Choice News

This week’s Friday Femorandum: “Protecting” Women from Abortion

News from this week’s Friday Femorandum, a weekly newsletter from NARAL Pro-Choice Washington featuring all the reproductive rights news that’s fit to reprint. Like what you see? Subscribe to the Femorandum here.

Welcome to the tenth issue of the Friday Femorandum, our weekly roundup of reproductive rights news, sent to your inbox every Friday from the communications staff at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.

Here’s what’s going on in the world of reproductive rights, women’s health, and politics this week.

Ending years of speculation, the New York Times reports Hillary will officially announce that she is seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination on Sunday. Let the sexist media coverage and right-wing conspiracy theories begin!


According to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, in the first few months of 2015, there have been 332 provisions to restrict access to abortion introduced in state legislatures across the country, Media Matters reports. Many of the proposals have been condemned by medical experts, including 20-week abortion bans, bills that impose unreasonable restrictions (like hospital admitting privileges) on abortion providers, and the now-infamous bills in Arizona and Arkansas that will force doctors to lie to women and tell them abortion is “reversible.”

Abortion foes are exploiting the tragic murder of a pregnant Colorado woman to argue for laws allowing a fetus to be considered a crime victim, a step toward fetal “personhood” that could undermine women’s right to choose. RH Reality Check has the story.

As Kansas and Oklahoma move to ban the safest form of second-trimester abortions, ThinkProgress reports that other states are following suit, testing the bounds of Roe by finding entirely new ways to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care.


Vox Media released a nationwide survey that concluded that for most Americans, abortion isn’t black or white: People don’t necessarily identify as “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” but somewhere in between, and most believe it should be affordable, informed by medically accurate information, and without added burdens. “In other words,” Feministing’s Maya Dusenbery notes, “the vast majority of Americans think the experience of getting an abortion should be pretty much the exact opposite of the way the anti-choice movement has been working hard to make it.

The good news: Teen pregnancies have hit an all-time low, falling from 61.8 births per 1,000 teenagers in 1991 to 26.5 per 1,000 teens in 2013. The bad news: That’s still on of the highest teen birth rates in the developed world (seven times higher than Switzerland), and most teens still aren’t using the most effective types of birth control, like IUDs and implants. Smithsonian Magazine has the scoop.

As Mad Men winds down its final season (sob), Jezebel muses on the complicated feminism of Joan Holloway.


Finally, in case you missed it, Cosmopolitan—which joins Marie Claire in the ranks of supposedly fluffy women’s fashion mags now paying attention to women’s rights—posted a major investigative piece about so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which purport to help women with unplanned pregnancies but actually just push them to have babies by lying about the consequences of abortion. Takeaway sentence: “Multiple women told me it was their job to protect women from abortion as “an adult tells a child not to touch a hot stove.”


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