What does it mean to be pro-choice? For an increasing number of activists, advocates, and advocacy organizations, it includes wanting to be identified with an agenda more comprehensive than supporting a woman’s right to choose abortion—as in, dropping the “choice” label entirely.
So far this year, 13 states have adopted 21 new restrictions designed to limit access to abortion, about half the number (41) of similar restrictions that had been enacted by this point last year.
According to statements made at a recent conference attended by RH Reality Check, the National Right to Life Committee plans to perform stings of abortion clinics, while also pushing for an expansion of the laws that govern abortion to allow third parties to sue the clinics in civil court for alleged violations.
Increasing the state’s waiting period from 24 to 72 hours was one of state Republican lawmakers’ top priorities during the legislative session. Only two states, Utah and South Dakota, require a 72-hour waiting period.
At last weekend’s National Right to Life Committee’s convention, Mary Spaulding Balch criticized the legislative strategy used by other anti-choice groups to pass 20-week abortion bans by claiming the procedure is dangerous to women. The proper approach, she said, is to base the argument around the unborn.
On this episode of Reality Cast, I talk to Katrina Anderson, a representative from the Center for Reproductive Rights, about a report on access to reproductive health care in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Also, I cover the Supreme Court’s decision on clinic buffer zones, and the melee over George Will’s column minimizing the problem of campus rape.
A spokesperson for Femcare told the Asheville Citizen-Times that the clinic would be closing on Saturday, but declined any further comment.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently asked Planned Parenthood facilities in the state to submit transfer agreement and admitting privileges information, even though the state currently does not require clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. A spokesperson said a department employee was acting on his or her own.
Ultimately, we do not see the passage of HB 2 as a total loss. On the contrary, we recognize that that moment was an opportunity and an opening.
RH Reality Check is pleased to bring you a few of the thousands of stories that unfolded during the summer of 2013 at the state capitol in Austin, Texas.