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Novara

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Member since: Fri Apr 10, 2015, 07:15 AM
Number of posts: 875

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Alaska judge strikes down law to limit Medicaid funds for abortions

Alaska judge strikes down law to limit Medicaid funds for abortions


JUNEAU, Alaska -- A state court judge in Alaska ruled Thursday that a law further defining what constitutes a medically necessary abortion for purposes of Medicaid funding is unconstitutional.

Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered that the state be blocked from implementing the law, passed last year, and a similar regulation, finding both violated the equal protection clause of the Alaska Constitution.

"This ruling, if upheld, means as a practical matter that virtually all indigent Alaskan women seeking abortions will receive state Medicaid funding," he wrote.

The Alaska Supreme Court has held that the state must pay for medically necessary abortions if it pays for other procedures deemed medically necessary. The regulation and law sought to further define what constitutes a "medically necessary" abortion.

Supporters of the measures have said the state should not be required to pay for elective abortions.

In his decision, Suddock said an unwanted pregnancy is a crisis for any woman and for an impoverished woman without recourse to an abortion, the crisis "may be extreme," noting that indigent women often face stressors such as homelessness, addiction or domestic violence. He wrote that the added stressor of an unwanted pregnancy with no recourse to an abortion "can create clinically significant mental distress such that a Medicaid abortion is medically necessary."

Read more: http://www.adn.com/article/20150827/alaska-judge-strikes-down-law-limit-medicaid-funds-abortions

Good read: Justice For Texas Teens – The Global Fight for the Rights of Children Begins at Home

Justice For Texas Teens – The Global Fight for the Rights of Children Begins at Home

It's too good to pick and choose sections to post here. It's worth the read.

Catholic hospital backs down on tubal ligation refusal

Catholic hospital backs down on tubal ligation refusal

Facing a possible sex-discrimination lawsuit, a Catholic hospital in Redding reversed its position Monday and agreed to let a woman’s doctor sterilize her after she gives birth next month.

Mercy Medical Center, owned by Dignity Health of San Francisco, the state’s largest private health care company, had previously refused to allow Rachel Miller to undergo a tubal ligation, citing Catholic hospitals’ Ethical and Religious Directives against sterilization.

After attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union said they would file a discrimination suit if Miller was being denied pregnancy-based care” on religious grounds, the hospital notified her doctor that it was reconsidering based on additional information the physician had provided. On Monday, the deadline the lawyers had set for a response, the ACLU said Mercy Medical Center had agreed to the surgery.

That solves Miller’s problem, said ACLU attorney Elizabeth Gill, but it won’t avoid a future legal confrontation unless the hospital chain changes its policy.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Catholic-hospital-backs-down-on-tubal-ligation-6463205.php

Activists Pursue Private Abortion Details Using Public Records Laws

Activists Pursue Private Abortion Details Using Public Records Laws

<snip>

The legal skirmish, and others like it nationwide, reveal a quiet evolution in the nation’s abortion battle. Increasingly, abortion opponents are pursuing personal and medical information on women undergoing abortions and the doctors who perform them. They often file complaints with authorities based on what they learn.

Abortion opponents insist their tactics are generally not aimed at identifying women who have abortions but to uncover incidents involving patients who may have been harmed by poor care or underage girls who may have been sexually abused. They say they are trying to prevent situations such as the one involving Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted in 2013 of murdering three babies after botched abortions and of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a woman.

“This is about saving the lives of women,” said Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which is based in Wichita, Kansas. “A lot of people don’t understand that. It’s a systemic problem within the abortion industry today for abortion providers to cut corners on patient care.”

But those who support abortion rights say the ultimate aim of these activists is to reduce abortions by intimidating women and their doctors — using the loss of privacy as a weapon. They say their opponents are amassing a wealth of details that could be used to identify patients — turning women, and their doctors, into pariahs or even targets. In a New Mexico case, a woman’s initials and where she lived became public as part of an investigation triggered by a complaint from activists.

“I don’t think there’s any margin for error here,” said Laura Einstein, chief legal counsel of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, which challenged Bloedow’s request. “These women came to a private health center to have a private health procedure, and that’s just not anybody’s business.”

In recent years, abortion opponents have become experts at accessing public records such as recordings of 911 calls, autopsy reports and documents from state health departments and medical boards, then publishing the information on their websites.

Some activists have dug through clinics’ trash to find privacy violations by abortion providers — such as patient records tossed in dumpsters — and used them to file complaints with regulators.

The fight has landed in courts nationwide as the two sides tussle over which information about abortions should be public and which should remain confidential under privacy laws.

In St. Louis, for example, an Operation Rescue staff member is suing the city’s fire department for 911 call logs and recordings from a Planned Parenthood clinic. The city says releasing the requested information would violate a federal patient privacy law.

In Louisiana, a critic of abortion sued the state last year to get data on abortions performed on minors, their ages and the ages of the listed biological fathers, as well as any complications that occurred. The state said the records were exempt from disclosure, and a judge agreed.

In Bloedow’s case, a Washington court sided with the clinics and prohibited the release of the records he sought. In May, a state appeals court upheld that injunction.

“The public has no legitimate interest in the health care or pregnancy history of any individual woman or where any particular abortion was performed,” the appeals court ruled.


Read more sickening details here: http://www.propublica.org/article/activists-pursue-private-abortion-details-using-public-records-laws

Activists Pursue Private Abortion Details Using Public Records Laws

Activists Pursue Private Abortion Details Using Public Records Laws

<snip>

The legal skirmish, and others like it nationwide, reveal a quiet evolution in the nation’s abortion battle. Increasingly, abortion opponents are pursuing personal and medical information on women undergoing abortions and the doctors who perform them. They often file complaints with authorities based on what they learn.

Abortion opponents insist their tactics are generally not aimed at identifying women who have abortions but to uncover incidents involving patients who may have been harmed by poor care or underage girls who may have been sexually abused. They say they are trying to prevent situations such as the one involving Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted in 2013 of murdering three babies after botched abortions and of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a woman.

“This is about saving the lives of women,” said Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which is based in Wichita, Kansas. “A lot of people don’t understand that. It’s a systemic problem within the abortion industry today for abortion providers to cut corners on patient care.”

But those who support abortion rights say the ultimate aim of these activists is to reduce abortions by intimidating women and their doctors — using the loss of privacy as a weapon. They say their opponents are amassing a wealth of details that could be used to identify patients — turning women, and their doctors, into pariahs or even targets. In a New Mexico case, a woman’s initials and where she lived became public as part of an investigation triggered by a complaint from activists.

“I don’t think there’s any margin for error here,” said Laura Einstein, chief legal counsel of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, which challenged Bloedow’s request. “These women came to a private health center to have a private health procedure, and that’s just not anybody’s business.”

In recent years, abortion opponents have become experts at accessing public records such as recordings of 911 calls, autopsy reports and documents from state health departments and medical boards, then publishing the information on their websites.

Some activists have dug through clinics’ trash to find privacy violations by abortion providers — such as patient records tossed in dumpsters — and used them to file complaints with regulators.

The fight has landed in courts nationwide as the two sides tussle over which information about abortions should be public and which should remain confidential under privacy laws.

In St. Louis, for example, an Operation Rescue staff member is suing the city’s fire department for 911 call logs and recordings from a Planned Parenthood clinic. The city says releasing the requested information would violate a federal patient privacy law.

In Louisiana, a critic of abortion sued the state last year to get data on abortions performed on minors, their ages and the ages of the listed biological fathers, as well as any complications that occurred. The state said the records were exempt from disclosure, and a judge agreed.

In Bloedow’s case, a Washington court sided with the clinics and prohibited the release of the records he sought. In May, a state appeals court upheld that injunction.

“The public has no legitimate interest in the health care or pregnancy history of any individual woman or where any particular abortion was performed,” the appeals court ruled.


Read more sickening details here: http://www.propublica.org/article/activists-pursue-private-abortion-details-using-public-records-laws

Activists Pursue Private Abortion Details Using Public Records Laws

Activists Pursue Private Abortion Details Using Public Records Laws

<snip>

The legal skirmish, and others like it nationwide, reveal a quiet evolution in the nation’s abortion battle. Increasingly, abortion opponents are pursuing personal and medical information on women undergoing abortions and the doctors who perform them. They often file complaints with authorities based on what they learn.

Abortion opponents insist their tactics are generally not aimed at identifying women who have abortions but to uncover incidents involving patients who may have been harmed by poor care or underage girls who may have been sexually abused. They say they are trying to prevent situations such as the one involving Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted in 2013 of murdering three babies after botched abortions and of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a woman.

“This is about saving the lives of women,” said Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which is based in Wichita, Kansas. “A lot of people don’t understand that. It’s a systemic problem within the abortion industry today for abortion providers to cut corners on patient care.”

But those who support abortion rights say the ultimate aim of these activists is to reduce abortions by intimidating women and their doctors — using the loss of privacy as a weapon. They say their opponents are amassing a wealth of details that could be used to identify patients — turning women, and their doctors, into pariahs or even targets. In a New Mexico case, a woman’s initials and where she lived became public as part of an investigation triggered by a complaint from activists.

“I don’t think there’s any margin for error here,” said Laura Einstein, chief legal counsel of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, which challenged Bloedow’s request. “These women came to a private health center to have a private health procedure, and that’s just not anybody’s business.”

In recent years, abortion opponents have become experts at accessing public records such as recordings of 911 calls, autopsy reports and documents from state health departments and medical boards, then publishing the information on their websites.

Some activists have dug through clinics’ trash to find privacy violations by abortion providers — such as patient records tossed in dumpsters — and used them to file complaints with regulators.

The fight has landed in courts nationwide as the two sides tussle over which information about abortions should be public and which should remain confidential under privacy laws.

In St. Louis, for example, an Operation Rescue staff member is suing the city’s fire department for 911 call logs and recordings from a Planned Parenthood clinic. The city says releasing the requested information would violate a federal patient privacy law.

In Louisiana, a critic of abortion sued the state last year to get data on abortions performed on minors, their ages and the ages of the listed biological fathers, as well as any complications that occurred. The state said the records were exempt from disclosure, and a judge agreed.

In Bloedow’s case, a Washington court sided with the clinics and prohibited the release of the records he sought. In May, a state appeals court upheld that injunction.

“The public has no legitimate interest in the health care or pregnancy history of any individual woman or where any particular abortion was performed,” the appeals court ruled.


Read more sickening details here: http://www.propublica.org/article/activists-pursue-private-abortion-details-using-public-records-laws

Of course: Pat Robertson links stock market plunge to abortion

Pat Robertson links stock market plunge to abortion

<snip>

Robertson delivered a diatribe against Planned Parenthood and abortion on TV’s “The 700 Club” Monday, telling viewers that God will “hold us accountable.” Planned Parenthood – known for providing reproductive health services to women – has been under fire in recent weeks over secretly recorded videos that show executives from the organization discussing the donation of fetal tissue for medical research.

“We will pay dearly as a nation for this thing going on,” Robertson said. “And possibly if we were to stop, stop all of this slaughter, the judgment of God might be lifted from us. But it’s coming, ladies and gentlemen. We just have a little taste of it in terms of the financial system. But it’s going to be shaken to its core in the next few months, years or however long it takes, and it will hurt every one of us. It’s coming down the road. But at least we could repent and try to change.”

Read more http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/pat-robertson-links-stock-market-plunge-abortion

______________________

I'm sure the wildfiires in the west are abortion's fault too.

School District Puts Anti-Abortion Stickers on Textbooks

School District Puts Anti-Abortion Stickers on Textbooks

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<snip>

The label is a result of an effort by a religious group and several board members to "present childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion" in biology textbooks, AZ Central reported last year. They defended the stance by citing state laws that say schools must encourage childbirth or adoption over abortion. In December, the board decided against all-out editing of the textbooks, however, after Superintendent Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto​ raised concerns about potential copyright violations and pointed out how much effort and time it would take to manually edit the books.

According to NARAL, pretty much the entire Arizona state government is anti-choice. It was the first state to pass a controversial law obligating doctors to inform patients that medication abortions are reversible, though there's no credible evidence to support that claim. (The law is now on hold.) Arizona also has a number of regulations that attempt to discourage women to get abortions, including that a woman must receive an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure, and that she must have in-person counseling session at least 24 hours in advance of the procedure. This means that a woman will have to make at least two trips to the facility.

Irene Mahoney-Paige, the district's director of communication, told Cosmopolitan.com via email that "stickers were given to the department chairs, some schools have students putting the stickers on while other schools have students turning their books into the bookstore manager who is then putting the stickers on. The stickers are going on the inside of the back cover of all Biology books." She said, though, that "there is no punishment if students do not use the sticker."

Read more: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a45170/arizona-textbook-abstinence/

Astronomer Celebrates Female Scientists’ “Special Natural Gift for Caring and Educating”

Astronomer Celebrates Female Scientists’ “Special Natural Gift for Caring and Educating”

<snip>

“When he said that women’s innate nurturing abilities made them good for work in outreach and development projects, and I felt like we had lurched back to the ’50s,” said David L. Clements, an astrophysics at Imperial College London, who attended the speech.
Furthermore, many women have no interest in being nurturing and resent the implication that they are, simply by nature of their gender. Even those who are nurturing don’t necessarily want it considered as part of their suitability as scientists.

Rachael Livermore, a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, also attended the IAU speech and was outraged. “It completely misses the point that we should be striving for equality because excluding huge swaths of people for arbitrary reasons is bad for science as well as being unfair to those excluded,” she said, “not because the excluded groups have some sort of special magical skill to offer."

That really is the core of the problem. Benvenuti, by all accounts, sincerely supports the inclusion of more women in the field and in these leadership positions. Even the most critical attendees I spoke with believed he was trying to compliment his colleagues whom he held in high scientific esteem.

But women aren’t superhero scientists. We’re just scientists. Benvenuti was trying to be supportive, but when stereotypes enter the discussion to justify why women—or other underrepresented groups—should be fairly represented in science, it undermines the premise that we should be included simply for our scientific abilities.

“I am willing to give my colleague the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn’t mean any harm by his comments,” Emily Rice, an astronomer at the College of Staten Island–CUNY, told me. “Unfortunately, even well-intentioned comments are representative of the benevolent sexism that many women face every day in science. We should be valued as scientists, for our research and other contributions to the field, not by how well we conform to gender stereotypes."




Read more: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/08/20/female_scientists_piero_benvenuti_celebrate_female_astronomers_at_the_international.html

Missouri Lawmakers Respond To Sexual Harassment Of Interns By Suggesting Intern Dress Code

Missouri Lawmakers Respond To Sexual Harassment Of Interns By Suggesting Intern Dress Code

<snip>

"We need a good, modest, conservative dress code for both the males and females," King wrote in an email, the Huffington Post reported on Tuesday. "Removing one more distraction will help everyone keep their focus on legislative matters."

<snip>

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said establishing an intern dress code would put responsibility for the harassment on the interns when it should be on the harasser.

In letters to the Missouri lawmakers, McCaskill (who once worked as an intern at the state legislature) wrote that the proposed solution "bitterly disappointed" her.

I refuse to stand by idly while any suggestion is made that victims of sexual harassment in the Missouri State Legislature is the responsibility of anyone other than the legislators themselves. It is the responsibility of you and your colleagues to uphold the law, protect the young people working in our state’s capital, and confront and change a culture that excuses sexual violence. This problem has nothing to do with how interns are dressed.



Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/missouri-legislature-intern-dress-code
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