. For the unfamiliar, the Global Gag Rule is a policy instituted by Bush on his first day in office (after being first instituted by Reagon, kept in by Bush I, and removed by Clinton) which bars funding to any organization abroad that (1) mentions abortion as an option for women, (2) provides abortions with its own non-U.S. money, or (3) lobbies its own government for reproductive rights. U.S. money never pays for abortions abroad, and has been legally barred from doing so since 1973. So that’s not the issue. I’ve written about the Gag Rule before, so check out that post for statistics and information on just how harmful the rule is.
And now it’s been extended to any organzation that provides HIV/AIDS relief as well. What the Bush administration seems to be ignoring is the fact that in rural areas and developing nations, there isn’t a hospital, a family planning clinic, and an NGO offering HIV/AIDS information all operated by separate groups in separate buildings. There’s often a single clinic serving an entire population, offering medical treatment, HIV/AIDS information, family planning tools, and reproductive health services. Now that this rule is in place, that clinic either has to refuse to give women information about where they can obtain safe abortions or face having their HIV/AIDS-prevention funding pulled. If clinic workers lobby for reproductive rights in their own country, their AIDS funding is cut. If clinic workers warn women about the dangers of unsafe, self-procured abortions, their AIDS funding is cut.
And what do self-procured abortions look like in developing nations? According to Hilary Fyfe, whose abstinence-based HIV prevention group Family Life Movement in Zambia lost $30,000 in U.S. funding due to Bush’s policies, she sees women procuring abortions by “swallowing pounded glass, pushing sharp needles or other unsafe instruments through their uterus, pushing poisonous substances up their vaginas like cuttings from trees or roots, drinking bleach mixed with glass, or overdosing on malaria pills.” She sees it every day.
Gotta love this “culture of life” — its mighty warriors care all about “life” right up until the moment of birth. Then, go ahead and be killed by preventable and treatable disease, die or main yourself with a botched abortion, or literally rot with an obstetric fistula. It’s personal responsibility after all.
Similar Posts (automatically generated):
- Global Gag Rule: Denying Access to Women Worldwide by Jill October 26, 2005
- The Global Gag Rule is Killing Women by Jill December 8, 2006
- UK Stands Up For Women’s Lives by Jill February 6, 2006
- Kenyan hospitals overwhelmed by women injured by illegal abortion. Thank a “pro-lifer.” by Jill April 22, 2007
- Pro-choice Congresspeople take steps to prevent abortion; “pro-lifers” predictably opposed by Jill June 22, 2007