January 22, 2013
Forty years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that women had a constitutional right to an abortion. This one sweeping decision transformed abortion from what was often a secret, illicit and dangerous act, sometimes crudely self-inflicted, into a generally legal and safe procedure. But it also turned abortion, always an emotional issue, into one of society's most divisive. Unlike many landmark Supreme Court cases that have become accepted parts of our culture - such as Brown vs. Board of Education, which declared school segregation unconstitutional, or Loving vs. Virginia, which overturned state bans on interracial marriage - Roe did not lead to a clear national consensus on abortion.
January 22, 2013 |
Forty years after the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision struck down laws forbidding abortions, support for a legal right to end a pregnancy has grown, according to new polls released this week. The shift has come largely from increased support for legal abortion among Latinos and blacks, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal survey . The survey for the first time found a majority of Americans supporting legal abortion in all or most cases. The shift among African Americans and Latinos could indicate that both population groups, which have strongly supported the Democratic Party in recent years, have begun taking on the party's views on social issues.
January 18, 2013 |
This post has been corrected. For details, see the note at the bottom. Premiering today at the Sundance Film Festival as part of the U.S. documentary competition, “After Tiller” is an intimate and heartfelt look at the four doctors performing third-trimester abortions in the United States, doing so even after the 2009 assassination of such a physician, Dr. George Tiller. Directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, who spent almost three years on the project, the film brings an emotional clarity to an issue in which every nuanced turn of phrase has been made politically complicated.
January 1, 2013 |
After losing a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, craft stores chain Hobby Lobby said it would defy a federal healthcare mandate requiring employers to provide their workers with insurance that covers emergency contraceptives. The Oklahoma City-based chain, owned by a conservative Christian family, had applied to the high court to block a part of the federal healthcare law ordering companies to offer insurance that covers contraceptive drugs, including the so-called morning-after pill.
December 18, 2012 |
The Irish government announced Tuesday that it would draft new laws and regulations to spell out when doctors can terminate a pregnancy, weeks after an ailing woman was refused an abortion and perished. Exactly what rules will be proposed is still unclear, but activists celebrated the move as the first step toward addressing the legal confusion over abortion in the largely Roman Catholic country. “We can see our government will be taking this issue seriously,” said James Burke, a member of the Termination for Medical Reasons Ireland campaign.
November 21, 2012 |
The rate of abortions in the United States fell by 5%, the largest single-year decrease in a decade, researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The decline is outlined in the annual abortion surveillance data for the year 2009, the latest available. It was published on Wednesday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. About 18% of all pregnancies in the United States end in abortion, the CDC noted. Factors from the availability of abortion providers, state laws, the general economy and access to health services including contraception, can all influence the abortion rate, according to the CDC. An important way to reduce abortions is to eliminate unwanted pregnancies.
November 15, 2012 |
Outrage over the death of an Indian woman denied an abortion in Ireland resounded in her home country this week, as politicians and her grieving parents demanded changes in Irish laws. "We should lodge a very strong protest with the Irish authorities as they are responsible for committing a crime which resulted in loss of a human life," politician Brinda Karat told the Press Trust of India . “They preferred to sacrifice the young...
November 14, 2012 |
The death of an ailing woman who was refused an abortion in an Irish hospital has inflamed longstanding concern about Ireland's tight restrictions on when women can terminate a pregnancy. Praveen Halappanavar told the Irish Times that his wife, Savita, was suffering intense pain and had been told her baby would not survive. Upset but resigned to losing her child, she was denied an abortion despite repeated pleas with their Galway hospital as she suffered shakes and vomiting, Halappanavar told the newspaper.
November 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - An antiabortion protester who won the right to display pictures of aborted fetuses at a busy intersection can collect lawyers' fees from local officials, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The justices said that because a South Carolina antiabortion activist had a free-speech right to display photos of aborted fetuses even though they shocked some motorists, he could also claim his legal fees under civil rights law after his rights were upheld in court. Although the ruling concerned only legal fees, it probably will strengthen the hand of abortion protesters who clash with police or city officials.
November 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that an antiabortion protester who won the right to carry displays of aborted fetuses at a busy intersection is a civil rights advocate entitled to claim attorneys' fees in his case against a local government. The justices in an unsigned opinion said that because the South Carolina antiabortion activist had a free-speech right to "carry pictures of aborted fetuses" that had shocked bystanders, he also had the right under the Civil Rights Act to claim legal fees for vindicating this right in the courts.