Roundup: Australian Senator Claims Women Would Have Late Term Abortions for Pay

Robin Marty

An Australian senator blocks paid leave because it will cause "drug addicts and welfare cheats" to have late term abortions.

In case you didn’t know, women will do pretty much anything to get an easy payout.  And there is absolutely nothing in this world easier than being pregnant, right?

Or so claims Steve Fielding, a senator from the “Family First” party in Australia.

The senate was debating a historic piece of legislation that would allow women 18 weeks of paid leave after the birth of a child, when Fielding began expressing his “concerns.”  The leave would be granted not just to those who gave birth to live children, but also to women who had given birth to a stillborn baby (technically, the birth of a child after 20 weeks that did not survive).  Fielding stated that allowing stillborns to be included was a massive “loophole” that could be taken advantage of.  From the HeraldSun:

“Drug addicts and welfare cheats can get themselves pregnant and then after 20 weeks have an abortion and still pocket the Government’s cash,” he told the Senate.

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“There may be mums out there who want to cheat the system in a horrific way.”

His comments were rejected by fellow senators as sad and pathetic.

“All I was trying to do was close that loophole,” Senator Fielding told ABC TV today, adding his approach was “fair and reasonable”.

“I wasn’t the only one to raise this issue in the Senate yesterday.”

But Senator Fielding, when pressed to name the other senators, could not come up with any names.

Fielding’s comments were quickly attacked by many, including the country’s sex discrimination commissioner.  Via ABC News, Australia:

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has described Family First Senator Steve Fielding’s claim that women may try to claim paid parental leave after having late-term abortions as shocking and offensive.

Ms Broderick says she wants to meet with Senator Fielding to discuss his comments over the provisions in the law for stillborn babies.

“To the extent that we could suggest that women could get pregnant and then have a late-term abortion solely for the purpose of collecting paid parental leave – I think most people around Australia found those comments quite offensive,” she told ABC 2.

According to Crikey, this isn’t the first time Fielding has attacked the plan, and in very vehement terms:

in fact, Fielding has been spouting malicious garbage about paid parental leave since at least Tuesday morning when, on the doors, he said the government’s scheme “is putting prisoners and prostitutes ahead of stay-at-home mums”.

The line didn’t really get the sort of media run Fielding is used to, so he had another go yesterday, tweeting:

About to talk in the Senate about PPL. The govt is giving prisoners and prostitutes the payment while stay at home mums get nothing

Welcome to Steve Fielding’s version of the Madonna-whore complex: stay-at-home mums and prostitutes and prisoners.

Kind of makes you wonder how pro-family the “Family First” party really is.

Mini Roundup: All of the usual suspects are fighting the FDA approval for ella.  But since they are against plain old ordinary contraception, too, does anyone consider them unbiased sources?

June 16, 2010

Charlie Crist gambles on the left – Washington Post

FRC Responds to Release of First Ever GAO Report on Federal Funding for … – PR Newswire

Fielding scorned over abortion jibe – Herald Sun

Feminism Today Breaks New Ground, But It Isn’t Pro-Life – Campus Progress

Ella: Contraception or Abortion Pill? – MyFox Phoenix

Activists protest abortion pill at Ashland clinic – Ashland Daily Tidings

Charlie Crist Courts Left, Could Win Democrats’ Support – CBS News

Family First scorned over abortion jibe – Herald Sun

Women Allege Forced Abortion Inside Church of Scientology – Care2.com

Abortion ultrasound bills wins final legislative approval – 2TheAdvocate

CWA to Testify at FDA Hearing on Abortion Drug – Christian News Wire

Iowa Governor Chet Culver Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Abortion Business – LifeNews.com

Bureaucratic housekeeping in Naperville turns into debate over abortion clinics – Chicago Tribune

Ultrasound Required Before Abortion – NewOrleans.Com

Fielding defends abortion comments – Herald Sun

Vote Last Steve Fielding – Crikey

Fielding’s abortion rorts claim ‘offensive’ – ABC Online

Anti-abortion bills win final legislative approval – 2TheAdvocate

Do obese adults need better sexual health care? – The Guardian

Study: Obese Women Have Less Sex, More Babies – CBS News

Planned Parenthood endorses Culver – DesMoinesRegister.com

New Morning-After Pill Passes First FDA Hurdle – MedPage Today

Study finds more HIV testing needed – Private MD

South African Business Tackles HIV/AIDS – Voice of America

Antiretrovirals During Breast-Feeding Shield Babies From HIV, Study Shows – U.S. News & World Report

A Father’s Role? – New York Times

June 17, 2010

Teen abortion numbers a ‘tragedy’ – Otago Daily Times

Military reexamines reproductive health – Politico

South Carolina Legislature Reaches Consensus over Abortion – The State Column

FRC Urges FDA to Reject New Abortion Drug Falsely Labeled as an Emergency … – PR Newswire

Obesity’s impact on sexual health – TIME

New emergency contraceptive ‘Ella’ safe, effective, FDA experts say – The New Mexico Independent

Antiretrovirals prevent HIV transmission – Times of India

Study: 99% Women Taking AIDS-Preventive Drugs Save Their Kids from HIV – TopNews United Kingdom

It’s Time To Pay Attention To Global Women’s Health Care – Forbes

News Law and Policy

California Lawmakers Take Action Against Rampant Wage Theft

Nicole Knight

A survey of people who work for low wages found that wage theft robbed workers of $26.2 million each week in Los Angeles, making the locale the "wage theft capital of the country."

Los Angeles has earned the distinction as the country’s wage theft capital, but a new California law is tackling the rampant problem of wage theft with new enforcement tools.

The law, SB 1342, signed last month by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), gives city and county authorities subpoena powers when investigating wage violations. Until now, the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement was the primary agency charged with investigating wage theft cases.

State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) authored the legislation to “ensure that our low-wage workers, who already face many challenges, receive the pay that they have earned,” Mendoza wrote in an Orange County Breeze op-ed.

Wage theft is the illegal practice of failing to pay overtime and minimum wages, denying lunch breaks, or forcing employees to work off the clock. A survey of people who work for low wages by the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found that wage theft robbed workers of $26.2 million each week in Los Angeles, making the locale the “wage theft capital of the country.”

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Some 654,914 workers in L.A. County are subjected to at least one pay-based violation in any given week, researchers noted.

Most people who work low-wage jobs in L.A. were born outside the United States, and the majority are Latino (73.4 percent), Asian (17.9 percent), or Black (6.3 percent), researchers found.

Wage theft is not only illegal, it contributes to food insecurity and housing instability in low-income families, Mendoza noted.

“This bill protects hard-working Californians by clarifying the ability of cities and counties to investigate non-compliance with local wage laws,” Mendoza said.

A legislative analysis of SB 1342 cited research noting that minimum wage violations are rampant in industries such as garment manufacturing, domestic service, building services, and department stores, where wages are low.

The measure comes as states and cities are increasing minimum wages as lawmakers in Congress have refused to consider raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Brown in April signed a law lifting the statewide minimum pay rate to $15 per hour by 2022. More than a dozen cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, have proposed or enacted $15 minimum wage rates, according to the National Employment Law Project.

News Abortion

How Long Does It Take to Receive Abortion Care in the United States?

Nicole Knight

The national findings come amid state-level research in Texas indicating that its abortion restrictions forced patients to drive farther and spend more to end their pregnancies.

The first nationwide study exploring the average wait time between an abortion care appointment and the procedure found most patients are waiting one week.

Seventy-six percent of patients were able to access abortion care within 7.6 days of making an appointment, with 7 percent of patients reporting delays of more than two weeks between setting an appointment and having the procedure.

In cases where care was delayed more than 14 days, patients cited three main factors: personal challenges, such as losing a job or falling behind on rent; needing a second-trimester procedure, which is less available than earlier abortion services; or living in a state with a mandatory waiting period.

The study, “Time to Appointment and Delays in Accessing Care Among U.S. Abortion Patients,” was published online Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute.

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The national findings come amid state-level research in Texas indicating that its abortion restrictions forced patients to drive farther and spend more to end their pregnancies. A recent Rewire analysis found states bordering Texas had reported a surge in the number of out-of-state patients seeking abortion care.

“What we tend to hear about are the two-week or longer cases, or the women who can’t get in [for an appointment] because the wait is long and they’re beyond the gestational stage,” said Rachel K. Jones, lead author and principal research scientist with the Guttmacher Institute.

“So this is a little bit of a reality check,” she told Rewire in a phone interview. “For the women who do make it to a facility, providers are doing a good job of accommodating these women.”

Jones said the survey was the first asking patients about the time lapse between an appointment and procedure, so it’s impossible to gauge whether wait times have risen or fallen. The findings suggest that eliminating state-mandated waiting periods would permit patients to obtain abortion care sooner, Jones said.

Patients in 87 U.S. abortion facilities took the surveys between April 2014 and June 2015. Patients answered various questions, including how far they had traveled, why they chose the facility, and how long ago they’d called to make their appointment.

The study doesn’t capture those who might want abortion care, but didn’t make it to a clinic.

“If women [weren’t] able to get to a facility because there are too few of them or they’re too far way, then they’re not going to be in our study,” Jones said.

Fifty-four percent of respondents came from states without a forced abortion care waiting period. Twenty-two percent were from states with mandatory waits, and 24 percent lived in states with both a mandatory waiting period and forced counseling—common policies pushed by Republican-held state legislatures.

Most respondents lived at or below the poverty level, had experienced at least one personal challenge, such as a job loss in the past year, and had one or more children. Ninety percent were in the first trimester of pregnancy, and 46 percent paid cash for the procedure.

The findings echo research indicating that three quarters of abortion patients live below or around the poverty line, and 53 percent pay out of pocket for abortion care, likely causing further delays.

Jones noted that delays—such as needing to raise money—can push patients later into pregnancy, which further increases the cost and eliminates medication abortion, an early-stage option.

Recent research on Utah’s 72-hour forced waiting period showed the GOP-backed law didn’t dissuade the vast majority of patients, but made abortion care more costly and difficult to obtain.

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