Roundup: Spain to Liberalize Abortion Laws

Emily Douglas

Spain to liberalize abortion laws; anti-choicers target state funding for Planned Parenthood; Brazil shuts down websites selling misoprostol; medical records follow Phill Kline to Virginia; Sarah Palin silent as National Abstinence Education Association criticizes Bristol; men's reactions to abortion.

Spain to Liberalize Abortion Laws
Despite a strong Catholic presence in the country, Spain is set to liberalize its abortion laws, GMANews reports: "
A parliamentary committee took the first step this week, recommending
that the government legalize early stage abortions, while gradually
imposing more restrictions as pregnancies progress." 
Despite the fact that abortion, except in the case of threats to a
woman’s physical or mental health, is currently illegal in the country,
Spain has one of the highest rates of abortion in Europe.

Anti-Choicers Target State Funding for Planned Parenthood
Big losses in Congress and the White House haven’t
deterred anti-choicers, of course.  Instead they’re focusing their
efforts on state-level legislation and attacking state-level funding of Planned Parenthood.  Writes the Springfield, Ill., State Journal-Register, "In its largest-ever state-based initiative, the Family Research Council
(FRC) is contacting every state lawmaker in the country with a plea to
eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, one of the nation’s largest
providers of family planning and abortion services…Planned Parenthood has long been a favorite target for abortion
opponents, who chafe at the $337 million that the organization receives
from public sources to help run its 880 clinics nationwide. States are
the center of the action because 17 state legislatures permit their
funds to be used for abortions. Federal funds, by contrast, can support
only non-abortion services, such as counseling and birth control."  Planned Parenthood responds:

“Public funding of family planning services is an investment in
prevention care that has numerous dividends,” Tait Sye, spokesperson
for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says in an e-mailed
statement. “Cutting public funding of family planning is bad public
policy, will leave even more women without access to vital health care
services, and will lead to increased health care costs for the state.”


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Brazil Shuts Down Websites Selling Misoprostol

Around 75 websites distributing misoprostol in Brazil, where abortion is illegal, have been shut down, the Christian Telegraph reports. Some women’s health advocates argue that where unsafe abortion is not available, misoprostol can be a safe option.  Abortion is illegal in Brazil.

Medical Records Follow Phill Kline to Virginia

How did the medical records of women seeking late-term abortions in Kansas end up in Virginia?  By accident, claims the attorney for Phill Kline, the former Kansas Attorney General whose witch-hunt against abortion provider Dr. George Tiller led him to subpoena women’s medical records without justification.  Kline now lives in Virginia, working as a university instructor, reports. It’s enough for the Kansas City Star to editorialize:


Regardless of who is at fault, the judge in the case initiated by
Kline should be very disturbed by the thought of patients’ records
zipping across the country and back.

Kline may be an unwitting bystander in this latest outrage, but a
former aide testified that he kept patients’ records in his apartment
dining at one point while Kline was changing jobs. And the Kansas
Supreme Court criticized Kline when he was district attorney for his
handling of records from the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Johnson

These instances validate the concerns of the operators of clinics in
Johnson County and Wichita, who predicted that patients’ privacy would
be jeopardized. If investigations of this sort are begun in the future,
judges have to come up with a more secure system.


Sarah Palin Silent as National Abstinence Education Association Criticizes Bristol Palin
On The Huffington Post, Geoffrey Dunn points out that Gov. Sarah
Palin has not stepped in to defend her daughter Bristol after the
National Abstinence Education Association sent out press releases
criticizing her arguments in a recent Fox News interview.  Writes Dunn,

But only weeks after Sarah Palin said "leave my kids alone," her biggest "news" promoter, Van Susteren, sneaks into Alaska behind Palin’s back for a ratings-grabbing interview with Bristol. And then a conservative Christian group goes after her daughter.

Where’s Palin’s vituperative comeback at Van Susteren or the NAEA?

Her silence says truck loads.

Men’s Reactions to Abortion
On Nerve, Lauren B. writes about telling progressive, pro-choice men about her abortion – and their less-than-gracious reactions:

Before my abortion I never would have
imagined that seemingly antiquated ideas about gender — that women need
to be taken care of, that women always have binding ties to motherhood,
that female body processes are somehow alien or scary — would ever
surface in the New Yorker-toting media men I was dating, even if just for a moment, even if just when drunk.
Then they did, more than once, and it was
more than a bit depressing to realize that a fair number of liberal men
still possess confining notions about women, and while they would argue
wholeheartedly for reproductive rights in the political abstract, they
might personally judge me in bed at night.

Other News to Note
Feb 20: Time: Catholic Judges and Abortion: Did the Pope Set New

Feb 20: Weekly Standard: Time Magazine’s False Report on FOCA

Feb 21: News Leader:  Learning a new life: Bailey Alternative program
helps young parents finish education, cope with new responsibilities.

Feb 23: WA Today: Spray-on contraceptive could replace pill

Feb 20: Catholic Exchange: Focus on Foca

Feb 21: Renew America: University of Notre Dame’s new pro-life fund

Feb 21: The Christian Post: Seven States Seek Personhood Rights for Pre-Born

Feb 20: LifeSiteNews: CNN Rejects Life-Affirming Obama Ad – 2nd Major
Network to Do So

Feb 21: Beliefnet: Contraception: The Practical Pro-Life Approach

Feb 23: Denver Daily News: Personhood being adopted: Effort underway
in other states to enact failed Colo. initiative

Feb 20: The Texas Observer: Access Denied: Countless women are sexually assaulted as they attempt to immigrate into the United States. What happens to their reproductive rights when they wind up in U.S.

Feb 20: Cody Enterprise: Sex-ed task force stalled

Feb 22: Border to Border Radio: Florida House Calls for Criminal
Charges in Hialeah Abortion Clinic Death

Feb 22: In Forum: Let’s hope our common sense prevails over fertilized egg bill

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Reproductive rights are a public health issue. That's a fact.

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