Choice News, Pro-Choice Cheat Sheet

Pro-Choice Cheat Sheet: Heroes, Living Wages, & Yes, Beyonce Is a Feminist

Joiiiin us, New Mexico: the latest state on the road to marriage equality!

Step aside, haters: Yes, for the last time, Queen Bey is a feminist.

Check out RH Reality Check’s list of Top Pro-Choice Heroes of 2013!

U.S. Olympic Delegation, you’re doing it right. Brian Boitano is the latest member to come out ahead of Sochi.

All speculation, zero evidence: media claims that increasing the minimum wage to $15 in Seattle will cost jobs.

In case you still don’t think Beyonce is a feminist:

Bow down.

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Pro-Choice News Roundup: Limiting Local Abortion Access, Proving the Obvious, and More

Posted by Blogging Czar Lauren Kuhlik

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Militant anti-woman group may get late-term abortions banned in Albuquerque: “Operation Rescue” has collected enough signatures to add a ban on abortions after 20 weeks to the New Mexico ballot.  They are specifically targeting a local clinic that works with women who discover severe fetal abnormalities up to 28 weeks.  The ban would be the first local one, but several states have already passed such limits.  Federal judges have either overturned these laws or temporarily prevented them from being implemented.  For the sake of New Mexico women, let’s hope that if the ban passes, a judge recognizes its unconstitutionality and stops it.    [Santa Fe New Mexican]

Louisiana doctors discouraged from performing abortion: The 5th Circuit ruled that a 1997 law that makes it difficult for doctors to get malpractice insurance for abortions is constitutional.  The law essentially makes it much more financially risky for doctors to perform abortion than for them to perform other medical procedures.  The state has a malpractice insurance fund, but doctors cannot draw from this fund for claims relating to abortions.  This ruling will likely make doctors more hesitant about providing abortion care.   [Courthouse News]

Yet again, a reminder that good sex ed and access to contraception limit abortion: Nebraska’s abortion rate is the lowest it’s been in decades.  Experts speculate that greater access to birth control, comprehensive sexual health education, and more effective long-term birth control all contributed to the decrease.  Not a likely cause? A ban on elective abortion after 20 weeks.  Someone needs to call out lawmakers publicly when they try to pass ridiculously restrictive abortion bans.  Someone needs to stand up and say, “if you actually want to lower the abortion rate, give us birth control.  Give us education.  Until then, we must assume that you just want to punish women for seeking out abortions.”  [Daily Nebraskan]

Teenage birth rate also lower: The 2012 teen birth rate was the lowest ever recorded.  Again, experts are pointing at more effective long-term birth control, such as the IUD.  Abortion rates for teenagers have not increased during this time.  Condoms for everyone, shame-y sex ed for no one, please.  [NBC]

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Signal Boost: As Anti-Choice Extremists Target Providers in Albuquerque, Join Us in a Show of Support

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This morning, the New York Times reported that extremist anti-choice group Operation Rescue is targeting Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, NM. Operation Rescue is a militant group that has been linked to Dr. George Tiller’s assassination. They are currently using misleading and manipulative tactics — as well as legislative avenues, including a pending 20-week abortion ban — in an attempt to shut down the clinic and bar women in Albuquerque from accessing needed abortion care. The group has even gone so far as to stage an offensive protest using the city’s Holocaust Museum, in an attempt to appropriate that tragedy as a means to their own political ends.

Previously, Katha Pollitt detailed Operation Rescue’s targeting of abortion provider Dr. Ann Neuhaus in The Nation. Dr. Neuhaus worked alongside Dr. Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, and lost her medical license as a result of Operation Rescue’s lawsuit, which accused her of keeping incomplete medical records. Pollitt writes:

Dr. Neuhaus was accused of not keeping detailed records for eleven patients ages 10 to 18, all from 2003, and of failing to prove that an abortion was necessary to prevent “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” or of the patient’s mental health. Dr. Neuhaus says she kept her records brief to protect the patients’ identities. This was a rational fear: for years, State Attorney General Phill Kline had been trying to seize abortion clinics’ patient records. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who waged a jihad against the man he frequently referred to as “Tiller the baby-killer,” mentioned during a 2006 interview with Kline that he himself had seen records from Dr. Tiller’s clinic.

Dr. Neuhaus is now being forced to pay for the legal proceedings, and NARAL National has been collecting funds to help Dr. Neuhaus her cover those expenses. You can contribute here.

Meanwhile, in Albuquerque, pro-choice residents and leaders of the Jewish community are fighting back. “The fact that they call themselves missionaries is really offensive,” Joan Lamunyon Sanford, director of the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and a leader of a coalition fighting the 20-week proposal, told the Times. “We don’t need outsiders bringing in this kind of disruption.”

The Times also quoted Randee B. Kaiser, chairwoman of the Holocaust museum’s board, who said, This protest was misguided and offensive.”

We at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington are currently putting together a care package and collecting notes of support for the providers, staff, and patients at Southwestern Women’s Options, to show that we value the work that they do, and the work of women’s healthcare providers everywhere.

Notes of encouragement can be sent to MeganBurbank@ProChoiceWashington.org. We’ll collect them and send them Southwest Women’s Options as a gesture of support from their Northwest allies.

Together we can take a stand for the women of Albuquerque, and show that harassment and intimidation have no place in healthcare.

Want to do more? Signal boost this post, and sign the pledge to respect Albuquerque women. You can also donate directly to Southwestern Women’s Options.