Is Anti-Choice Ideology Driving Malpractice Lawsuits? Byron Calhoun and the Phantom Fetal SkullCalifornia Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Ruling Underscores Need to Connect Policy to PracticeIt Shouldn’t Take a Chlamydia ‘Epidemic’ in Texas to Make Us Care About Teens’ Sexual HealthRape Kits: A Decade and A Billion Dollars Later, Why Can’t We Fix the Backlog?

Is Anti-Choice Ideology Driving Malpractice Lawsuits? Byron Calhoun and the Phantom Fetal Skull

by Imani Gandy

Video

‘Say Her Name’: Honoring the Black Women and Girls Killed by Police

On Wednesday, May 20, hundreds of people gathered at Union Square in New York City to draw attention to the many Black women and girls killed by police officers. The African American Policy Forum, along with several other community groups, organized the vigil as part of a nationwide call to action following the release of its report, entitled, Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women. [via New York Daily News]

Actor Matt McGorry on Why Being a Feminist ‘Benefits Everyone’

Orange Is the New Black star Matt McGorry discusses how feminism is important for everyone, not just women. [via Mic]

Honoring Young Mothers: ‘Let’s Fly Together’

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s time to celebrate all the young mothers who work to build strong families in their communities. Enjoy this music video of Emily McLean’s “You Are.” [via Strong Families]

Audio

Hypocrisy in Missouri, Pro-Choice Themes in ‘Mad Men’

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On this episode, host Amanda Marcotte interviews Brown University’s Kate Carey about her study of college sexual assault. Also, Marcotte has a segment honoring Mad Men’s long reign as an adamantly pro-choice show, and she discusses how a scandal involving Missouri Rep. John Diehl reveals anti-choice hypocrisy.

Federal and State-Level Assaults on Abortion Rights

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Kathryn Joyce explains the fight over Marshallese adoptions in Arkansas. Also, host Amanda Marcotte discusses a proposed federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks and state-level assaults on reproductive rights.

In Texas, a Chlamydia Outbreak and Fight Over Abortion Care Insurance Coverage

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Heather Boonstra from Guttmacher explains how public schools could do more to help students get contraception. Texas bans insurance coverage of abortion, and a West Texas school has an alarmingly high chlamydia rate.

News
A federal lawsuit challenges a policy by the Michigan Secretary of State's office that requires an amended birth certificate before correcting the gender on state issued identification cards.

A federal lawsuit challenges a policy by the Michigan Secretary of State’s office that requires an amended birth certificate before correcting the gender on state issued identification cards.

California's Democratic-majority assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would require crisis pregnancy centers to offer pregnant people information about state programs providing reproductive health-care services, including abortion.

California’s Democratic-majority assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would require crisis pregnancy centers to offer pregnant people information about state programs providing reproductive health-care services, including abortion.

Anti-choice lawmakers, following days of infighting between mainstream Texas Republican lawmakers and Tea Partiers, missed a key Tuesday night deadline to approve a bill that would have banned abortion care coverage in insurance plans purchased under the Affordable Care Act.

Anti-choice legislators, following days of infighting between mainstream Texas Republican lawmakers and Tea Partiers, missed a key Tuesday night deadline to approve a bill that would have banned abortion care coverage in insurance plans purchased under the Affordable Care Act.

The law, considered to be among the most radically restrictive in the nation, has been blocked by a federal judge since March 2014.

The law, considered to be among the most radically restrictive in the nation, has been blocked by a federal judge since March 2014.

The Alabama house passed legislation Tuesday that would prohibit clinics offering abortion care from being located near schools, charging that children should be protected from anti-choice protests.

The Alabama house passed legislation Tuesday that would prohibit clinics offering abortion care from being located near schools, charging that children should be protected from anti-choice protests.

A Louisiana senate committee hearing Tuesday on an abortion ban based on the sex of the fetus ended with a tense exchange between a committee member and the bill’s author.

A Louisiana senate committee hearing Tuesday on an abortion ban based on the sex of the fetus ended with a tense exchange between a committee member and the bill’s author.

Anti-choice activists are preparing to push a ban on dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedures during the 2017 legislative session, after Arkansas lawmakers passed a series of laws restricting reproductive rights during the 2015 session.

Anti-choice activists are preparing to push a ban on dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedures during the 2017 legislative session, after Arkansas lawmakers passed a series of laws restricting reproductive rights during the 2015 session.

Sens. Cory Booker (left) and Sherrod Brown introduced a resolution last week condemning conversion therapy and urging states to make it illegal to subject minors to such “treatment.”

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a resolution last week condemning conversion therapy and urging states to make it illegal to subject minors to such “treatment.”

Sponsored by Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township), HB 135 would make it a felony to perform an abortion on a pregnant person who “is seeking the abortion solely because” of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis.

Sponsored by Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township), HB 135 would make it a felony to perform an abortion on a pregnant person who “is seeking the abortion solely because” of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis.

Senators gather to consult Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the senate
parliamentarian on a point of order during debate on HB 3994.

On Memorial Day 2015, the Texas Senate passed an anti-abortion bill that would make it far harder for abused, abandoned, and neglected minors who rely on “judicial bypass” to obtain an abortion. The bill would also require doctors who provide abortion care to demand government ID from their patients.

The debates in the Texas house on Sunday reportedly drove Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) to take to the floor and "almost" fistfight his colleague, Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana).

State conservatives volleyed their constituents’ access to reproductive health care back and forth on Sunday in a series of last-minute deals, ultimately resulting in a late-night vote, taken without Democrats and moderate Republicans, to reopen debate on a bill that would ban insurance coverage for legal abortion.

Women’s health advocates are harshly criticizing a new bill sponsored by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) that is intended to help make birth control available over the counter, calling it a cynical move that would actually make birth control less affordable.

Women’s health advocates are harshly criticizing a new bill sponsored by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) that is intended to help make birth control available over the counter, calling it a cynical move that would actually make birth control less affordable.

A Nevada forced parental notification bill unexpectedly cleared a legislative hurdle Thursday, and appears set for a committee hearing next week.

A Nevada forced parental notification bill unexpectedly cleared a legislative hurdle Thursday and appears set for a committee hearing next week.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider an earlier decision that ruled the process for accommodating religious objections to the birth control benefit of the Affordable Care Act did not burden the group's rights.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider an earlier decision that ruled the process for accommodating religious objections to the birth control benefit of the Affordable Care Act did not burden the group’s rights.

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act seeks to fix the inconsistent patchwork of state laws on same-sex couples who want to adopt or foster a child.

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act seeks to fix the inconsistent patchwork of state laws on same-sex couples who want to adopt or foster a child.

Roundups
This week, a study finds women are just as willing as men to have sex with a stranger, high school seniors in Arizona face rising rates of sexually transmitted infections, and a few cups of coffee a day may keep erectile dysfunction away.

This week, a study finds women are just as willing as men to have sex with a stranger, seniors in Arizona face rising rates of sexually transmitted infections, and a few cups of coffee a day may keep erectile dysfunction away.

This week, a survey shows many women are not taking precautions against STDs, Men's Health determines the "sex-happiest" cities, and a Dutch designer designs a sex toy to hold human ashes.

This week, a survey shows many women are not taking precautions against STDs, Men’s Health determines the “sex-happiest” cities, and a Dutch designer designs a sex toy to hold human ashes.

This week, research suggests the keys to more and/or better sex may be different for some men and women.

This week, research suggests the keys to more and/or better sex may be different for some men and women.

Commentary
It is doubly important that we carefully examine the sociopolitical and theological environment that allowed such abuses—and their apparent cover-up—in the first place. And we must think about the impact that this hyper-conservative Christian theology can have on survivors of this kind of abuse.

It is doubly important that we carefully examine the sociopolitical and theological environment that allowed such abuses—and their apparent cover-up—in the first place. And we must think about the impact that this hyper-conservative Christian theology can have on survivors of this kind of abuse.

"Jane" could only assume, from the debates held in the state legislature over the past several weeks, that since anti-choice lawmakers apparently believe they're in the best position to tell Texans whether they can, or should, access legal abortion care, "Jane" would just go straight to the source.

“Jane” could only assume, from the debates held in the state legislature over the past several weeks, that since anti-choice lawmakers apparently believe they’re in the best position to tell Texans whether they can, or should, access legal abortion care, “Jane” would just go straight to the source.

More and more anti-choice legislators are fighting against rape exceptions in abortion restrictions out of the supposed concern that women will fake being raped to use them.

More and more anti-choice legislators are fighting against rape exceptions in abortion restrictions out of the supposed concern that women will fake being raped to use them.

Amy Adele Hasinoff’s Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent is a reasoned, if academic, look at the ways teens use social media and the Internet to flirt, seduce, and tease, often transmitting sexual images that are intended for private viewing.

Amy Adele Hasinoff’s Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent is a reasoned, if academic, look at the ways teens use social media and the Internet to flirt, seduce, and tease, often transmitting sexual images that are intended for private viewing.

Josh Duggar resigned his position as executive director of the Family Research Council today after reports surfaced that as a young teen he had fondled the breasts and genitals of several girls, including his own sisters, over an unknown period of time beginning in at least 2002.

Josh Duggar resigned from his position as executive director of the Family Research Council on Thursday after reports surfaced that as a young teen he had fondled the breasts and genitals of several girls, including his own sisters, over an unknown period of time beginning in at least 2002.

A recent Scandal episode highlighted a few barriers when attempting to seek an abortion while deployed, but what’s a service member to do when she doesn’t have Olivia Pope’s help navigating the system?

A recent Scandal episode highlighted a few barriers when attempting to seek an abortion while deployed, but what’s a service member to do when she doesn’t have Olivia Pope’s help navigating the system?

If HB 3994 passes through the senate, Texas’ parental consent law will be even stricter than it is already, forcing minors who cannot obtain permission to navigate a slew of complicated, humiliating, and sometimes impossible hurdles to receive reproductive health care.

If HB 3994 passes through the senate, Texas’ parental consent law will be even stricter than it is already, forcing minors who cannot obtain permission to navigate a slew of complicated, humiliating, and sometimes impossible hurdles to receive reproductive health care.

There are ways in which we can support survivors of trafficking and address the systemic challenges that those vulnerable to trafficking face. None of those tactics require a camera crew and a viewing audience.

There are ways in which we can support survivors of trafficking and address the systemic challenges that those vulnerable to it face. None of those tactics require a camera crew and a viewing audience.

Alabama legislators have pushed forward a bill that will make reproductive care harder to access while perpetuating erroneous and harmful stereotypes about providers.

Alabama legislators have pushed forward a bill that will make reproductive care harder to access while perpetuating erroneous and harmful stereotypes about providers.

ABLC Blog
Apparently, Ohio Republicans need to protect the integrity of the election process by making sure that Johnny McVotesalot only votes once per election—and not “a lot” as his name suggests. This, even though voter fraud in the state is basically nonexistent.

Apparently, Ohio Republicans need to protect the integrity of the election process by making sure that Johnny McVotesalot only votes once per election—and not “a lot” as his name suggests. This, even though voter fraud in the state is basically nonexistent.

To certain people in this country, it seems that any gathering of Black people is comprised of thugs. A barbecue? A bunch of thugs eating ribs. A church picnic? Just a bunch of thugs in fancy hats. A hip-hop show? A bunch of thugs listening to a bunch of other thugs.

To certain people in this country, it seems that any gathering of Black people is comprised of thugs. A barbecue? A bunch of thugs eating ribs. A church picnic? Just a bunch of thugs in fancy hats. A hip-hop show? A bunch of thugs listening to a bunch of other thugs.

ATM, Money, Machine

Gov. Brownback signed a law on Thursday that prohibits people who rely on government assistance to make ends meet from using the money in the way it was intended. It treats poor people like they’re stupid or wasteful, and siphons government funds from them and diverts it into banks’ coffers.

Analysis
The Roberts Court will consider stepping into the fight over Mississippi's admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers in a case that could make it harder for abortion rights advocates to combat restrictions based in junk science.

The Roberts Court will consider stepping into the fight over Mississippi’s admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers in a case that could make it harder for pro-choice advocates to combat restrictions based in junk science.

In what advocates are calling an historic ruling, a judge in Fresno County, California, ruled last week that a lawsuit against the Clovis Unified School District’s abstinence-focused sex education program was justified because it was out of compliance with the state’s law.

In what advocates are calling an historic ruling, a judge in Fresno County, California, ruled last week that a lawsuit against the Clovis Unified School District’s abstinence-focused sex education program was justified because it was out of compliance with the state’s law.

With his announcement that he would sign a 20-week abortion ban should one reach his desk, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker  joins a slate of fervently anti-choice Republican presidential candidates who support a flatly unconstitutional law.

With his announcement that he would sign a 20-week abortion ban should one reach his desk, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker joins a slate of fervently anti-choice Republican presidential candidates who support a flatly unconstitutional law.

Investigations
Now it looks like we can add “phantom fetal skulls” to the list of things Calhoun claims to see despite evidence to the contrary.

Now it looks like we can add “phantom fetal skulls” to the list of things Calhoun claims to see despite evidence to the contrary.

A three-month investigation by RH Reality Check has revealed that the agency charged with overseeing this effort has been unable to answer these rudimentary questions, leaving advocates at a loss to explain why so little progress has been made on the backlog even while the Obama administration has identified it as a top priority for sexual justice.

A three-month investigation by RH Reality Check has revealed that the agency charged with overseeing this effort has been unable to answer these rudimentary questions, leaving advocates at a loss to explain why so little progress has been made on the backlog even while the Obama administration has identified it as a top priority for sexual justice.

Cookie Concepcion is a trans male activist and member of Justice Now, who is currently serving time at the Central California Women's Facility.

Trans prisoners continue to be housed in facilities with the opposite gender, resulting in discrimination, trauma, and rape.

Q & A
Amy Hagstrom Miller and Amanda Williams at ChoiceWorks speak about their vision for their new nonprofit Shift, why they’ve chosen to launch in Texas, and what the end of abortion stigma might look like in red states.

Amy Hagstrom Miller and Amanda Williams at ChoiceWorks speak about their vision for their new nonprofit Shift, why they’ve chosen to launch in Texas, and what the end of abortion stigma might look like in red states.

Yamani Hernandez recently chatted with RH Reality Check about her work to build a broad human rights movement that lives up to its inclusive values, her unconventional professional trajectory, and the people who inspired and stoked her activism.

Yamani Hernandez recently chatted with RH Reality Check about her work to build a broad human rights movement that lives up to its inclusive values, her unconventional professional trajectory, and the people who inspired and stoked her activism.

Dr. Chastine fights back against anti-choice threats and intimidation by providing the best possible care to her patients, who often travel long distances as additional political and economic hurdles are put in their way.

Dr. Chastine fights back against anti-choice threats and intimidation by providing the best possible care to her patients, who often travel long distances as additional political and economic hurdles are put in their way.