Roundup: Texas Legislature Considering Ultrasound Bill

Roundup: Texas Legislature Considering Ultrasound Bill

Emily Douglas

Texas legislature considers ultrasound bill; withdrawal is more effective than previously thought; Americans United for Life planning to "have fun" with Supreme Court nomination fight; photographs of Rwandan rape survivors and their children.

Texas State Legislature Considering Ultrasound Requirement Bill

According to LifeNews,
the Texas state legislature is considering a measure that would "allow"
women to view an ultrasound prior to terminating a pregnancy: "Although
the state Senate
Senate Bill 182, to make Texas the seventeenth state
to allow women to see a pre-abortion ultrasound, the bill has stalled
in the House."  LifeNews doesn’t mention that the introduced version of the bill required women
to view an ultrasound prior to termination and required doctors to
provide a description (women were allowed to avert their eyes).  "Before it passed the
Senate the bill was substituted and now does not require a provider to perform
an ultrasound, but does require the provider to offer the woman the option to have
the ultrasound and if she also wants, to see the image and get an explanation," explains Guttmacher’s Elizabeth Nash.  The bill is
now headed to the House floor, but the legislature adjourns June 1,
meaning there isn’t much time to take action on this legislation.

Withdrawal More Effective than Previously Thought
In this month’s issue of the journal Contraception, Guttmacher’s
Rachel Jones reports that when performed correctly, withdrawal is a
more effective method of contraception than has traditionally been
assumed by the reproductive and sexual health community.  (Feministe’s riposte: "Oh God, was your high school boyfriend onto something?")

The best available estimates indicate that with "perfect use," 4% of
couples relying on withdrawal will become pregnant within a year,
compared with 2% of couples relying on the male condom. More realistic
estimates suggest that with "typical use," 18% of couples relying on
withdrawal will become pregnant within a year, compared with 17% of
those using the male condom. In other words, with either method, more
than eight in 10 avoid pregnancy.

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Broadsheet’s Lynn Harris
talked to Heather Corinna about the study:

"Younger men have less
awareness and control over ejaculation, and younger women are more
fertile than older women," Scarleteen
founder Heather Corinna told Broadsheet. "And if we’re being really
forthright, we also can safely say this is probably the most-sabotaged
method by male partners. In other words, it’s the one male partners
will most often agree to, then not comply with, either by talking a
female partner into just letting them ejaculate, or by saying they did
so on accident when it wasn’t at all accidental."

As to whether it’s a safe and reliable method, Amelia at The Frisky writes, "If there has been "finger-pointing," it’s been at women (and men) who
pull and pray with random sexual partners – a pretty stupid idea,
especially since it doesn’t prevent STDs. I’ve practiced withdrawal in
the past-idiotically, I might add. I came out of it unscathed, but I
don’t think I deserve a pat on the back for what was a stupid move. Did
I just shame myself?"

Americans United for Life Planning to "Have Fun" with Supreme Court Nomination Fight
"When you have nothing to lose, you can just have fun," said Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life to the Washington Post, regarding the upcoming Supreme Court nomination fight. Yoest and other pro-lifers think they have the public on their side:

of abortion are pointing to the Gallup Poll’s recent finding that 51
percent of Americans call themselves "pro-life" rather than pro-choice
on the issue of abortion, the first time a majority has given that
answer in the 15 years Gallup has asked the question. And they have
been encouraged by the firestorm over Obama’s recent speech at the
University of Notre Dame, a speech in which the president — who
supports abortion rights — called for "common ground" in the emotional

Photographs of Rwandan Rape Survivors and Their Children
Thanks to Feministing
for tipping me off to Jonathan Torgovnik’s photographs of the children
of Rwandan rape survivors — they’re in Mother Jones this month (behind
a subscription wall) and also on Torgovnik’s website in a series called "Intended Consequences." 

Other News to Note
May 22: WSJ: The Real Pregnancy Crisis

May 22: MedPage Today: Women Still Drinking During Pregnancy

May 22: Ancaster News: Bishop Tonnos students take pro-life message to Ottawa rally

May 21: NYTimes Blogs (The Caucus): Tracking Public Opinion on Abortion: It’s Tricky

May 21: Chicago Tribune: Redefining ‘pro-life’?

May 21: Nashville Post Politics Blog: Not Pro-Life, Anti-Choice

May 21: The Bulletin (Philadelphia): Pro-Life Commercial Airs Twice During ‘American Idol’

May 21: The Week: The pro-life delusion

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