Tag Archives: Roe v. Wade

Washington Poised to Require Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance

English: Rep. Albert Wynn (left) joins Gloria ...

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At a time when many states are making it harder for women to get abortions, Washington appears headed in the opposite direction.

Fifteen states restrict insurers from covering abortions. Twelve are considering such measures. By contrast, a bill that has passed Washington’s House and is working its way through the Senate would make the state the first to require all health-insurance plans except those claiming a conscience-based exemption to include abortion coverage.

The measure, House Bill 2330, would require insurers who cover maternity care, which Washington insurers must offer, to pay for abortions. New York is the only other state considering similar rules, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Supporters say the state is protected by its existing conscience exemptions and note the bill has a self-destruct clause nullifying it in the event it were found to conflict with federal law. They say it would simply makes sure that women in Washington, one of four states to have legalized abortion before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, continue to have easy access to abortions once changes in federal health-care laws take effect in 2014.

“Washington state has historically been in the forefront for women’s reproductive rights,” said Rep. Eileen Cody. “We’re just trying to maintain the status quo.”

Via The Seattle Times.

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In August, Insurance Will Cover Contraception, Thanks to ACA

English: English: Barack Obama signing the Pat...

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On Friday, the Obama administration announced that soon women won’t have to pay out-of-pocket for birth control: Starting August 1st, many insurance plans will cover contraception without co-pays or deductibles. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more women can make health care decisions based on what’s best for them, not their insurance company, while saving hundreds of dollars every year.

Think about how different that is from what the candidates on the other side would do. They’ve vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Mitt Romney said he would have signed a constitutional amendment to define life as beginning at conception, similar to the ‘personhood’ amendment that could ban contraception and IVF.

That’s why we need to show that millions of Americans are standing with President Obama on his commitment to women’s health.

This news is just one way the Affordable Care Act ensures that being a woman will no longer be considered a pre-existing condition. Preventive services like mammograms are now free, and 1.1 million young women are now covered by their parents’ health plans.

At the same time, Republicans have waged a war on women’s health, attempting to defund Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade.

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Florida Bill Would Impose Life Sentences for Abortion Doctors

English: Rep. Albert Wynn (left) joins Gloria ...

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Roe v. Wade affirmed that women have the right to seek an abortion until a fetus is viable. Florida legislators don’t agree with the decision, so they’ve introduced a bill that violates it. The near-total ban on abortion in the state won’t stand, but lawmakers have packed it chock full of methods to take away a woman’s right to choose, in the hope that some bit of it will wind up becoming law.

The Florida Independent reports that last week, Republican state Rep. Charles Van Zant, a Baptist minister, introduced legislation that would make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape and incest. House Bill 1151 would create the “Florida for Life Act,” and establish that, “all human life comes from the Creator, has an inherent value that cannot be quantified by man, and begins at conception.”

The only exception would be when the mother’s life is at risk; in that circumstance, doctors would have to sign paperwork attesting to the fact. The bill states:

A termination of pregnancy may not be performed unless:

(a) Two physicians certify in writing to the fact that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the termination of pregnancy is necessary to prevent the death of the patient;

(b) Two physicians certify in writing to the fact that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the termination of pregnancy is necessary because to continue the pregnancy would unreasonably reduce the likelihood of successful treatment of a life-threatening disease of the patient; or

(c) A physician certifies in writing that a medical emergency existed and another physician was not available for consultation prior to the time necessary to perform the termination of pregnancy. The physician’s written certification must clearly describe the medical emergency.

If a doctor performs an abortion on a woman who isn’t on the brink of death, that’s a felony, and the physician could spend the rest of his or her life in prison.

In case this is a little too extreme for Florida legislators, they have plenty of other anti-choice legislation to choose from. Last year, Republicans introduced a record eighteen bills attacking abortion rights. Now there’s a variety of new legislation that could redefine the termination of a “viable fetus” as the death of an “unborn child,” impose burdensome restrictions on abortion facilities, and ban abortions after twenty weeks. Seven anti-abortion bills have already been introduced in the 2012 session.

Via Jezebel.

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How to Chip Away at Abortion Rights without Making Abortion Illegal

Albert Wynn and Gloria Feldt at the U.S. Supre...

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Last week’s passage of the “Let Women Die” Act capped off a year characterized by a number of abortion restricting bills.

Since Roe v. Wade has withstood decades of legal challenges, the next abortion laws won’t take on Roe v. Wade directly; rather, they’ll attempt to chip away at a woman’s right to bodily autonomy by eliminating funding, redefining “life,” and harassing doctors who provide abortions.

Federal law prohibits tax money from providing coverage for abortion services, but this hasn’t stopped states from cutting funding from clinics that refer women to places that offer abortions or that segregate the part of their operation that provides abortions from the part of their organization that provides preventive care.

The New York Times reports that Texas, under the leadership of now-Presidential candidate Rick Perry, chose to cut family planning funding by two-thirds. As a result, women’s health clinics around the state have closed their doors. Similar “budget cutting” measures have passed in several states.

Texas is also attempting to dissuade women from having abortions by forcing them to listen to a doctor describe a sonogram.

Ohio is debating a so-called “Heartbeat Bill” that would outlaw all abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which happens at around 6 weeks’ gestation (Roe v. Wade allows abortions to occur at any time before fetal viability, which happens around the twenty-second week).

Mississippi is allowing its voters to decide on an amendment that would define “personhood” as beginning at conception, which would outlaw all forms of abortion, throw into question the legality of hormonal birth control, and prevent women who are experiencing pregnancy complications from receiving life-saving care.

Time‘s Adam Cohen notes that not all states are going as far as Ohio, Texas, and Mississippi in confronting Roe v. Wade. The hottest trend among anti-choicers is pushing legislation that requires abortion-seeking women to listen to the fetal heartbeat before deciding to end their pregnancies. Michele Bachmann has introduced a bill at the federal level called The Heartbeat Informed Consent Act, which would require all women seeking abortion to listen to the balls of cells in their uteruses pulse before deciding on abortion. A national anti-choice group claims they’re planning on introducing heartbeat legislation in all fifty states over the course of the next year.

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is in hot water for his obsession with destroying the life of murdered abortion provider Dr. Tiller. Kline spent years using his position as A.G. to target and bully Tiller. Last week, a disciplinary panel in the state recommended he have his law license revoked. During Kline’s six years in office, however, he had staff record license numbers of patients at the clinic and then subpoenaed the DMV for the identities of the cars’ owners. He also used data that he knew was flawed to justify his investigations into the clinic, and he stored medical records acquired from the clinic in an unsecured garage, among other things. Kline says he regrets nothing in his pursuit of Tiller.

Via Jezebel.

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