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Pro-Choice News Roundup: The Most Important Abortion Rights Case You’ve Never Heard of, and More!

Posted by Blogging Czar Lauren Kuhlik

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Supreme Court will hear case on medical abortion: A law in Oklahoma will prevent all or most medical abortions if it is implemented.  Basically, the law would require doctors to use outdated protocol when prescribing the pill.  They would have to give a significantly higher dose to women than is now considered necessary or safe.  Because many doctors would rather not prescribe the pill at all than put their patients’ health at risk, medical abortion would become de facto illegal.  A state judge declared the law unconstitutional in 2011, but the state appealed, and the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case (pending answers to a few questions from the state’s Supreme Court).  The case could have major consequences for future abortion laws.  [SCOTUS Blog]

Unintended pregnancy rates increase for poor women: Last week, we learned that teen pregnancy rates have decreased.  This week, I must report that poor women now have a higher rate of unintended pregnancy than they did in 1994.  The Guttmacher Institute suggests that publicly funded family planning centers seriously decrease the unintended pregnancy rate.  So if the Republicans get their way, we can expect many more poor women to have to contend with the problems of unintended pregnancy.  [Guttmacher]

California, you restore my faith in humanity a little bit: Across the country, state legislatures have passed bills requiring clinics that provide abortions to meet the same standards as surgical centersCalifornia is taking the opposite tack by making building code requirements for abortion providers the same as those for primary health care clinics.  This bill reflects the reality that abortion is generally a safe medical procedure, and the many stringent laws that Republican-controlled legislatures have passed only serve to reduce women’s access to abortion.  Thanks, California!   [California Healthline]

There are 18 times as many crisis pregnancy centers as abortion facilities in Texas: The number of clinics that provide abortions is expected to drop significantly in Texas after a massive anti-choice bill was passed there this summer.  Whole Women’s Health, a pro-choice group, has been mapping places where women with unintended pregnancies are likely to go—crisis pregnancy centers and abortion providers.  There are 6 abortion providers to 108 crisis pregnancy centers so far on the map.  Texas women already lack abortion access, and this law will only exacerbate the problem.  [RH Reality Check]

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