Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-21-13

RH Reality Check Analysis Finds Abortion Heavily Regulated Across the Country

The reproductive health blog RH Reality Check has released documents from over 30 states revealing that abortion is already heavily monitored and regulated following a congressional inquiry.

The documents include current policies, laws, and regulations of abortion providers and what complaints against providers, if any, the state received and what action was taken. The documents were requested in May by members of the House Judiciary Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee including Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), and Fred Upton (R-MI) among others. The committees contact the Attorney General and Board of Health of each state to see if "state and local governments are being stymied in their efforts to protect the civil rights of newborns and their mothers by legal or financial obstacles that are within the federal government's power to address."

RH Reality Check submitted their own request to those contacted asking for whatever documents were sent to Congress. 38 state attorney generals and 31 health departments submitted their responses, and the result is thousands of pages of legislation and regulations that could in some way relate to abortion services - from regulations of ambulatory surgical centers to inspection results to criminal prosecution of women who sought abortion services. RH Reality Check has made all the documents available online in a new database called the State of Abortion.

In an article on the State of Abortion results, the blog writes, "An analysis of these documents shows that congressional Republicans will find no support for their arguments in favor of new restrictions on abortion care in the evidence presented by the states. In particular, to the extent that anti-choice advocates claim that women are being put at risk by abortion services, these documents-from the very state entities charged with overseeing and regulating abortion-show the contrary. They show that abortion in the United States is highly regulated and overwhelmingly safe."

Kathy Spillar, Executive Vice President of Feminist Majority Foundation, said "We're waiting for the Republicans in Congress and in Governor's mansions and state legislatures to admit that they're wasting tax payer money and time dealing with a problem that doesn't exist. In addition to showing there's no need for federal regulation, the report also demonstrates that all the new TRAP laws imposing restrictions that will close many clinics are unnecessary. In July alone, North Carolina, Texas, and Ohio enacted strict regulations that jeopardize most abortion providers in these states and endanger women's lives. Ambulatory surgical centers, unnecessary. Admitting privileges, unnecessary. Additional reporting procedures, absolutely unnecessary."

"The anti-choice movement, aided by their legislative allies at the state and federal level, have pushed through medically unnecessary and draconian restrictions on access to safe abortion care," said Jodi Jacobson, Editor-in-Chief of RH Reality Check. "To justify their efforts, they've shamelessly exploited the tragic case of illegal provider Kermit Gosnell and claimed there is a pattern of unsafe, under-regulated providers causing harm to women. But the results of a state-by-state witch hunt conducted by Congressional Republicans actually reveals quite the opposite: State documents reveal that abortion care across the country is not only highly regulated, but overwhelmingly safe. Neither Congress nor state legislatures can provide a shred of evidence to back up their push for further restricting access to safe abortion care."

Media Resources: RH Reality Check 8/21/2013; State of Abortion 8/19/2013; Feminist Newswire 7/30/2013, 7/18/2013, 7/1/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

1/27/2016 Study Exposes 'Gender Gap' in Media Coverage of Reproductive Issues - A new study by the Women's Media Center has revealed more than half of news stories focusing on reproductive issues are written by men. According to WMC Media Watch: the Gender Gap in Coverage of Reproductive Issues, men penned 52 percent of bylines discussing issues of reproductive health care - including contraception and abortion - compared to just 37 percent by women. . . .
 
1/27/2016 Taiwan Elects First Woman President - In a landslide victory, the leader of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen won the country's presidential election, becoming the first woman in Taiwan's history to hold the position. Emphasizing her party's commitment to maintaining Taiwan's independence from China, Tsai won over young voters eager to usher in a political changing of the guard following some 70 years of dominance by the pro-Chinese unification party, the Kuomintang (KMT), chaired by presidential opponent Eric Chu. . . .
 
1/26/2016 Anti-Abortion Extremists Behind Planned Parenthood Attack Videos Indicted - Two anti-abortion extremists responsible for last year's misleading videos attacking Planned Parenthood have been indicted on criminal charges by a grand jury in Houston, Texas. On Monday, Harris County district attorney Devon Anderson announced that David Daleiden, the director of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) - the group behind deceptive videos falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue - was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and on a misdemeanor charge related to the purchasing of human organs. . . .