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How bad is it?

As Elizabeth Nash from the Guttmacher Institute clearly laid out in the Netroots Nation panel on state attacks on reprodutive rights, we are under attack, yes it’s worse than ever, no it’s not getting better. In state legislatures across the country this session, 76 abortion restrictions were adopted in 15 different states. Many states, including Alabama, Lousiana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconson, are still moving forward with legislation. Recent restrictions range from banning abortion after 20 weeks on the bogus premise that is when a fetus …

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This has been adapted from its original publication at AMSA On Call

As most of you are well aware, last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that creates new, harmful restrictions on reproductive health care. The Hyde Amendment already ensures that no taxpayer funding goes towards pregnancy termination; this bill goes beyond current law by raising taxes on small businesses and the self-employed who wish to purchase a private insurance plan that includes abortion care.

Many of you contacted

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The White House released a statement this afternoon calling on Congress to support its budget proposal for $8.6 billion this fiscal year – and a total of $63 billion over six years – to shape a new, comprehensive global health strategy.  The President’s statement argued that, "We cannot simply confront individual preventable illnesses in isolation. The world is interconnected, and that demands an integrated approach to global health."

This initiative continues current efforts to fight HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria begun by the Bush Administration with the President’s Emergency Plan for …

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Today is the second to last day of University Coalitions for Global Health’s Global Health Week of Action, a campaign to raise awareness on a breath of global health issues and call on young people and allies to take action.

So far, we’ve called on universities to make the fruits of their research available in low- and middle-income countries by signing the Philadelphia Consensus Statement, demanded the creation of a transparent and sustainable U.S. global health strategy that will strengthen health systems and bolster health work forces, …

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When push comes to shove, if a woman wants to terminate her pregnancy but can’t either access services or afford the procedure, the right afforded to her under Roe is not enough.  While having the right is still important and meaningful, for too many women– particularly young women, immigrant women, and women of color– this right is not experienced in practice. 

Public policies as well as social and economic barriers inhibit reproductive justice and, as advocates, we must remember looking forward that we still have a great many battles left to win.  

One issue is access. 

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"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

Found in the plurality opinion of Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which reaffirmed the central holding of Roe v. Wade (1973) and a woman’s constitutional right to choose, this statement is also central to the ongoing abortion debate in this country. 

Most anti-choice activists oppose abortion on moral or religious grounds, claiming that life begins at conception and that all life is sacred.  Pro-choice activists at times revert to rebuking this …

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For the "We Are One" inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, Bishop Gene Robinson, an outspoken international gay rights leader, was invited to deliver the invocation for the festivities. 

Today, he delivered a beautiful invocation that was seemingly purposefully omitted from the television broadcast of the event and given before the President-elect was even seated on stage. 

This is a damn shame.  It was a meaningful prayer that spoke to the real sort of unity (read: not the Rick Warren kind) we need in this country moving forward.

So, …

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Even in the face of people doing stupid things.  In the Obamas’ first interview since the election, 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft said the following to Michelle:

I know you’ve said that your first priority is to be mom in chief.

Michelle Obama:


You’re a Harvard Law School grad yourself. And a Princeton grad. You were a high-powered executive.

And then he proceded to pose his question on the matter to her husband:

How long do you give her, knocking around that big house, before she starts to want

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Friday in the Washington Post, Michael Gerson illuminated various issues that Obama should avoid so as to not share the same fate as Clinton.  One of these "tipwires" shockingly is abortion.  He writes:

There are at least 16 provisions passed routinely by Congress that limit governmental involvement in abortion and other life issues — measures that prevent the domestic funding of abortion, forbid the use of international family planning funds for abortion, protect the rights of medical professionals to refuse involvement in the procedure and prohibit the patenting

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According to the Guardian, yesterday, MPs in the United Kingdom’s House of Commons blocked debate on various abortion related issues.  One of the main reforms up for debate is the liberalization of abortion controls in Northern Ireland, where women currently need two doctors to approve that their pregnancy would damage their physical or mental health. 

Read more from Ipas:

In Northern Ireland, an abortion can only be performed after there is medical proof that the pregnancy will damage the woman’s mental or physical health. However, the legal