Most women live in states hostile to abortion rights
Fifty-five percent of all reproductive-age U.S. women lived in a state hostile to abortion rights in 2011, up significantly from 31% in 2000, according to a new Guttmacher Institute policy analysis. The increase is the result of a dramatic shift in the abortion policy landscape at the state level over the past decade, including a record number of abortion restrictions that were enacted in 2011.
“The regional differences are striking,” says Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher’s state issues manager. “West Coast and Northeastern states remained consistently supportive of abortion rights. But a swath of states in the middle of the country moved from being middle-ground states in 2000 to hostile in 2011. And of the 13 states in the South, half were hostile in 2000—but all had become so by 2011.
- Mandated parental involvement prior to a minor’s abortion.
- Required preabortion counseling that is medically inaccurate or misleading.
- Extended waiting periods.
- Mandated performance of non-medically indicated ultrasounds prior to abortion.
- Restriction of abortion coverage in private health insurance plans.
- Onerous requirements on abortion facilities that are not related to patient safety.
- Unconstitutional ban on abortions prior to fetal viability preemptive ban on abortion outright in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned.
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Link between abortion and mental health debunked
A study purporting to show a causal link between abortion and subsequent mental health problems has fundamental errors that render its conclusions invalid, according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Guttmacher Institute. This is one of many assertions that anti-abortion-rights activists have put forth about the consequences of abortion that have been proven to lack scientific validity. Another was a supposed causal connection between abortion and breast cancer, which the National Cancer Institute debunked in 2003, after studying all available evidence.
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Sex delayed by sex information including birth control
On March 8, The Guttmacher Institute released a study showing that teens who receive formal sex education prior to their first sexual experience demonstrate a range of healthier behaviors at first intercourse than those who receive no sex education at all. This is particularly so when the instruction they receive includes information about both waiting to have sex and methods of birth control.
Respondents who had received both kinds of instruction were older at first sex than their peers who had received no formal instruction and were more likely to have used condoms or other contraceptives at first sex; they also had healthier partnerships. Moreover, condom use at first sex was significantly less likely among females who had had only abstinence instruction than among those who had received information about both abstinence and birth control.
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Birth control craziness in Arizona
Arizona legislators have proposed a bill that would give your boss the green light to fire you for using birth control.
This is not about religious exemptions but about secular, for-profit employers to denying a woman coverage for birth control if the employer doesn’t believe that she and her partner should be allowed to have sex without the risk of pregnancy. Even more outrageous: If a woman gets the prescription she needs from either her insurance or another source, the bill would not only allow employers to take her insurance coverage away, but it would also make it easier for an employer to fire an employee who has obtained birth control from another source.
Women legislators turn the table
Also, in Ohio, legislator Nina Turner has become the latest in a series of female state legislators to give her male colleagues a taste of their own medicine, by introducing a bill that that would set limits on men’s ability to obtain Viagara without meeting stringent government conditions such as a psychological examination.
Turner is inspired by female legislators across the country, who, tired of absurd restrictions on women’s reproductive choices, have introduced parodic bills – such as Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson, who introduced a “Spilled Semen Amendment” to her State’s “Fetal Personhood Amendment,” that would declare it an act against unborn children for men to waste sperm.
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