Repro Rights Afternoon Style: Protesting the Death of a Pregnant Prisoner, Planned Parenthood Sues Alaska

Where are the pro-life forces when a pregnant inmate dies from lack of reproductive health care in jail and how can we prevent this from happening to other women? Planned Parenthood sues the state of Alaska, and it seems that physicians are giving women seeking birth control unnecessary pelvic exams…

  • Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest along with several doctors have sued the state of Alaska to block a new parental notification law for teenage girls to access abortion services. The suit charges that the new law violates privacy rights embedded in the state constitution and also treats teenage girls who want to have an abortion differently from teens who want to continue with their pregnancy – a violation of the equal protection clause in the state constitution.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have issued a practice bulletin on guidelines of care for HIV-infected women given that women with HIV are “living longer, healthier lives and their need for gynecological care is increasing.” They hope to educate clinicians about the need for women’s health screenings as well as family planning for HIV infected women.
  • Ms. Magazine’s Feminist Daily News Wire reports that the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecologists released the results of a study which found that one-third of doctors required that women seeking birth control undergo an (unnecessary) pelvic exam before dispensing it. This is despite the fact that the World Health Organization guidelines say different and there is no medical reason for doing so. It places, as well, an additional barrier for women seeking contraception as well. 
  • A group fighting for reproductive justice for pregnant women in jail are protesting in front of an Pittsburgh jail today. The jail is the target of a federal lawsuit after a female inmate allegedly died, while pregnant, from being denied access to health care. As far as I can tell from the news reports, there were no “pro-life” activists in attendance. I’m just noting. 
  • Are aspirin and ibuprofen worse for the reproductive health and future fertility of boys than more the more notable chemicals – like BPA – found in plastics? European researchers say yes based on a study of pregnant women who took those common painkillers.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at