Roundup: Anti-Choicers’ Callous Disregard for Children

Rachel Larris

Clinic defense workers know that abortion protesters often seem to care more for what's in other women's bodies than the needs of actual children. The new clinic in Massachusetts proves no exception.

Those that do clinic defense work know that abortion
protesters, who sometimes bring children with them, often seem to care more for
what’s in other women’s bodies than the needs of actual children. The new clinic in Massachusetts, located close to a school, is no exception.  It’s day one at the new health care clinic in
Brookline, Massachusetts and the anti-abortion
protesters show up with gruesome signs

When he walked his child to preschool
this morning, Brookline
resident David Gray passed past several antiabortion protesters on Harvard
Street who had signs with photos of fetuses and one
that said "Thou Shall not Kill."

So after Gray left his child at school
for the day, he walked up to the demonstrators and asked that they refrain from
holding up signs with graphic images that could scare young children.

"I asked them if they are going to
be out here to think about the children who go to school here every day, and
think about the pictures they show," Gray said.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

But Gray and dozens of other parents
who can be seen walking hand-in-hand with their children on the way to school
in Brookline Village
every morning may have to get used to the sight of antiabortion demonstrations.

Protesters said they plan to be outside
111 Harvard St.
every day now that Women’s Health Services, a clinic that provides abortions,
has relocated there after 17 years in Chestnut Hill. The clinic opened in the
new location Tuesday morning.

It’s interesting that the local businesses and a few
neighbors are upset that the clinic draws protesters, but they blame the clinic
and not the protesters

Standing outside her preschool and
watching protesters Tuesday morning, Ina Brother, executive director of the
Little Corner Schoolhouse at 110
Harvard St., said it seemed as people were walking
past the demonstrators without paying them any attention.

But Brother said she believes the
clinic should have moved to a different location.
"It’s the wrong place," she said. "Look at all of the children
walking to school."

Of course the anti-abortion protesters don’t care about the
children they
see walking past them.

"We’re not going to go away,” said
Rita Russo of Norwood, who stood outside the clinic with a poster of Jesus
draped around her neck yesterday. "It would be invisible if we weren’t here. We
don’t want it to be invisible.”

Speaking of not caring who they hurt, Scott Roeder, recently convicted of the murder of
Dr. George Tiller says
he has no regrets.

In his first public comments since his trial for
the murder of Dr. George Tiller, Scott Roeder also criticized those who sought
to keep the issue of abortion out of the proceedings altogether, saying it was
like asserting that the trial for abolitionist John Brown was not about

"My beliefs were that the lives of unborn
children were being taken by abortion," Roeder said in the video posted on
YouTube Monday. "How you can keep that out of the trial is beyond me,
because that was the one entire motive for the action that was taken."

His 10-minute conversation with abortion opponent
Dave Leach is the first in a series recorded last week that will be posted
online with Roeder’s blessing, Leach told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Charmingly Roeder also compared Tiller’s family to being the same as the wife of mobster "hit man."

In other news: In
Iowa Republicans failed to force a vote to move
a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage out of committee.
And in
Ireland, American Evangelical abstinence programs are trying
to find a foothold.


February 10, 2010

doctor’s killer says he has no regrets
Associated Press

accuses Fresno College prof. of anti-gay preaching in class

demonstrators picket Brookline clinic opening
Boston Globe

no contraceptive, women warned
Associated Press

tolerance for gay troops as end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is debated

Washington Post

Commissioners to Debate Taxpayer-Funded Abortion
Lincoln Tribune

Hathaway quits Catholicism for gay brother
USA Today

bill to close legal loophole passes in Utah House

abstinence-based sex education the best choice for our teens?
Irish Times

debate stalls funds
Montreal Gazette

should be first — but not only — sex education option
Chicago Sun-Times

lawmakers fail in effort on gay marriage ban
Chicago Tribune

or jail gays but not pastors: Church of Uganda
USA Today

Accused murderer reported abortion Durham

February 9, 2010
Maternal Death Rate Lowest in
Abortion Free Ireland
Action Blog

Focus on the
Family’s Super Bowl Ad Violence
Pro-Abortion License Plates Unpopular as Virginia
Legislature Considers One
Atlanta Billboards Educate Motorists
on How Abortion Targets Black Americans
 Life News
Anti-Abortion Activist Murder Trial
Will Stay in Shiawassee County
Republicans Skeptical of Obama Summit
for Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
 Life News
Defense Dept. reflects Obama’s view on abortion One News
Ohio House speaker denies girl
spotlight for anti-abortion group’s award
Hillary Clinton’s adoption home no
 World Mag
State to provide benefits for gay
man’s adopted son
 Miami Herald
Bill addresses Indiana adoption
 South Bend Tribune
Birth controll pill causes uproar
before US debut
 News Record
Teens and Women on the Pill Risk Breast Cancer,
Ground-Breaking Study Says
BPA affects male rat fertility for
 Environmental Health News
Calif. officials: Birth defect rate
in farming town near waste dump appears normal
Marijuana Research Offers New Hope
For Male Birth Control Pill
Moms Weigh In On Abstinence

February 8, 2010
Feds admit wrongly tracking Wis.
abortion groups
 Washington Post
More Than 50 Hoosiers Involved In Birth Control Lawsuits 6News
Older mothers’ kids have higher
autism risk, study finds


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 (R-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.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

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.”

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.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

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.