Sofia Resnick is an investigative reporter for Rewire. She has uncovered abuse and exposed religious influence on academic research and public policy in the areas of reproductive health and LGBT discrimination. Prior to joining Rewire, Resnick was an investigative reporter for the American Independent, an online publication based in Washington, D.C. She has worked for the Austin Chronicle in Austin, Texas. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, and Salon, among other publications.
Just two days after NARAL Pro-Choice America submitted a letter asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate anti-choice activities as domestic terrorism, an extremist opened fire on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, murdering three people and injuring nine others.
While anti-choice movement leaders tried to sell the message that the challenged abortion restrictions of HB 2 were put in place to guarantee safer abortion care rather than to curb access, a prominent figure among them strayed off message.
“Be on your toes, because we are in your midst,” said Father Frank Pavone, the national director of the New York-based group Priests for Life, directing his comments toward Planned Parenthood. “The trouble for you has only just begun.”
Unlike criminal trials, which require the prosecution to prove the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” civil trials have a much lower bar, requiring only that a plaintiff persuade a judge or jury that it is more likely than not that the events occurred.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) sent U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan a sharply worded letter, saying he suspected that the government's investigation had turned adversarial toward the university. He accused the office of denying the university due process.
Repeating allegations that Planned Parenthood illegally “harvests” and “sells” fetal tissue and murders fetuses that are “born alive,” Daleiden offered a new unfounded charge: He said Planned Parenthood is committing these acts in Washington, D.C.
Following last week’s grant funding announcement to help eliminate backlogs of what are commonly known as “rape kits,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) issued a statement urging the administration to implement the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act.
Sitting in the shadows of CMP’s high-profile video campaign is a lesser-known strategy abortion opponents have employed for decades—to cut off access to abortion directly at the source by trying to shut down existing Planned Parenthood abortion clinics and prevent new ones from opening.
Rewire has identified at least three names that appear to have been used as pseudonyms by Center for Medical Progress operatives. One of these names appears to belong to a childhood acquaintance of the group’s apparent ringleader, David Daleiden.
Republican presidential candidates spoke last week at the National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans, each making the case as to why they will be the best candidate to fight abortion access if they win the White House.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State launched an initiative Tuesday to fight back against attempts by social conservatives to use the notion of religious freedom to deny services to people, especially to same-sex couples.
In cases of rape, the “he said, she said” dilemma has outgrown the realm of legitimate legal query, and has instead come to justify the systemic failure of police and prosecutors nationwide to properly process forensic evidence that could lead to more sexual assault convictions, and also to identifying serial rapists who otherwise remain at large.
A three-month investigation by Rewire has revealed that the agency charged with overseeing this effort has been unable to answer these rudimentary questions, leaving advocates at a loss to explain why so little progress has been made on the backlog even while the Obama administration has identified it as a top priority for sexual justice.
As state legislative sessions gear up for what could be one of the worst years on record for reproductive rights, anti-choice lawmakers across the country have in recent weeks filed barrages of laws that would restrict access to safe and legal abortion. Many of these laws are identical, or nearly so, to laws that have repeatedly failed in the same states where they are being reintroduced.
Why are states continuing to pass abortion restrictions based partly on erroneous theories that abortion harms women? And why are state attorneys general calling as expert witnesses some of the very people who proffered these spurious notions to state legislatures in the first place?
Once a legislature accepts bogus facts, a larger problem can arise: Courts will frequently defer to the factual findings of state legislatures, which provides a gaping loophole for junk science to wend its way into judicial decisions all the way up to the Supreme Court.
During a panel session at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List’s super PAC said the group will continue targeting incumbent Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan (NC), Mary Landrieu (LA), and Mark Pryor (AR) as extreme in their support of abortion rights.
Many of the employers suing the federal government over the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive benefit, including Wheaton College in Illinois, fail to offer employees robust parental leave coverage, an analysis by Rewire shows.
Though the multibillion-dollar, nearly 600-store chain took its legal claim against the federal government all the way to the Supreme Court when it didn’t want to honor the health insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the company forbids its employees from seeking justice in the court of law.
According to statements made at a recent conference attended by Rewire, the National Right to Life Committee plans to perform stings of abortion clinics, while also pushing for an expansion of the laws that govern abortion to allow third parties to sue the clinics in civil court for alleged violations.
At last weekend's National Right to Life Committee's convention, Mary Spaulding Balch criticized the legislative strategy used by other anti-choice groups to pass 20-week abortion bans by claiming the procedure is dangerous to women. The proper approach, she said, is to base the argument around the unborn.
Welcome to the world of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, an annual program established in 2000 by the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based nonprofit that is swiftly emerging as a major behind-the-scenes player in many of the nation’s most controversial legal cases involving reproductive rights, sexual justice, and a vast range of other moral and social disputes.
When West Virginia’s legislature voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation in March, West Virginia Democrats overwhelmingly backed the ban, deliberately defying the national party’s support of abortion rights.
Among the suggested messaging strategies on how Republican male candidates should engage female voters are: Speak more humanely about abortion and don’t opine on the female body’s abilities if you’re not a doctor.
North Dakota is far from alone in spending large sums to defend anti-choice laws. But what makes the state unusual is that fiscal conservatives are now criticizing a double standard, where the lawmakers backing these bills are more regularly seen opposing other instances of what they call government interference, and decrying so-called “big spending.”
Twenty-three states have passed laws barring abortion coverage from insurance plans within state health exchanges. What has largely gone unnoticed is that many of these policies emanate from Americans United for Life, a little-known group that regularly has access to conservative lawmakers at the annual ALEC conferences.
Public health experts say there is a legitimate purpose to statutory rape and incest laws. However, in the context of abortion, these laws are effectively criminalizing normal teen sex and risk compromising patient-confidentiality agreements, as well as potentially deterring patients from seeking sexual health treatment.
Native American women don't have access to emergency contraception despite repeated requests by women's groups to the Indian Health Service. Everyone from the IHS to the Department of the Interior to Senators to the White House is involved in the decision, but no one appears to be taking responsiblity. How much longer do Native women have to wait?
Faced with polls saying that eight in 10 Americans think abortion should be legal when a pregnancy results from rape, anti-choice activists are actually pushing for more public discussion of the issue. It’s part of a long-term campaign to try to change Americans’ minds and to bring the country closer to banning abortion in nearly all cases.
The central question in a lawsuit is whether or not a “Christ-centered ministry” that offers parents a chance to "earn" baby supplies through bible study should receive a federal, taxpayer-funded loan to buy and renovate a building and expand services with an anti-choice agenda.
In 2005, Brittany Wilson said in federal court that her boyfriend had forced her to have an abortion she didn’t want. She blamed Planned Parenthood for letting it happen. Now, Brittany’s story is again being used in federal court — this time to defend a South Dakota law that addresses the issue of coerced abortion.