Roundup: When Anti-Choice Bills Go Badly For Activists


There is probably some joke one could make about South Carolina Republican legislators who are trying to craft a bill that would require a 24-hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion but then can’t get to the committee meeting on time. The Greenville News has the details:

Lawmakers appointed to work out differences between House and Senate versions of a bill to require women to wait longer before getting an abortion will try to meet again next week after House members cancelled a meeting Tuesday.

Senate members later took to the floor to express their frustration, while House members argued the no-shows were due to a scheduling conflict, not opposition to the Senate’s position.

“I think there is some kind of game being played,” Sen. Kevin Bryant, an Anderson Republican chairing the conference committee, told The Greenville News. “And this is the most serious issue this Legislature could deal with, if not this year, this session.”

Yes there is a “game” being played — with South Carolinian women’s healthcare. It’s also great to know that a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion is the “most serious issue” facing South Carolina.

Meanwhile in Georgia the bill to criminalize abortions performed due to the race or sex of the fetus has hit a couple of snags. First the bill lost the endorsement of the NAACP. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has their statement:

Earlier this month, the Georgia NAACP submitted a letter to support Senate Bill 529. We now fully understand the intention of this legislation and wish to retract our support for it.

At the time, we were of the understanding that this bill would work to benefit the women in our community. However, after many conversations with membership and constituents, we now realize that this is nothing more than using women’s health as a political tool.

Women of color in Georgia need more than divisive messages and deserve better access to health care.

We look to the Georgia General Assembly to support initiatives that benefit the community including education and prevention services and working to reduce health care disparities. SB 529 does nothing to address these goals.

Even though Georgia Right to Life has said they want to the bill to be unconstitutional so they can take it to the U.S. Supreme Court with the goal of rolling back Roe v. Wade, it seems like the Georgia House Speaker isn’t on board with that idea —  at least not in deliberately drafting a constitutional challenge. So the Speaker is trying to water down the “controversial” aspects.  Not sure what parts you could take out that would remove just the “controversial” parts — maybe just the entire bill? The AJC has the story:

House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) will make a final-hour push on Thursday to pass a revamped abortion bill that removes many of the original proposal’s most controversial elements, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

Ralston told the AJC on Tuesday that the abortion bill now before the House, Senate Bill 529, is unacceptable as written. On Thursday, he will propose an alternative that is more constitutionally sound and not designed to encourage a court fight.

“I’m working with pro-life House members and House members who feel very passionately, and have supported SB 529, by suggesting to them that I’m interested in protecting the unborn,” Ralston said. “I’m not interested in the agenda of a special interest group, and I believe what we have done is craft a bill that has done that.”

If you would like to know what Ralston thinks is not controversial here is what his bill would do:

Ralston’s new version eliminates the criminal penalties for doctors and uses a more traditional definition of coercion. It also:

  • Allows for exception in the case of rape, incest or medical necessity.
  • Says a doctor must not perform an abortion if he learns that the woman was being coerced into the abortion or that she wants an abortion due to objection to the race or gender of the fetus.
  • Clinics must post a sign that says they will not perform an abortion unless they “know you have freely and voluntarily consented to having an abortion.”
  • Doctors must inform the patient that no one can force her to have an abortion and the patient must certify in writing that she was so informed.
  • Also, the bill would ban federal funds from paying for abortion services under health insurance exchanges created by the federal health care legislation.

In Other News: A Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reject a bill that would have expanded gay adoption in Louisiana.

Senate Bill 129, which ended up as a combination of two measures by Sens. Ed Murray and J.P. Morrell, would have allowed unmarried couples to jointly adopt and allow an existing parent to petition a court to add a second adult as a legal parent. The bill would have applied regardless of the adoptive parents’ sexual orientation, but the debate centered on the rights of gay parents and their children.

Louisiana law restricts adoption to married couples or single individuals, meaning gay couples or unmarried heterosexual couples can adopt but must choose which adult has parental rights.

Bonus item: A 60-year-old law that requires the state of California to seek cures for homosexuality has finally been dropped in a bill passed by the State Assembly.

April 28, 2010

Two Convicted of Denying Access to Abortion Clinic New York Times

New Oklahoma abortion law faces battle NewsOK.com

State Abortion Law Immediately Challenged Courthouse News Service

Oklahoma Passes Two Laws Intended to Curb Abortions Wall Street Journal

Exclusive: Ralston scraps ‘special interest’ abortion bill; crafts his own Atlanta Journal Constitution

SC House members may meet soon to work on abortion bill Greenville News

SC senators expect debate on abortion in budget The State

At Supreme Court: Privacy for those who sign petitions to curb gay rights? Christian Science Monitor

Nassau University Medical Center Apologizes to Nurses over Abortion Decision 1010 Wins

McDonnell finally makes pro-choice plate official Daily Press (blog)

The Tories’ maternal health initiative is the mother of bad policy Globe and Mail

Sex education curriculum for Ontario elementary schools could be ready by Sept. Winnipeg Free Press

Harper defends abortion decision Ottawa Citizen

British Foreign Office apologises over ‘Benedict’ condoms slur Irish Post

Testing for cervical cancer virus could detect more cases of disease Telegraph.co.uk

Parents, if you don’t have The Talk with your kids, someone else will Plain Dealer

Nebraska legislation aimed at undoing Roe v. Wade Lexington Herald Leader

How to Choose an OB-GYN Los Angeles Times

‘No Baby!’ rally for girls will discourage teen pregnancy Dallas Morning News

Ethiopia to benefit from new cervical-cancer diagnostic tool Ethiopian News Journal

Acupuncture does not relieve childbirth pain, says study The Guardian

How Parents Became Cool Wall Street Journal

Home births on rise Tulsa World

China Lifts Ban on Visitors Who Are HIV Positive New York Times

April 27, 2010

Fiorina endorsed by major anti-abortion group in California Senate race The Hill (blog)

Abortion wanes as issue The Hill

SC legislators to try again on abortion bill Lake Wylie Pilot

South Carolina Legislators No Shows for Hearing on Pro-Life Abortion Bill LifeNews.com

Senate panel rejects gay adoption expansion NOLA.com

Gay ‘cure’ law finally repealed in California DigitalJournal.com

Girl Goes To Congress To Talk About Teen Pregnancy WJZ

Calgary university students face expulsion for provocative anti-abortion display Toronto Star

Simon Institute polls on abortion, gay rights The Southern 

Mississippi Legislators Want Bill to Opt Out of Abortion Funding in Health Care LifeNews.com

National anti-abortion group announces “pro-life freedom rides” al.com (blog) 

Protesting Abortion Rights: There’s An App For That! The Frisky

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: The Silent Epidemic Ithaca Journal

People with HIV living longer, study shows Montreal Gazette

We Know the Way to End Prison Rape. Is It Too Expensive? Washington City Paper

Officials, residents attend forum to combat teen pregnancy Northern Virginia Daily

Do Gay Couples Give Up Their U.S. Citizenship? New York Times (blog)

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