Polish women go on strike over insane abortion law


Poland's ultra-right government has passed an insane, incoherent ban on abortion that is so badly drafted that it potentially criminalizes miscarriage and surgeries to save the lives of fetuses. Read the rest

Federal judge blocks Indiana abortion restriction

Protesters rally in the rotunda of the State Capitol in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the state lacks the authority to limit a woman's reasons for ending pregnancy.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted an injuction against an Indiana law that banned abortions sought because of fetal abnormalities, and which mandated funeral rituals for aborted fetuses.

Pratt said the Indiana law would go against U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have declared states may not prohibit a woman from seeking an abortion before a fetus is able to live outside the womb. She also said the state had not cited any exceptions to that standard.

"This is unsurprising given that it is a woman's right to choose an abortion that is protected, which, of course, leaves no room for the state to examine the basis or bases upon which a woman makes her choice," Pratt wrote. ... The lawsuit also challenges the law's provision requiring that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated. Planned Parenthood currently disposes of remains by incineration, as with other medical tissue. Pratt's ruling blocks the burial or cremation requirement from taking effect.

It's been a rough week for anti-abortion campaigners: the Supreme Court also struck down a Texas law requiring clinics to meet hospital criteria. Read the rest

Trump promises "some form of punishment" for women who have abortions (Update: changed his mind)

Illustration: Rob Beschizza

Once pro-choice, the leading Republican presidential candidate now thinks that women who terminate pregnancies should be punished. Donald Trump's going to ban it, but is not sure yet just what he's going to have done to women who disobey him. But he's thinking about it.

[Chris] Matthews then pressed him for a straight answer on what a ban on abortion would entail.

“Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it,” Trump answered.

The former reality television star later added that “there has to be some form of punishment,” for women who get abortions after a ban is implemented, acknowledging the punishment would “have to be determined.”

He's unsure about how racist to be, but in no two minds at all about the women. Expect to hear a lot more sexist nastiness as the campaign goes on.

Update: He's changed his mind.

There's something amazing about how Trump just blurts out the right-wing positions he's discerned without realizing some of that stuff is supposed to stay implicit. He's like an AI chatbot who boils down his audience to its most vulgar principles, leaving that audience half-delighted and half-terrified at how completely exposed they are by his performance. Read the rest

Lies Actually


Because it’s the holiday season, Lady Parts Justice League is giving back by reminding us about the anti-choice forces responsible for creating these terrorists with a reinterpretation of a scene from the Christmas classic, “Love Actually”.

When trying to make sense of these horrifying killing sprees, it's easy to lump the attackers into neat little boxes that give us peace of mind. When we look into those boxes, we don't see ourselves.

There’s a box for the “religious extremist” (but only if it’s in the name of Islam) and one for the “delusional loner” (because if we keep pushing the “loner” idea then we don’t have to face the American epidemic of gun violence).

But there is one mass murderer who doesn’t easily fit into any box: the abortion clinic terrorist.

During his arraignment, Robert Dear said, “I am a warrior for the babies!” 17 times. There's no evidence presented that he had a psychotic episode, but we all hear the voices that dominate our airwaves and the national conversation. Certainly, the clinic terrorist may be a “religious extremist” or a “delusional loner.”

What’s different about the abortion clinic attacker is that the voices in their head are not self-created delusions. Rather, they are the voices of mainstream politicians, mainstream religious figures, and mainstream media. Read the rest

Over 100,000 women in Texas have tried to give themselves an abortion, study finds

Pills to induce abortion like Misoprostol (Cytotec) and Mifepristone (RU-486) are legal, cheap, and easy to find in Mexico. KUT NEWS

Hundreds of thousands of women in Texas women may have tried to self-induce abortions, according to a “first of its kind” study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP).

Read the rest

Texas doctor's consent form for women seeking abortions

Redditor Mystharia terminated a pregnancy for medical reasons last week; her doctor gave her this consent form, mandated by -- and scathingly attacking -- the Texas legislature, which requires the doctor to enumerate an eye-wateringly detailed account of the foetal development before termination. (Icon: Kevin Dooley/CC-BY) Read the rest

Visiting a "ProLife Training Camp" for young people


For nearly two decades, Christian ministry "Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust" has held a summer camp in southern California where high schoolers and college students learn to be anti-choice activists. Read the rest

What happened when Colorado offered free birth control? Teen birthrate and abortions plummeted.

The state of Colorado has been conducting a massive experiment with birth control over the last 6 years.

Texas governor bans Planned Parenthood from cancer screening program for poor women

Protesters rally in the rotunda of the State Capitol in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone
Texas governor Greg Abbott OK's ban on healthcare provider's non-abortion-related services for the poor.

Abortion workers: the terrorist victims America won't protect

"[A]rson, murder, assault, stalking, talking, home picketing, business loss, death threats, community protest, religious and racial attacks, hate mail, and targeted internet postings." Read the rest

How medical abortion works

The latest Oh Joy Sex Toy webcomic covers medical abortion in its signature style: humane, thorough and approachable. Read the rest

How state anti-choice laws let judges humiliate vulnerable teens

If you're a child, pregnant, and fear or can't find your parents in states like Florida, you can still get an abortion, but only by convincing a judge, by way of a grueling, kafkaesque, humiliating procedure. Read the rest

I survived an illegal abortion

Fran Moreland Johns sought an abortion in 1956 following a workplace rape. Now the author of Perilous Times: An Inside Look at Abortion Before and After Roe v. Wade, she survived a back-alley procedure in the days before legalization, and warns that with women's rights under renewed assault, those grim days are returning.

Does a fetus feel pain? (And, if so, when?)

Across the United States, politicians are passing laws limiting abortion that are based on the idea that a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks gestation. But the science underlying this assertion is a lot more complex than it's made out to be. Most scientists don't think fetuses have the neural circuitry to experience pain until later. And the scientists whose research is most often cited as evidence of fetal pain at 20 weeks don't think their work is saying what anti-abortion activists think it does. Read the rest

Toy fetuses snuck into candy bags at state fair

Last weekend, anti-choice activists at the North Dakota State Fair slipped "Precious Ones" rubber fetuses into kids' candy bags without asking their parents. I bet they taste terrible! "Worst State Fair Ever Has Squishy Fetus Toys for Unsuspecting Kids" (Thanks, David Steinberg!) Read the rest

A gynecologist on how abortion restrictions lead to dangerous abortions

Maggie Koerth-Baker interviews OB/GYN Dr. Jen Gunter, who has personal experience of treating patients forced to seek out distant or questionable abortion providers, and the complications they suffer as a result.

North Carolina House Republicans sneak abortion rules into motorcycle safety bill without notice

North Carolina House Republicans have, without notice, inserted sweeping changes to the state's abortion rules into a motorcycle safety law. Effectively, they've reintroduced the abortion bill that Governor Pat McCrory had threatened to veto.

“It is a disgrace to North Carolina that legislators have again resorted to sneak attacks to move their anti-women’s health agenda forward,” said Melissa Reed, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Health Systems said in a statement. “Once again there was no public notice that this bill would be heard. The public and even many legislators on the committee only learned this was a possibility at 9:57am -- three minutes before the committee was to meet -- when a political reporter was tipped off and posted it on Twitter. This is outrageous and not how the people’s business should be conducted.”

Without notice, NC House rushes forward new abortion bill Read the rest

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