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
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .