Discussion

Unintended Pregnancy Rates,
by State in 2006

• 36%-42% •

• 43%-49% •

• 50%-56% •

• 57%-62% •

• 63%-69% •

Abortion Rates 2006
States pass measures to limit access to abortion.
  • Nov. 8, 2011: During the midterm election, Mississippi voters defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to define the beginning of lie at conception with 58% of the vote. A similar measure is defeated by voters in Colorado in 2010 and 2008.
  • Nov. 8, 2011: Mississippi voters defeat proposed constitutional amendment to define the beginning of lie at conception with 58% of the vote. A similar measure was defeated by voters in Colorado in 2010 and 2008.
  • Jan. 20, 2012: The Obama Administration announces that as a part of the Affordable Care Act all employers are required to cover free contraception in their employee health insurance plans.
  • Jan. 20, 2012: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announce that they intend to challenge the mandate to cover contraception since Catholic schools, charities and hospitals should not be expected to pay for something that goes against Church doctrine.
  • Jan. 31, 2012: Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced it will no longer fund Planned Parenthood’s programs for breast cancer screenings.
  • Jan. 31, 2012: U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduces legislation allowing any institution to deny providing contraceptives in insurance plans due to religious objections.
  • Feb. 3 2011: Following criticism from women's health advocates and progressives, Susan G. Komen apologizes and reverses its decision on funding Planned Parenthood. As a consequence top official at Susan G Komen, Karen Handle resigns.
  • February 10, 2012: The Obama administration announces that despite the previous mandate, religious affliated employeers would not have to provide contraception coverage through their insurance plans.
  • Feb. 16, 2012: The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill in a 63-36 vote, that requires women to have a transvaginal ultrasound before undergoing abortions.
  • Feb. 16, 2012: Chairman of House Oversight Committee Darrel Issa (R-CA) holds a panel to discuss the Birth Control Mandate of the Affordable Care Act to the protests of committee Democrats for having no female panelists in the first panel.
  • Feb. 16, 2012: Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrel Issa (R-CA) holds a panel to discuss the Birth Control Mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Commitee Democrats protest as there are no female witnesses, but Chairman Issa explains that the hearing is about religious freedom and not women's reproductive health.
  • Feb. 23, 2012: Virginia governor Bob McDonnell rescinds his support for the transvaginal ultrasound bill in favor for a less intrusive abdominal ultrasound. The state senate also rejects the amended bill and a bill defining life beginning at conception.
  • Feb. 23, 2012: Several states and religious groups join to sue the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement of religious affiliated institutions (hospitals, schools) to require access to free birth control.

Following gains in state legislatures and governorships after the 2010 elections, republican controlled states pass 92 measures restricting access to abortion, nearly 4 times as many as any other year prior. By the end of the year, 15 states (Idaho, Utah, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arizona) pass laws prohibiting insurance companies from covering abortions- and 5 states passed laws prohibiting abortions after the 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Feb. 19, 2011: Republican controlled United States House of Representatives pass eliminating funding for Title X - but it does not clear congressional budget negotiations.

Feb. 8, 2012: The Guttmacher Institute announces that teen birth and abortion rates lowest since 1972.

Feb. 15, 2012: The Virginia House of Delegates passed House Bill 1 in a vote that effectively outlaws all Virginia abortions. This will only take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Feb. 22, 2012: A federal judge strikes down a Washington state law requiring all pharmacies in the state to offer Plan B.

The Supreme Court Starts to take up Abortion Cases Again
  • 2005: The US Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 is signed into law, though it did not begin to take effect until January 2007. This law prevented many health care providers and all college health centers from being able to purchase drugs at a discount through drugs at a discount through special programs. this meant that these health centers and health care providers were no longer able to provide low cost contraceptives for students and women of low income.
  • Jan. 18, 2006: Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of New England is a Supreme Court abortion case which focused on remedies for a portion of a statue that is found to be unconstitutional, and avoided controversial questions. The Court unanimously decided that a statue would be deemed unconstitutional when an emergency abortion is necessary to prevent serious damage to the health of a minor seeking abortion. They also ruled that the lower court's decision to invalidate the entire stature based on a small percentage of cases was unnecessary.
  • Oct. 6, 2006: Yaz, a contraceptive, is approved for use for women with PMDD, the most severe form of PMS.
  • Apr. 18, 2007: The constitutionality of the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003 is upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.
  • Jan 23. 2009: President Obama sign an executive order reversing the Mexico City Ban which prohibited federal money to international groups that provide abortions.
http://nytimes.com/2009/09/26/health/26contracept.html http://women.webmd.com/pms/news/20061006/yaz-approved-for-severe-pms oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2005/2005_04_1144 oyez.org/case/2000-2009/2006/2006_05_380 govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1932
The High Court is largely quiet, Bills and Prescription Options roll out.
  • Sep. 28, 2000: Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, was approved for abortion in the U.S. by the FDA. Its use becomes legal in all 50 states.
  • Sept. 30, 2000: John Earl, a Catholic priest, drove his car into the Northern Illinois Health Clinic after learning that the FDA had approved the drug RU-486.
  • 2001: Clayton Waagner mails fake anthrax to 554 abortion clinics.
  • 2003: Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is sponsored by Pennsylvania Senator Richard Santorum and signed into law by George W. Bush.
  • 2004: McCorvey v. Hill is a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals in which the original litigant from Roe v. Wade sued to overturn the landmark decision. The 5th Circuit court found that she could not.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-02-22-roe_x.htm http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s108-3 http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2003/December/03_crt_661.htm http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95561&page=1#.T0R-hPXZWSo http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/postmarketdrugsafetyinformationforpatientsandproviders/ucm111323.htm
Legislation allows for restrictions despite high public approval
  • 1990: Hodgson v. Minnesota Supreme Court case which challenges the legality of a Minnesota law which requires notification of both parents before a minor can obtain an abortion. The law was ruled unconstitutional, but a provision was made to allow for the law to be valid with a judicial bypass.
  • 1992: The Supreme Court Rules on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which allows states to place restrictions on abortions. A year after, public opinion polls show support for Roe v. Wade is at an all time high, hovering above 60%.
  • 1993: Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic Supreme Court ruling which affirmed that the KKK could obstruct access to abortion clinics.
  • 1994: Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act forbids the use of force or obstruction to prevent someone from providing or receiving reproductive health services.
  • Jul 28, 1998: FDA approved “Plan B,” an emergency contraceptive
  • 1999: Bill Clinton vetoes a ban on intact dilation and extraction, more commonly known as partial birth abortion.

The 1990s saw more conservative judges replace some of the old liberal guard, and as a consequence, provisions to restrict aboriton came into place. The first of these was Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the first Supreme Court case which included conservative judges Scalia and Thomas together along with Chief Justice Rehnquist; the court case was a bitter one, split 5-4, where three judges wrote the majority opinion and which allowed restrictions by states on abortion.

 

http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1989/1989_88_1125 http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1991/1991_90_985/
Supporter of Abortions enjoy rulings of a liberal Supreme Court.
  • 1980: The number of providers, including hospital, small non-hospital, and large non-hospital providers is at an all time high of about +2,900.
  • 1981: The rate of abortions doubles since Roe v. Wade to about 1,600 per year, but the number remains steady for a decade, and then begins to decline when the Supreme Court rules on Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
  • 1981: H. L. v. Matheson is a Supreme Court ruling which concludes that a state may require the physicians of teen-aged patients to inform the patients parents prior to performing an abortion.
  • 1983: City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health is a Supreme Court Ruling which blocks an Ohio abortion law which seeks to place provisions and conditions on abortions.
  • 1989: Webster v. Reproductive Health Services reinforces state’s right to prevent all publicly funded facilities from providing or assisting abortion services.

While the number of abortions and abortion providers rises, states quickly act to limit access to abortion via their state legislatures. During the first decade after the Roe v Wade ruling, the Supreme Court remains rather liberal in upholding access to abortions, and rejects limitations placed by states. During this time, abortion supporters enjoy the protections of rulings by liberal Justice's Brennan, Blackburn and Marshall.

 

Roe v. Wade legalizes abortion
  • Prior to 1973, states determined the legality of abortions. Through the mid 1960’s, 44 states outlawed abortion in almost all situations. In the late 1960s and 1970s, states began liberalizing their abortion laws.
  • Jan. 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade is a Supreme Court ruling which concluded that women have total autonomy over their pregnancy in the first trimester because abortion falls within the right to privacy, established by Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, and protected by the 14th Amendment.
  • Jan. 22, 1973: Doe v. Bolton: Supreme Court decision issued alongside Roe v. Wade which addressed overturning an abortion law in Georgia.
http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_18 http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_40
Conscience Clause
  • Conscience clauses are clauses in state laws which state that people in medical professions who object to medical procedures, primarily contraception and abortion, may object to providing services if the procedure contradicts their religion or conscience, without being subject to discipline or penalties.

The notion of a conscience clause is born out of conscientious objectors in the 1960s during the Vietnam War. This notion was applied legislatively at the state level to those who oppose abortion and contraception for religious reasons, allowing them to deny service if they object. Religious objectors and conservative politicians are attempting to apply this clause to all employers who object to providing health insurance which covers birth control, regardless of the employees religious beliefs.

Roe v. Wade
  • Supreme Court ruling from 1973 which overturned abortion bans across the country and legalized abortions.
Title X
  • Federal program designed to aid lower income Americans access family planning help, education and other resources. Among the types of services Title X include but not limiting to: contraceptives, breast cancer screenings, pelvic exams, parenting classes, STI/HIV screenings and awareness.
Viable Fetus
  • A fetus becomes "viable" once it is developed enough to survive outside the mother's womb.
Viable Pregnancy
  • A pregnancy becomes "viable" once a fetus is able to survive the length of the pregnancy

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