TRAP Laws and the Emptying of ‘Roe’Portrait of an Anti-Abortion ‘Abolitionist’The Story of HB 2: How Multiple Failed Bills Became One Bad LawRick Perry Dodges Measures to Address the Prison Sexual Assault Crisis

TRAP Laws and the Emptying of ‘Roe’

by Jessica Mason Pieklo

Video

Reproductive Rights Advocates Speak Out in New York City

On Friday, Stop Patriarchy held an Emergency Abortion Rights Speak Out in New York City, where activists, abortion providers, authors, and other advocates shared their abortion stories and experiences in an effort to raise awareness about the truth of pregnant people’s lives and the decisions that they make. Here is the full webcast of the event.

Oprah Winfrey Relates Her Experience With Pay Discrimination

In this video clipped by UltraViolet from PBS’ Makers series, Oprah Winfrey discusses her own experience with wage discrimination before she achieved the fame and fortune she holds today.

The Representation Project: It’s Time to Rewrite the Story

Society imposes gender identities on us from the beginning of our lives, and enforces them throughout our lifetimes. The Representation Project examines both the expectations society has for what it means to be a woman, and the expectations society has for what it means to be a man—and how both sets of expectations directly harm people upon whom the identities are imposed, and the relationships of these imposed gender identities to one another. [via UpWorthy]

Audio

Tennessee Advocates Speak Out Against Pregnancy Criminalization

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On April 15, RH Reality Check hosted an audio press call on the Tennessee Pregnancy Criminalization Law, SB 1391, and was joined by representatives from SisterReach, Healthy & Free Tennessee, and the National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

Is Secular Anti-Choice a Thing? And How Big a Hypocrite Is Rep. Vance McAllister?

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On this episode of Reality Cast, I talk to two activists trying to raise the word that secular anti-choicers aren’t as rational and evidence-based as they pretend to be. Also, I discuss the sexism and hypocrisy in Louisiana Republican Vance McAllister’s kissing scandal and offer more on the impending doom in Texas.

Texas Wins Round Against Legal Abortion, and Hobby Lobby’s Anti-Contraception Argument

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On this episode, I talk to Lenzi Sheible of Fund Texas Women, which helps women who need to travel for abortion to get to where they’re going. Also, I discuss clinic closures in Texas and review some of the post-argument coverage of the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court.

News
Issued by a federal district court, Wednesday's order permanently blocks the law, which would have banned abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy.

Issued by a federal district court, Wednesday’s order permanently blocks the law, which would have banned abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy.

Advocates say the bill is unnecessary because current law already allows any person, including pregnant women, to use lethal force to protect themselves.

Advocates say the bill is unnecessary because current law already allows any person, including pregnant women, to use lethal force to protect themselves.

Florida state capitol in Tallahassee.

The bills passed on Friday include one that would restrict access to later abortion in the state, and another bill that would make it a separate crime to kill or injure a fetus during an attack on a pregnant woman.

A Texas appeals court ruled a state court action, which challenges a 2012 rule blocking Planned Parenthood from participating in the state-run Texas Women's Health Program, can proceed.

A Texas appeals court ruled a state court action, which challenges a 2012 rule blocking Planned Parenthood from participating in the state-run Texas Women’s Health Program, can proceed.

The bishops urge repealing a section in the Code of Virginia that provides state funding for abortions in the Medicaid program in the event of a gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency in a fetus.

The bishops urge repealing a section in the Code of Virginia that provides state funding for abortions in the Medicaid program in the event of a gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency in a fetus.

HB 305 would prohibit abortion providers and their affiliates from providing sex education materials, or speaking about sexual health, to public school students in the state.

HB 305 would prohibit abortion providers and their affiliates from providing sex education materials, or speaking about sexual health, to public school students in the state.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw both a troubled initial rollout of the Affordable Care Act's website and a surge of higher-than-expected enrollment numbers after those troubles were resolved, is resigning on Friday.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw both a troubled initial rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s website and a surge of higher-than-expected enrollment numbers after those troubles were resolved, is resigning on Friday.

A new lawsuit filed in state court argues that when lawmakers implemented new restrictions on medication abortion in the state they unlawfully delegated power to the FDA to regulate Arizona doctors.

A new lawsuit filed in state court argues that when lawmakers implemented new restrictions on medication abortion in the state they unlawfully delegated power to the FDA to regulate Arizona doctors.

State Sen. Irene Aguilar, chair of Colorado Senate Health and Human Services Committee, listens to testimony on the Reproductive Health Freedom Act Thursday.

In what could be a national model for states aiming to curb local restrictions on abortion, legislation is moving through the Colorado legislature that would establish fundamental rights of privacy and freedom to make decisions about reproductive health.

Reproductive rights advocates filed a petition to have the entire panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit consider whether Texas' admitting privileges requirement is constitutional.

Reproductive rights advocates filed a petition to have the entire panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit consider whether Texas’ admitting privileges requirement is constitutional.

The Tennessee state legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that allows women to be charged with assault if they have a pregnancy complication after using illegal drugs.

The Tennessee state legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that allows women to be charged with assault if they have a pregnancy complication after using illegal drugs. Advocates argue that the bill is so poorly written that it could subject any woman with a poor pregnancy outcome to criminal investigation.

At a hearing on women's education in countries wracked by religious extremism, Rep. Randy K. Weber asked a conflict resolution expert if she was teaching Muslims about "the sanctity of life."

At a hearing on women’s education in countries wracked by religious extremism, Rep. Randy K. Weber asked a conflict resolution expert if she was teaching Muslims about “the sanctity of life.”

As required by a new state mandate, most hospitals in Washington have submitted their policies on patients’ access to a variety of health-care options. However, the policies vary significantly in format, information provided, and availability of access for people seeking reproductive health care.

As required by a new state mandate, most hospitals in Washington have submitted their policies on patients’ access to a variety of health-care options. However, the policies vary significantly in format, information provided, and availability of access for people seeking reproductive health care.

A panel of experts now recommends that a baby aspirin each day may be able to prevent up to a quarter of all cases of preeclampsia, a condition that develops in 4 percent of pregnancies and that can be life threatening for both the woman and the developing fetus.

A panel of experts now recommends that a baby aspirin each day may be able to prevent up to a quarter of all cases of preeclampsia, a condition that develops in 4 percent of pregnancies and that can be life threatening for both the woman and the developing fetus.

"I have no more confidence in Planned Parenthood than I do in Adolf Hitler," said state Sen. Mike Fair in response to a new poll showing public support for legal abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“I have no more confidence in Planned Parenthood than I do in Adolf Hitler,” said state Sen. Mike Fair in response to a new poll showing public support for legal abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Roundups
Tennessee lawmakers proposed a dangerous new law that allows for prosecuting pregnant people while a South Carolina woman will serve time after prosecutors claim she killed her infant via breastfeeding.

Tennessee lawmakers proposed a dangerous new law that allows for prosecuting pregnant people, as a South Carolina woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly killing her infant while breastfeeding.

Reproductive rights advocates in Texas have filed another challenge to abortion restrictions in the state, while federal courts in Arizona and Alabama consider similar challenges.

Reproductive rights advocates in Texas have filed another challenge to abortion restrictions in the state, while federal courts in Arizona and Alabama consider similar challenges.

A credit card processing company refuses to work with online condom retailer.

This week, a travel company launches a racy and playful ad asking Danes to get pregnant for their country, a credit card processing company refuses to work with an online condom retailer, and the STD app Hula comes under fire.

This week, one app is blamed for a syphilis outbreak, while another wants you to practice cunnilingus by licking your phone.

This week, one app is blamed for a syphilis outbreak, while another wants you to practice cunnilingus by licking your phone.

A decision from Arkansas reinforces fetal viability as a constitutional bright line for abortion restrictions, even as more early abortion bans pass in the states.

A decision from Arkansas reinforces fetal viability as a constitutional bright line for abortion restrictions, even as more early abortion bans pass in the states.

Slowly but surely pregnant workers are gaining more workplace protections, but Congress still needs to act.

Slowly but surely pregnant workers are gaining more workplace protections, but Congress still needs to act.

Commentary
It’s time to collectively demand we hold all exploiters of children accountable, both traffickers and buyers of child sex.

With as much emphasis as there has been on the crisis of human trafficking recently, there is almost complete disregard for the unfettered demand that is fueling this multibillion dollar industry. It’s time to collectively demand we hold all exploiters of children accountable, both traffickers and buyers of child sex.

We don't wait to teach driver's ed until after young people start driving, so why on earth do most sex education classes occur after a significant chunk of teens are already sexually active? It's time to let go of the sentimental attachment to the idea of "innocence" in adolescents.

We don’t wait to teach driver’s ed until after young people start driving, so why on earth do most sex education classes occur after a significant chunk of teens are already sexually active? It’s time to let go of the sentimental attachment to the idea of “innocence” in adolescents.

Criminalizing freely chosen reproductive actions is not part of the feminist project.

The Kansas legislature is considering a bill that would make surrogate parents, gestational carriers, and anyone who assists them liable to up to a $10,000 fine or imprisonment of one year. But despite what some supporters of the legislation may say, criminalizing freely chosen reproductive actions is not part of the feminist project.

Sprawl of Kabul, Afghanistan as seen from the top of TV Hill in the middle of the city.

In the month before Afghanistan’s presidential elections on April 5, three deadly attacks occurred against journalists who became targets of terror. I was once a war reporter. Now I write about war from a distance.

For many Black women, being called "bossy" and being bossy have the potential to save and change our lives, as we saw in the recent events surrounding CeCe McDonald (above) and Marissa Alexander.

Sheryl Sandberg and others want to see us ban the word “bossy” when talking about girls. But for many Black women, being called “bossy” and being bossy have the potential to save and change our lives.

Marlise Munoz

The recent Marlise Munoz case should be a call to action for anyone who believes that pregnant women and their families deserve respect. More than 30 states have laws that require a pregnant woman to be kept on mechanical support no matter what her living will says, and it is time for that to change.

President Obama signed two executive orders extending critical provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act to federal contractors on Tuesday.

President Obama wasted an opportunity this week, and I’m willing to be the feminist advocate to say it. When he signed two executive orders extending critical provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act, he addressed only some employment discrimination, and equality for some is not equality for women.

Youth advocacy group Do Something has a teen pregnancy campaign that purports to teach young people what it's like to have a baby via text message.

The “egg baby” has gone high-tech: Youth advocacy group Do Something has a teen pregnancy campaign that purports to teach young people what it’s like to have a baby via text message. Unfortunately, the campaign fails, in both concept and execution.

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden told Fox News Sunday that Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Senate committee report on the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program was driven by her emotions.

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden told Fox News Sunday that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate committee report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program was driven by her emotions. But a look at the backstory reveals a very emotional former CIA director.

Pro-choice card from Madrid. Translation to English: "That is a moral sin! That is a criminal offense! That is my decision."

A new bill in Spain threatens to make abortion a crime. This would be a giant step backward for women and for all of Spanish society.

Rhetoric trying to redefine contraception not as health care but as a sexual kink is becoming a mainstream conservative preoccupation.

Rhetoric trying to redefine contraception not as health care but as a sexual kink is becoming a mainstream conservative preoccupation, especially in light of the Affordable Care Act listing contraception as a preventive care service. What can be done to fight back, before the right start seriously chipping away at access?

Stories of mishandling and outright ignoring cases of sexual assault within religious institutions go back decades.

Stories of mishandling and outright ignoring cases of sexual assault within religious institutions go back decades.

Analysis
Umatilla County, Oregon

As of February 20, three federally recognized tribes have the power to arrest and prosecute non-Natives who assault Native intimate partners, under a pilot project to test a historic expansion of special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction.

Teachers of Kansas stand poised to take back their state and undue the destruction caused under the leadership of Gov. Sam Brownback, with the help of his friends and funders the Kochs.

Teachers of Kansas stand poised to take back their state and undo the destruction caused under the leadership of Gov. Sam Brownback, with the help of his friends and funders the Kochs.

Greg Abbott wants to defend a state statute that Texas hospital patients say prevents them from being able to hold hospitals, and the doctors they grant privileges to, accountable when they practice bad medicine.

Greg Abbott wants to defend a state statute that Texas hospital patients say prevents them from being able to hold hospitals, and the doctors they grant privileges to, accountable when they practice bad medicine.

Some 64 provisions have been introduced so far this year to expand or protect access to abortion, more than had been introduced in any year in the last quarter-century.

Some 64 provisions have been introduced so far this year to expand or protect access to abortion, more than had been introduced in any year in the last quarter-century.

Even as the Supreme Court weighs a ruling in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties cases, conservatives are pushing more legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act writ large.

Even as the Supreme Court weighs a ruling in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties cases, conservatives are pushing more legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act writ large.

Genetic counselors in Virginia who object to abortion may now prevent women from learning the results of their genetic tests before their pregnancies progress to a point when legal abortion is impossible to obtain.

Genetic counselors in Virginia who object to abortion may now prevent women from learning the results of their genetic tests before their pregnancies progress to a point when legal abortion is impossible to obtain—and the practice could become legal in other states as well.

The international human rights and global health communities gathered with policy-makers and government leaders last month in Washington D.C. to make the case for universal abortion access.

The international human rights and global health communities gathered with policy-makers and government leaders last month in Washington D.C. to make the case for universal abortion access. This unheralded collaboration arrives on the heels of another first: a report from the UN secretary-general calling for access to safe abortion.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision on provisions of Texas' omnibus anti-abortion law that raises the question: How many bodies will be enough for courts like the Fifth Circuit?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision on provisions of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law that raises the question: How many bodies will be enough for courts like the Fifth Circuit?

The Missouri Capitol building in St. Louis

No state has seen as many anti-choice bills introduced this year as Missouri, where Republican lawmakers are simultaneously resisting an expansion of Medicaid that could improve health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of residents.

Investigations
The state has spent $170,000 in taxpayer money since 2011 defending a single anti-choice law, according to new figures from the state attorney general obtained by RH Reality Check.

The state has spent $170,000 in taxpayer money since 2011 defending a single anti-choice law, according to new figures from the state attorney general obtained by RH Reality Check.

Dr. Byron Calhoun

There is now proof positive that Byron Calhoun, an anti-choice doctor who has been influential in West Virginia politics, grossly overstated the number of abortion-related complications that are treated at Charleston Area Medical Center Women and Children’s Hospital in West Virginia each year.

The confluence of ALEC and AUL is further evidence of a new trend on the political right.

Twenty-three states have passed laws barring abortion coverage from insurance plans within state health exchanges. What has largely gone unnoticed is that many of these policies emanate from Americans United for Life, a little-known group that regularly has access to conservative lawmakers at the annual ALEC conferences.