Roundup: Arizona Governor Restricts Abortions

Amy Dempsey

Arizona Governor Restricts Abortions; At Sotomayor Hearing, Feinstein Explains Casey Case; U.S. Hispanics on Abortion, Shift Between Generations

Arizona Governor Restricts Abortions
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
signed a bill Monday that restricts access to abortion for many women.
The bill will implement a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before a
woman can get an abortion after she visits an abortion provider, who
will be required to notify a woman of her fetus’s probable
characteristics, risks of the procedure and abortion alternatives,
according to The Associated Press.

existing law for under-aged teenagers wanting to get an abortion will
also become stricter, and pharmacists and health care providers can
also refuse to give out emergency contraceptives for religious or moral
reasons, said the AP.

At Sotomayor Hearing, Feinstein Explains Casey Case
Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing Monday, California Sen. Diane
Feinstein, who supports Sotomayor, said what nominees say during the
hearings do not accurately predict how they will judge, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Referring to past nominees who said Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood
of Southeastern Pennsylvania vs. Casey "were precedents of the court
entitled to great respect," Feinstein said those same justices "voted
to overturn the key holding in Casey that laws restricting a
woman’s medical care must contain an exception to protect her health,"
the article said.

According to the article, Feinstein said:

"I’ve found it increasingly difficult to know, from answers to
questions we ask from this dais, how a nominee will actually act as a
Supreme Court justice,  because answers here are often indirect and
increasingly couched in euphemistic phrases."

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1992 Casey case revolved around laws that required a married woman who
wanted to get an abortion to let her husband know, and also required
parental consent for under-aged girls. The spousal notification
requirement was not upheld, but the parental consent law was, the Los Angeles Times reported.

U.S. Hispanics on Abortion, Shift Between Generations
A Reuters
article said Hispanics make up approximately 15 percent of the U.S.
population, and 22 percent of the 1.2 abortions in the United States in
2005, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Although Hispanics mostly
identify with the Roman Catholic Church, there has been a generational
shift among second-generation Latinos’ view of abortions.

Polls by
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health have shown more
tolerance toward the divisive issue.

The article
also referred a survey taken in California by the Public Policy
Institute of California which found yet another change across
generations. It said immigrant Latinos and U.S. born Latinos differed
in their views, with 62 percent of immigrant Latinos supporting more
abortion restrictions, and 65 percent of U.S. born Latinos think the
government should not implement more restrictions.


July 14: Washington Times:GOP aims to block federal funds for abortions

July 13: Examiner:Pharmacists must dispense morning after pill

July 13: NewsChannel 10: ProLife Midland Reacts to Planned Parenthood’s Sex Education

July 14: WSJ: The Catholic Double Standard

July 14: LA Times:Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a question of eugenics

July 13: ThinkProgress: Republicans Use Abortion To Try To Derail Health Reform

July 13: AP: Arizona governor approves abortion constraints

July 13: Medical News: IRIN examines ‘dramatic plunge’ in family planning international donor funding

July 14: National Law Journal: Bayer Sued Over Safety of Popular Birth Control Pills

July 13: Reuters:Generational shift for U.S. Hispanics on abortion

July 10: Global Health Council: Global: Falling Family Planning Funding Threatens Poverty Fight

July 13: HuffPo: Sotomayor Protester:"What About The Unborn?" (VIDEO)

July 13: WSJ:‘Today’ Piece Ignores Big Disagreements between Obama, Catholic Church

July 13: Deseret News: Hatch loses fight on abortion funding

July 13: NYTimes: About One Abortion Protester at Sotomayor Hearing

July 13: Southern Baptist ERLC opposes Sotomayor nomination, says she will ‘redefine the law’

July 13: HuffPo: The Moral of My Abortion Story

July 13: Iowa Independent: Cedar Rapids anti-abortion group gains legal help in IRS fight

July 13: AP: Abortion case plaintiff arrested at Senate hearing

July 13: U.S. News & World Report: Conservatives Wonder: Will Obama Fund Abortion?

July 13: LifeNews: Pro-Life African-Americans to Protest Abortion at NAACP Centennial Convention

July 13: WaPo: Anti-Abortion Leader to Testify at Sotomayor Hearing

July 13: NYTimes:90 Billion People, 1 Planet?

July 13: U.S. News & World Report: FDA OKs Single-Dose Plan B Emergency Contraceptive

July 13: Catholic News Service: Doctrinal congregation says direct abortion can never be justified

July 13: Opposing Views:Democrats Want Everyone to Pay for Abortions

July 13: Free Christian Press:The Most Pro-Life State Gains Momentum for Personhood Initiative as Lt Governor Signs On

July 13: AP: Analysis: Translating the Sotomayor hearing code

July 13: LifeNews: Obama Surgeon General Pick Regina Benjamin Wanted Docs to Learn Abortions

July 13: LA Times: Sotomayor hearing: Explaining the Casey abortion case

July 13: CPC Watcher: Searching for pro-woman adoption resources

July 13: Iowa Republican: Almost 70% of Iowans Want to Vote on Marriage

July 11: Examiner: Anti-abortion hardliners see criminalization of birth-control as common ground

July 13: Talking Points Memo: The Abortion Adoption Lottery

News Politics

Anti-Choice Democrats: ‘Open The Big Tent’ for Us

Christine Grimaldi & Ally Boguhn

“Make room for pro-life Democrats and invite pro-life, progressive independents back to the party to focus on the right to parent and ways to help women in crisis or unplanned pregnancies have more choices than abortion,” the group said in a report unveiled to allies at the event, including Democratic National Convention (DNC) delegates and the press.

Democrats for Life of America gathered Wednesday in Philadelphia during the party’s convention to honor Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) for his anti-choice viewpoints, and to strategize ways to incorporate their policies into the party.

The group attributed Democratic losses at the state and federal level to the party’s increasing embrace of pro-choice politics. The best way for Democrats to reclaim seats in state houses, governors’ offices, and the U.S. Congress, they charged, is to “open the big tent” to candidates who oppose legal abortion care.

“Make room for pro-life Democrats and invite pro-life, progressive independents back to the party to focus on the right to parent and ways to help women in crisis or unplanned pregnancies have more choices than abortion,” the group said in a report unveiled to allies at the event, including Democratic National Convention (DNC) delegates and the press.

Democrats for Life of America members repeatedly attempted to distance themselves from Republicans, reiterating their support for policies such as Medicaid expansion and paid maternity leave, which they believe could convince people to carry their pregnancies to term.

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Their strategy, however, could have been lifted directly from conservatives’ anti-choice playbook.

The group relies, in part, on data from Marist, a group associated with anti-choice polling, to suggest that many in the party side with them on abortion rights. Executive Director Kristen Day could not explain to Rewire why the group supports a 20-week abortion ban, while Janet Robert, president of the group’s board of directors, trotted out scientifically false claims about fetal pain

Day told Rewire that she is working with pro-choice Democrats, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, both from New York, on paid maternity leave. Day said she met with DeLauro the day before the group’s event.

Day identifies with Democrats despite a platform that for the first time embraces the repeal of restrictions for federal funding of abortion care. 

“Those are my people,” she said.

Day claimed to have been “kicked out of the pro-life movement” for supporting the Affordable Care Act. She said Democrats for Life of America is “not opposed to contraception,” though the group filed an amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court cases on contraception. 

Democrats for Life of America says it has important allies in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Sens. Joe Donnelly (IN), Joe Manchin (WV), and Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL), along with former Rep. Bart Stupak (MI), serve on the group’s board of advisors, according to literature distributed at the convention.

Another alleged ally, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), came up during Edwards’ speech. Edwards said he had discussed the award, named for Casey’s father, former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey, the defendant in the landmark Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which opened up a flood of state-level abortions restrictions as long as those anti-choice policies did not represent an “undue burden.”

“Last night I happened to have the opportunity to speak to Sen. Bob Casey, and I told him … I was in Philadelphia, receiving this award today named after his father,” Edwards said.

The Louisiana governor added that though it may not seem it, there are many more anti-choice Democrats like the two of them who aren’t comfortable coming forward about their views.

“I’m telling you there are many more people out there like us than you might imagine,” Edwards said. “But sometimes it’s easier for those folks who feel like we do on these issues to remain silent because they’re not going to  be questioned, and they’re not going to be receiving any criticism.”

During his speech, Edwards touted the way he has put his views as an anti-choice Democrat into practice in his home state. “I am a proud Democrat, and I am also very proudly pro-life,” Edwards told the small gathering.

Citing his support for Medicaid expansion in Louisiana—which went into effect July 1—Edwards claimed he had run on an otherwise “progressive” platform except for when it came to abortion rights, adding that his policies demonstrate that “there is a difference between being anti-abortion and being pro-life.”

Edwards later made clear that he was disappointed with news that Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose organization works to elect pro-choice women to office, was being considered to fill the position of party chair in light of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation.

“It wouldn’t” help elect anti-choice politicians to office, said Edwards when asked about it by a reporter. “I don’t want to be overly critical, I don’t know the person, I just know that the signal that would send to the country—and to Democrats such as myself—would just be another step in the opposite direction of being a big tent party [on abortion].” 

Edwards made no secret of his anti-choice viewpoints during his run for governor in 2015. While on the campaign trail, he released a 30-second ad highlighting his wife’s decision not to terminate her pregnancy after a doctor told the couple their daughter would have spina bifida.

He received a 100 percent rating from anti-choice organization Louisiana Right to Life while running for governor, based off a scorecard asking him questions such as, “Do you support the reversal of Roe v. Wade?”

Though the Democratic Party platform and nominee have voiced the party’s support for abortion rights, Edwards has forged ahead with signing numerous pieces of anti-choice legislation into law, including a ban on the commonly used dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedure, and an extension of the state’s abortion care waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours.

News Law and Policy

Three Crisis Pregnancy Centers Served for Breaking California Law

Nicole Knight Shine

The notices of violation issued this month mark the first time authorities anywhere in the state are enforcing the seven-month-old Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act.

The Los Angeles City Attorney is warning three area fake clinics, commonly known as crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), that they’re breaking a new state reproductive disclosure law and could face fines of $500 if they don’t comply.

The notices of violation issued this month mark the first time authorities anywhere in the state are enforcing the seven-month-old Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act, advocates and the state Attorney General’s office indicate.

The office of City Attorney Mike Feuer served the notices on July 15 and July 18 to two unlicensed and one licensed clinic, a representative from the office told Rewire. The Los Angeles area facilities are Harbor Pregnancy Help Center, Los Angeles Pregnancy Services, and Pregnancy Counseling Center.

The law requires the state’s licensed pregnancy-related centers to display a brief statement with a number to call for access to free and low-cost birth control and abortion care, and for unlicensed centers to disclose that they are not medical facilities.

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“Our investigation revealed,” one of the letters from the city attorney warns, “that your facility failed to post the required onsite notice anywhere at your facility and that your facility failed to distribute the required notice either through a printed document or digitally.”

The centers have 30 days from the date of the letter to comply or face a $500 fine for an initial offense and $1,000 for subsequent violations.

“I think this is the first instance of a city attorney or any other authority enforcing the FACT Act, and we really admire City Attorney Mike Feuer for taking the lead,” Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice California, told Rewire on Wednesday.

Feuer in May unveiled a campaign to crack down on violators, announcing that his office was “not going to wait” amid reports that some jurisdictions had chosen not to enforce the law while five separate court challenges brought by multiple fake clinics are pending.

Federal and state courts have denied requests to temporarily block the law, although appeals are pending before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In April, Rebecca Plevin of the local NPR affiliate KPCC found that six of eight area fake clinics were defying the FACT Act.

Although firm numbers are hard to come by, around 25 fake clinics, or CPCs, operate in Los Angeles County, according to estimates from a representative of NARAL Pro-Choice California. There are upwards of 1,200 CPCs across the country, according to their own accounting.

Last week, Rewire paid visits to the three violators: Harbor Pregnancy Help Center, Los Angeles Pregnancy Services, and Pregnancy Counseling Center.

Christie Kwan, a nurse manager at Pregnancy Counseling Center, declined to discuss the clinic’s noncompliance, but described their opposition to the state law as a “First Amendment concern.”

All three centers referred questions to their legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an Arizona-based nonprofit and frequent defender of discriminatory “religious liberty” laws.

Matt Bowman, senior counsel with ADF, said in an email to Rewire that forcing faith-based clinics to “communicate messages or promote ideas they disagree with, especially on life-and-death issues like abortion,” violates their “core beliefs” and threatens their free speech rights.

“The First Amendment protects all Americans, including pro-life people, from being targeted by a government conspiring with pro-abortion activists,” Bowman said.

Rewire found that some clinics are following the law. Claris Health, which was contacted as part of Feuer’s enforcement campaign in May, includes the public notice with patient intake forms, where it’s translated into more than a dozen languages, CEO Talitha Phillips said in an email to Rewire.

Open Arms Pregnancy Center in the San Fernando Valley has posted the public notice in the waiting room.

“To us, it’s a non-issue,” Debi Harvey, the center’s executive director, told Rewire. “We don’t provide abortion, we’re an abortion-alternative organization, we’re very clear on that. But we educate on all options.”

Even so, reports of deceit by 91 percent of fake clinics surveyed by NARAL Pro-Choice California helped spur the passage of the FACT Act last October. Until recently, a person who Googled “abortion clinic” might be directed to a fake clinic, or CPC.

Oakland last week became the second U.S. city to ban false advertising by facilities that city leaders described as “fronts for anti-abortion activists.” San Francisco passed a similar ordinance in 2011.