Roundup: Third-Trimester Abortions May Continue in Kansas

Amy Dempsey

Third-Trimester Abortions May Continue in Kansas; Bills Threaten Abortion Care in Arizona; Are Threats and Violence Breaking Down Abortion Rights?

Third-Trimester Abortions May Continue in Kansas
According to the Huffington Post,
LeRoy Carhart told the Associated Press that third-trimester abortions
will still be accessible in Kansas. He did not say whether he intended to open a new facitility, or using Dr. George Tiller’s former
clinic. 

Carhart told AP a day after the Tiller family announced they
would permanently close the clinic, "I just think that until everything
is in place, it’s something that doesn’t need to be talked about."

Carhart runs his own abortion clinic in Nebraska, but performed
late-term abortions at Tiller’s Wichita clinic because Nebraska has
very restrictive abortion laws, which do not allow abortions if the
fetuses are deemed viable.

The blog
also said, that although Carhart has never done a late-term abortion at
his own clinic, he welcomed the staff from Dr. Tiller’s clinic to help
train his staff in Nebraska.

Bills Threaten Abortion Care in Arizona

Brian Howard, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, wrote an opinion article in the Arizona Republic discussing the consequences of Senate Bill 1206, which would put restrictions on abortions. The article argues that those who back the legislation are not considering the affected women or their health care providers.

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If passed, abortion care will only be available in three communities in
the state, which would increase expenses because women may have to
take more days off work, and if they are already mothers, arrange child
care while they are away. The bill will also implement a 24-hour
waiting period, which could cause medical risks for women.

According to the Arizona Republic,
the Bill guarantees health care services and other "safety net
services" for women considering abortion, but the article says the
Legislature recently adopted a budget that shrinks the services
guaranteed in the Bill.

Howard argues that Planned Parenthood does more than any other organization to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

He says:

 

"…it is particularly disheartening when abortion opponents
simultaneously oppose good legislation that would actually protect
Arizonans. House Bill 2544, which Planned Parenthood supports, requires
our schools to provide comprehensive, abstinence-based sex education.
The very same voices who are endangering abortion care have worked
equally hard to make sure HB 2544 doesn’t get a hearing – and it
hasn’t."


Are Threats and Violence Breaking Down Abortion Rights?
Protesters are gone and harassment has ceased. What was once the
site of a three-decade long battle, Dr. George Tiller’s clinic is
closed after he was killed May 31. According to a Reuters article, his murder was one of 60 threats and violent acts this year.

Vicki Saporta, chief executive of the National Abortion Federation,
says, "It’s a reign of terror against abortion providers." 

Saporta is
part of a coalition of abortion rights leaders who recently met with
Justice Department officials to request more protection of abortion
clinics.

The article says:

In recent years, U.S. clinics have been bombed, set on fire,
threatened with anthrax and acid, and physicians have been stalked and
patients harassed.

During the first half of 2009, along with 67 burglaries, assaults
and other violent incidents, there have been 1,400 reports of hate mail
and/or harassing phone calls received by clinics, the highest level in
a decade, according to the federation.

OTHER NEWS TO NOTE:

June 15: Christian Century: Pro-choice perspective

June 15: LifeNews: Pro-Life News: Obama, Abortion, LeRoy Carhart, Futile Care, Terri Schiavo, Ireland, Minnesota

June 15: The Item: Birth control items strewn about front yard

June 14: Examiner: Anti-abortion hoax on internet

June 15: China Daily: Rich flout family planning

June 14: Press Association:Parents ‘no longer prudish on sex’

June 15: USA Today: Your Health: A ‘long-term struggle to sell vasectomy’

June 15: TVNZ: Primary sex ed programme upsets lobby group

June 14: Yemen News Agency: Awareness course on reproductive health family planning launched in Marib

June 15: Times of India:5 abortions later, wife files plaint

June 13: Kansas City Star: Was suspect in Tiller case a ‘lone wolf’?

June 15: HuffPo: No Child Left Behind = All Boys Left Behind

June 15: The NZ Press: Nine-year-olds to learn about sex

June 14: Canadian Press: Manitoba may open adoption records as far back as 1925

June 14: Parenting Freedom: [VIDEO] Bill O’Reilly Takes On Joan Walsh About Late-Term Abortions

June 14: Reuters: Threats, violence seen eroding U.S. abortion rights

June 14: East Oregonian:Public health closures affect everyone

June 14: Big C Catholics Blog:[VIDEO] Pro-life Commercial Banned By NBC, CNN

June 14: Nj.com: Innocent babies feel the pain of abortion

June 14: Tennessean: We should fight agenda of hate

June 14: LoHud.com: Pro-life devotees not interested in bullets

June 14: Advertiser-Tribune: Latta and Gardner address pro-life group over breakfast

June 14: SFGate: Armed and extreme – but buried in briefs

June 14: Mirror.co.uk: Free condoms for teenagers will reduce unwanted pregnancies

June 14: Hartford Courant: Female Condoms Deserve Wider Acceptance

June 12: Catholic News Agency: Doctors in Madrid reject abortion without parental consent

June 12: Catholic News Agency: Rep. Smith: New Women’s Issues office part of Administration push for abortion

June 13: Palm Beach Post: Abortion debate hotter than ever 36 years after Roe vs. Wade

June 13: Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle:Tiller’s lawyer tells of fears preceding slaying

June 13: AP:DA unable to pursue criminal abortion charge

June 13: Trendhunter: Giant Needlecraft Condoms

June 10: America Magazine:Kissling v. Kelley

June 13: Catholic Exchange: How George Tiller Drove his Own Employee to Join Operation Rescue

June 12: Catholic News Agency: Rep. Smith: New Women’s Issues office part of Administration push for abortion

June 13: Women’s eNews:New Pill Adds Choice; Women Flee Pakistan Battles

June 15: Miami Herald: Photos inspire families to open homes to foster kids

June 13: Arizona Republic: Bills threaten abortion care

June 12: Christian NewsWire:Pro-Life Action League Tells Obama, ‘Abortion is Not Health Care’: Group to Protest Health Care Speech at A.M.A. Meeting

June 12: Feministing: Abortion cartoons: Where is the woman’s voice?

June 12: Catholic Courier: Abortion bill introduced in N.Y. Senate at governor’s request

June 13: WaPo: Abortion Back on the Front Burner

June 12: Denver Post: Abortion and terrorism

June 13: Salt Lake Tribune: Hodges: Murder of abortion doctor a tragedy on both sides of the debate

June 12: Colorado Independent: Pro-Life Leaders Jailed Over Protest at Focus on the Family

June 12: LifeNews: Planned Parenthood Abortion Businesses in Connecticut, Rhode Island to Merge

June 12: Feministing: Igniting Change

June 11: American Diabetes Association:Many Obese And Diabetic Women Neglect Contraception

June 12: National Post:B.C. anti-abortion group takes radical stance

June 15: HuffPo:Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Can Work Together

June 12: Christian NewsWire:Caritas Christi Abortion Scandal — More Questions, No Answers from Boston’s Cardinal

June 12: Women News Network:Doctors campaign for safe abortion in Zambia

June 12: Feminists for Choice: Why I Am a Pro-Choice Dude

June 12: LifeNews: Pro-Life Women’s Group Calls on Senate to Stop Obama Intl Abortion Agenda

June 12: Townhall.com:Put the Life Back in ‘Pro-Life’

June 12: LifeNews: Poll: Half of Americans Oppose or Unsure on Sotomayor, Respect Pro-Life Judges

June 12: Phoenix Insurgent: Kansas Bleeding Again

June 12: PBS: Issue Clash:Late Abortions

June 12: The Frisky: Why Is The Face Of Abortion Always A Woman’s?

June 12: All Africa: Mozambique: ‘There Hasn’t Been Adequate Emphasis On Family Planning’

June 12: Suzy B: Home Gender Tests and Sex-Selective Abortion in the U.S.

June 12: LifeSiteNews: More Briefs Surface Showing Sotomayor’s Abortion Ties

June 12: LifeNews:Obama Likely Not Serious on Reducing Abortions, But Concedes Pro-Life Ground

June 11: The Week:Pro-life: what it means

June 12: UPI: Blogger’s false baby story fools thousands

June 10: Indy Week: Living in the abortion wars

June 12: HuffPo: New Health Disparities Report: More Context for Higher Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion Rates Among Women of Color

June 12: Philadelphia Daily News: Christine M. Flowers: Abortion distortion

June 12: Springfield News-Sun: Pregnancy center helps men, too

June 11: Daily Dish/Atlantic:A Christianist Terror Threat

June 11: NYTimes/Domestic Disturbances Blog: The Wages of Hate

June 11: U.S. Common Sense:Domestic terrorism, hate crimes, or other?

June 12: En Passant: Labor’s Anna Bligh attacks abortion rights

June 12: Christian Post:House Approves Bill to Create ‘International Abortion HQ’

June 12: SC Times: Catholic Charities schedules adoption meeting

June 12: Chicago Examiner: I don’t condone it, but . . .

June 12: Catholic Culture: VERMONT CATHOLIC SCHOOL CANCELS ANTI-RACISM EVENT OVER AFFILIATE’S ABORTION, GAY MARRIAGE STANCE

June 12: Swiss Info: Woman’s case prompts contraceptive scrutiny

June 12: AP: Wichita billboard companies reject PETA plan for billboards in wake of Tiller’s death

June 12: Flowing Data:Abortion Rates in the United States, 1970-2005

June 11: Crooks and Liars: Rachel Maddow uncovers new threats on abortion clinics

News Politics

Clinton Campaign Announces Tim Kaine as Pick for Vice President

Ally Boguhn

The prospect of Kaine’s selection has been criticized by some progressives due to his stances on issues including abortion as well as bank and trade regulation.

The Clinton campaign announced Friday that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) has been selected to join Hillary Clinton’s ticket as her vice presidential candidate.

“I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others,” said Clinton in a tweet.

“.@TimKaine is a relentless optimist who believes no problem is unsolvable if you put in the work to solve it,” she added.

The prospect of Kaine’s selection has been criticized by some progressives due to his stances on issues including abortion as well as bank and trade regulation.

Kaine signed two letters this week calling for the regulations on banks to be eased, according to a Wednesday report published by the Huffington Post, thereby ”setting himself up as a figure willing to do battle with the progressive wing of the party.”

Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the progressive political action committee Democracy for America, told the New York Times that Kaine’s selection “could be disastrous for our efforts to defeat Donald Trump in the fall” given the senator’s apparent support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Just before Clinton’s campaign made the official announcement that Kaine had been selected, the senator praised the TPP during an interview with the Intercept, though he signaled he had ultimately not decided how he would vote on the matter.

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Kaine’s record on reproductive rights has also generated controversy as news began to circulate that he was being considered to join Clinton’s ticket. Though Kaine recently argued in favor of providing Planned Parenthood with access to funding to fight the Zika virus and signed on as a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act—which would prohibit states and the federal government from enacting restrictions on abortion that aren’t applied to comparable medical services—he has also been vocal about his personal opposition to abortion.

In a June interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Kaine told host Chuck Todd he was “personally” opposed to abortion. He went on, however, to affirm that he still believed “not just as a matter of politics, but even as a matter of morality, that matters about reproduction and intimacy and relationships and contraception are in the personal realm. They’re moral decisions for individuals to make for themselves. And the last thing we need is government intruding into those personal decisions.”

As Rewire has previously reported, though Kaine may have a 100 percent rating for his time in the Senate from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the campaign website for his 2005 run for governor of Virginia promised he would “work in good faith to reduce abortions” by enforcing Virginia’s “restrictions on abortion and passing an enforceable ban on partial birth abortion that protects the life and health of the mother.”

As governor, Kaine did support some existing restrictions on abortion, including Virginia’s parental consent law and a so-called informed consent law. He also signed a 2009 measure that created “Choose Life” license plates in the state, and gave a percentage of the proceeds to a crisis pregnancy network.

Regardless of Clinton’s vice president pick, the “center of gravity in the Democratic Party has shifted in a bold, populist, progressive direction,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in an emailed statement. “It’s now more important than ever that Hillary Clinton run an aggressive campaign on core economic ideas like expanding Social Security, debt-free college, Wall Street reform, and yes, stopping the TPP. It’s the best way to unite the Democratic Party, and stop Republicans from winning over swing voters on bread-and-butter issues.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article included a typo that misidentified Sen. Tim Kaine as a Republican. We regret this error.

Roundups Sexual Health

This Week in Sex: The Sexually Transmitted Infections Edition

Martha Kempner

A new Zika case suggests the virus can be transmitted from an infected woman to a male partner. And, in other news, HPV-related cancers are on the rise, and an experimental chlamydia vaccine shows signs of promise.

This Week in Sex is a weekly summary of news and research related to sexual behavior, sexuality education, contraception, STIs, and more.

Zika May Have Been Sexually Transmitted From a Woman to Her Male Partner

A new case suggests that males may be infected with the Zika virus through unprotected sex with female partners. Researchers have known for a while that men can infect their partners through penetrative sexual intercourse, but this is the first suspected case of sexual transmission from a woman.

The case involves a New York City woman who is in her early 20s and traveled to a country with high rates of the mosquito-borne virus (her name and the specific country where she traveled have not been released). The woman, who experienced stomach cramps and a headache while waiting for her flight back to New York, reported one act of sexual intercourse without a condom the day she returned from her trip. The following day, her symptoms became worse and included fever, fatigue, a rash, and tingling in her hands and feet. Two days later, she visited her primary-care provider and tests confirmed she had the Zika virus.

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A few days after that (seven days after intercourse), her male partner, also in his 20s, began feeling similar symptoms. He had a rash, a fever, and also conjunctivitis (pink eye). He, too, was diagnosed with Zika. After meeting with him, public health officials in the New York City confirmed that he had not traveled out of the country nor had he been recently bit by a mosquito. This leaves sexual transmission from his partner as the most likely cause of his infection, though further tests are being done.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommendations for preventing Zika have been based on the assumption that virus was spread from a male to a receptive partner. Therefore the recommendations had been that pregnant women whose male partners had traveled or lived in a place where Zika virus is spreading use condoms or abstain from sex during the pregnancy. For those couples for whom pregnancy is not an issue, the CDC recommended that men who had traveled to countries with Zika outbreaks and had symptoms of the virus, use condoms or abstain from sex for six months after their trip. It also suggested that men who traveled but don’t have symptoms use condoms for at least eight weeks.

Based on this case—the first to suggest female-to-male transmission—the CDC may extend these recommendations to couples in which a female traveled to a country with an outbreak.

More Signs of Gonorrhea’s Growing Antibiotic Resistance

Last week, the CDC released new data on gonorrhea and warned once again that the bacteria that causes this common sexually transmitted infection (STI) is becoming resistant to the antibiotics used to treat it.

There are about 350,000 cases of gonorrhea reported each year, but it is estimated that 800,000 cases really occur with many going undiagnosed and untreated. Once easily treatable with antibiotics, the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae has steadily gained resistance to whole classes of antibiotics over the decades. By the 1980s, penicillin no longer worked to treat it, and in 2007 the CDC stopped recommending the use of fluoroquinolones. Now, cephalosporins are the only class of drugs that work. The recommended treatment involves a combination of ceftriaxone (an injectable cephalosporin) and azithromycin (an oral antibiotic).

Unfortunately, the data released last week—which comes from analysis of more than 5,000 samples of gonorrhea (called isolates) collected from STI clinics across the country—shows that the bacteria is developing resistance to these drugs as well. In fact, the percentage of gonorrhea isolates with decreased susceptibility to azithromycin increased more than 300 percent between 2013 and 2014 (from 0.6 percent to 2.5 percent).

Though no cases of treatment failure has been reported in the United States, this is a troubling sign of what may be coming. Dr. Gail Bolan, director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, said in a press release: “It is unclear how long the combination therapy of azithromycin and ceftriaxone will be effective if the increases in resistance persists. We need to push forward on multiple fronts to ensure we can continue offering successful treatment to those who need it.”

HPV-Related Cancers Up Despite Vaccine 

The CDC also released new data this month showing an increase in HPV-associated cancers between 2008 and 2012 compared with the previous five-year period. HPV or human papillomavirus is an extremely common sexually transmitted infection. In fact, HPV is so common that the CDC believes most sexually active adults will get it at some point in their lives. Many cases of HPV clear spontaneously with no medical intervention, but certain types of the virus cause cancer of the cervix, vulva, penis, anus, mouth, and neck.

The CDC’s new data suggests that an average of 38,793 HPV-associated cancers were diagnosed each year between 2008 and 2012. This is a 17 percent increase from about 33,000 each year between 2004 and 2008. This is a particularly unfortunate trend given that the newest available vaccine—Gardasil 9—can prevent the types of HPV most often linked to cancer. In fact, researchers estimated that the majority of cancers found in the recent data (about 28,000 each year) were caused by types of the virus that could be prevented by the vaccine.

Unfortunately, as Rewire has reported, the vaccine is often mired in controversy and far fewer young people have received it than get most other recommended vaccines. In 2014, only 40 percent of girls and 22 percent of boys ages 13 to 17 had received all three recommended doses of the vaccine. In comparison, nearly 80 percent of young people in this age group had received the vaccine that protects against meningitis.

In response to the newest data, Dr. Electra Paskett, co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, told HealthDay:

In order to increase HPV vaccination rates, we must change the perception of the HPV vaccine from something that prevents a sexually transmitted disease to a vaccine that prevents cancer. Every parent should ask the question: If there was a vaccine I could give my child that would prevent them from developing six different cancers, would I give it to them? The answer would be a resounding yes—and we would have a dramatic decrease in HPV-related cancers across the globe.

Making Inroads Toward a Chlamydia Vaccine

An article published in the journal Vaccine shows that researchers have made progress with a new vaccine to prevent chlamydia. According to lead researcher David Bulir of the M. G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at Canada’s McMaster University, efforts to create a vaccine have been underway for decades, but this is the first formulation to show success.

In 2014, there were 1.4 million reported cases of chlamydia in the United States. While this bacterial infection can be easily treated with antibiotics, it often goes undiagnosed because many people show no symptoms. Untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can leave scar tissue in the fallopian tubes or uterus and ultimately result in infertility.

The experimental vaccine was created by Canadian researchers who used pieces of the bacteria that causes chlamydia to form an antigen they called BD584. The hope was that the antigen could prompt the body’s immune system to fight the chlamydia bacteria if exposed to it.

Researchers gave BD584 to mice using a nasal spray, and then exposed them to chlamydia. The results were very promising. The mice who received the spray cleared the infection faster than the mice who did not. Moreover, the mice given the nasal spray were less likely to show symptoms of infection, such as bacterial shedding from the vagina or fluid blockages of the fallopian tubes.

There are many steps to go before this vaccine could become available. The researchers need to test it on other strains of the bacteria and in other animals before testing it in humans. And, of course, experience with the HPV vaccine shows that there’s work to be done to make sure people get vaccines that prevent STIs even after they’re invented. Nonetheless, a vaccine to prevent chlamydia would be a great victory in our ongoing fight against STIs and their health consequences, and we here at This Week in Sex are happy to end on a bit of a positive note.