Tag Archives: Abortion

Ohio Court Filings Detail Dozens of Patients Put Under ‘Extreme Duress’ by Abortion Ban

“In the days after S.B. 23 took effect, we had to cancel over 600 appointments,” said the director of one healthcare clinic. “Many patients broke down in tears in our office… some threatened to hurt themselves because they were so distraught.”

By Julia Conley  Published 9-22-2022 by Common Dreams

Three doctors at an abortion rights protest at the Ohio Statehouse on May 14, 2022. Photo: Daniel Konik

Sworn affidavits filed in an Ohio court illustrate the emotional and physical turmoil caused by the state’s abortion ban, which garnered national attention in July when it forced a 10-year-old pregnant survivor of rape to leave the state in order to get abortion care.

As the Ohio Capital Journal reported Thursday, abortion providers in the state have seen the effects of Senate Bill 23—which banned nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and is now temporarily blocked until mid-October—on dozens on patients facing fetal abnormalities, cancer diagnoses, and pregnancies resulting from rape. Continue reading

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US is becoming a ‘developing country’ on global rankings that measure democracy, inequality

People wait in line for a free morning meal in Los Angeles in April 2020. High and rising inequality is one reason the U.S. ranks badly on some international measures of development.
Frederic J. Brown/ AFP via Getty Images

 

Kathleen Frydl, Johns Hopkins University

The United States may regard itself as a “leader of the free world,” but an index of development released in July 2022 places the country much farther down the list.

In its global rankings, the United Nations Office of Sustainable Development dropped the U.S. to 41st worldwide, down from its previous ranking of 32nd. Under this methodology – an expansive model of 17 categories, or “goals,” many of them focused on the environment and equity – the U.S. ranks between Cuba and Bulgaria. Both are widely regarded as developing countries. Continue reading

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Direct democracy can force governments to better represent the people – but it doesn’t always work out

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to a push for citizens initiatives to enshrine abortion rights.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

 

Susan Stokes, University of Chicago

In August 2022, a statewide referendum in Kansas saw citizens overwhelmingly reject a plan to insert anti-abortion language into the state’s constitution. It comes as a slew of similar votes on abortion rights are planned in the coming months – putting the issue directly to the people after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

But are referendums and citizens initiatives good for democracy? It may seem like an odd question to pose on International Day for Democracy, especially at a time when many feel democracy is imperiled both in the U.S. and around the world. Continue reading

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FTC Files ‘Urgently Needed’ Suit Against Data Broker, Citing Threat to Abortion Patients

“This lawsuit highlights the very real threats that data surveillance poses to peoples’ safety, security, bodily integrity, and access to healthcare,” said the head of Public Citizen.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-29-2022 by Common Dreams

Earlier this year, the Tulsa Women’s Clinic was overflowing with patients, both from within Oklahoma and Texas. Now, it’s mostly empty as staff try their best to redirect patients to abortion providers in other states. Photo: Andrea Gallegos/Tulsa Women’s Clinic

Privacy and reproductive rights advocates on Monday welcomed the Biden administration’s lawsuit against Kochava Inc., which argues that the Idaho-based data broker’s practices endanger abortion patients in the post-Roe v. Wade era.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s late June Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision reversed Roe, while anti-choice forces have ramped up attacks on reproductive freedom, concerns have mounted about how data from devices like smartphones may be used to target patients and healthcare providers. Continue reading

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‘Big Win’: Google Search and Maps Will Now Say If Clinics Provide Abortions

The update is “a big deal for users who’ve been misled by pregnancy crisis centers masquerading as abortion providers,” said Alphabet Workers Union. “But not enough—Google must *remove* these misleading results.”

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-25-2022 by Common Dreams

Hundreds of Google workers have endorsed a petition urging Alphabet to stop supporting right-wing politicians and groups attacking reproductive freedom. (Photo: Democracy Now!/screenshot)

Pro-choice U.S. lawmakers and other critics of Google’s abortion-related search results welcomed the tech giant’s Thursday announcement of changes to better serve users seeking healthcare in a post-Roe v. Wade world.

In a letter to congressional Democrats and a statement to media outlets, Alphabet-owned Google reiterated its efforts to combat misleading advertisements and search results along with confirming that the company will clearly label whether medical facilities provide abortions. Continue reading

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Inescapable ‘Abortion Deserts’ Coming as Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas Trigger Bans Set to Take Effect

“Tomorrow, millions more people will lose abortion access across the nation,” warned the leader of one reproductive rights group.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-24-2022 by Common Dreams

Around 3000 people met outside the Minnesota state capitol building to protest against laws banning abortion on May 21, 2019. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

A leading reproductive rights organization on Wednesday reiterated the need for action to protect abortion access at the federal level in anticipation of three more “trigger laws” set to take effect in Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June, anti-choice state lawmakers have moved to further restrict reproductive freedom—ramping up the GOP’s already “unprecedented” attacks on the right to choose. Continue reading

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‘Hell State America’: Florida Appeals Court Won’t Let Parentless 16-Year-Old Get an Abortion

“The status of minors in a post-Roe America: Not mature enough to make decisions over your own body, but mature enough to be forced to continue with a pregnancy.”

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-16-2022 by Common Dreams

Reproductive rights advocates gather in front of Florida’s historic Old Capitol building Oct. 2, 2021. Photo: Danielle J. Brown

Reproductive rights advocates were outraged by a Florida appellate court’s Monday decision upholding a trial judge’s move to block a “parentless” 16-year-old from getting an abortion.

Escambia County Circuit Judge Jennifer J. Frydrychowicz recently rejected the unidentified teen’s request for permission to bypass the parental notice and consent requirements under Florida law. A three-judge panel from the state’s 1st District Court of Appeal upheld that decision, which critics called “barbaric,” “flabbergasting,” “outrageous,” and “unconscionable.” Continue reading

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Nebraska Mother, Daughter Face Abortion Charges After Facebook Shares Chats With Police

“Until Meta gives up surveilling private messages and begins protecting its users with end-to-end encryption, it remains complicit in the surveillance and criminalization of pregnant people,” said one advocate.

By Julia Conley  Published 8-10-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: iphonedigital/flickr/CC

Digital rights advocates on Tuesday said an abortion case in Nebraska illustrates how powerful tech companies like Facebook could play a major role in prosecutions of people who self-manage abortions as more states ban the procedure, and called on the social media platform to reform its privacy policies to protect users.

The case in Nebraska centers on a 17-year-old girl and her mother, Celeste and Jessica Burgess, who sent messages on Facebook regarding plans to terminate Celeste’s pregnancy prior to Roe v. Wade being overturned in June. Continue reading

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‘Authoritarian Crusade’: DeSantis Suspends State Attorney Over Pledges on Abortion, Gender-Affirming Care

“It’s absolutely insane that a prosecutor elected by the people of his county can just be suspended by a governor for not carrying out the governor’s pet projects of reaction,” said one critic.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-4-2022 by Common Dreams

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2021 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came under fire Thursday for suspending Andrew Warren over the state attorney’s pledges not to prosecute people for violating restrictions on abortion or gender-affirming care.

Citing the state constitution, DeSantis dismissed Warren for alleged “neglect of duty.” The governor’s suspension order references the ousted prosecutor’s support for a pair of joint statements from the national network Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP). Continue reading

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‘Good Trouble’: 17 House Democrats Arrested Protesting Roe Reversal at Supreme Court

“Even though they arrested us, we won’t stop our organizing, agitating, and legislating for justice,” declared Rep. Cori Bush.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 7-19-2022 by Common Dreams

Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Cori Bush/Twitter

Several members of Congress were among the demonstrators arrested outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday while protesting right-wing justices’ recent ruling against the constitutional right to abortion.

“Today I was arrested in a civil disobedience action at the Supreme Court to protest Roe v. Wade getting overturned and the assault on reproductive rights across the country,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in a statement.

“Our reproductive rights are under assault across the country, thanks to an extremist court with little regard for precedent or our basic rights,” she added. “I will do whatever it takes, including putting my body on the line, to protect our reproductive rights.”

Analilia Mejia, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy Action, said that “today, the CPDA network and Democratic members of Congress sent a powerful message to Republican lawmakers and SCOTUS: We will not back down.”

U.S. Capitol Police confirmed in a tweet Tuesday that officers arrested 35 people, including 17 members of Congress, for “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.”

Others arrested include Reps. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.).

“This Supreme Court has been relentless in stripping away our reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy, but we’re not backing down,” said Pressley. “Today, we put our bodies on the line to defend abortion rights because the stakes in this fight could not be higher.”

Pressley noted that “due to the cruelty and callousness of this court, millions of people now face insurmountable barriers to abortion care and the health of our most vulnerable—especially our Black, Brown, low-income, disabled, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ siblings—is now further at risk.”

“I’m grateful to all of the advocates on the frontline of this fight who led us in peaceful protest today and have been leading this movement for generations,” she added. “Abortion rights are human rights, and we won’t stop fighting until our policies and budgets reflect that fundamental truth.”

Chants at the demonstration included “shut it down,” referring to the high court, and: “What do we want? Freedom! When do we want it? Now!”

Lawmakers and others in the road were warned, “Cease and desist or you will be arrested.”

Bush—who on Monday introduced legislation to boost access to medication abortion—shared a photo of fellow “Squad” members at the demonstration and vowed that “even though they arrested us, we won’t stop our organizing, agitating, and legislating for justice.”

Some of the participants invoked the words of the late John Lewis. The civil rights leader who became a Democratic congressman and represented Georgia for over three decades famously encouraged getting into “good trouble” when fighting against injustices.

Referencing anti-choice legislation recently enacted by GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican state legislators, Escobar said:

Protesting injustice in our country is as old as our democracy itself; it is a cornerstone of our history, a principle of our nation, and a faithful mechanism for the will of the people to be heard. That is why, in the face of unprecedented attacks on abortion access and reproductive justice, like the draconian laws and anti-woman agenda we are seeing from the Texas state Legislature, Gov. Abbott, and the Supreme Court, I joined several of my colleagues in front of the highest court in the land to make good trouble.

My arrest today for civil disobedience was a small act in the centuries-long battle to ensure every woman has the freedom to make personal decisions with those they love and trust without politicians trying to control them. We stand on the shoulders of giants whose struggle against injustices everywhere lights the way forward: The fight didn’t start here, and it’s far from over.

Levin, the only male lawmaker arrested, tweeted that “I’m always down to stir up #GoodTrouble and fight for our rights. We cannot give in to this extremist, right-wing court. I’m angry and ready for ACTION!”

In a recent opinion piece for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rep. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) noted that July 17 marked the two-year anniversary of Lewis’ death. The congresswoman suggested that if her “friend, mentor, and predecessor” were still alive, “he would be moved to act, like he did throughout his entire life,” in response to “the Supreme Court’s cruel and damaging decision to strip more than half the country of their right to access abortion.”

Watson Coleman pointed out that “on Friday, Democrats in the House passed legislation to protect the right to choose.”

Although House Democrats approved the Women’s Health Protection Act and Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, neither bill is expected to get through the Senate due to the filibuster rule and obstruction by the GOP as well as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Maloney highlighted that while overturning Roe was a longtime ambition of Republicans in U.S. politics, they are not likely to stop there.

“The Republican Party and the right-wing extremists behind this decision are not pro-life, but pro-controlling the bodies of women, girls, and any person who can become pregnant,” she said. “Their ultimate goal is to institute a national ban on abortion. We will not let them win. We will be back.”

This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
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