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A federal judge in Tucson has decided not to block restrictions Arizona lawmakers placed on certain abortion-inducing drugs. In some parts of the state, abortion providers do not offer surgical abortions, and only use the drugs, which are now, because of the ruling, limited to the first seven weeks of pregnancy. The judge disagreed with Planned Parenthood and other plaintiffs in the case, who argued that the new measures unconstitutionally limited access to abortion in the state ... Discuss

 

New laws in Texas that have forced almost 20 abortion-providing clinics across the state to close have been upheld by a federal appeals court. Overturning a lower court’s decision that ruled that the laws unconstitutionally limited access to abortion in the state, New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judges wrote, “on its face does not impose an undue burden on the life and health of a woman." As scheduled, even more restrictions will be put in place later this year. The measures were the subject of intense debate in the state and gained national attention after Sen. Wendy Davis staged a day-long filibuster in an attempt to block the vote. Planned Parenthood had sued to stop the law from taking effect, and said that they once again plan to appeal—this time to the Supreme Court ... Discuss

 

Despite her famous 13-hour filibuster last year against new abortion legislation in Texas, Sen. Wendy Davis says she actually supports a 20-week ban on abortion. In a new interview, she clarified her position, saying that she would have actually voted for the Texas abortion law—that was eventually passed after her filibuster—if it wasn’t for other measures that did not defer to the woman or doctor in cases of potential abnormalities or risks to the mother’s health. “I would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, if I felt like we had tightly defined the ability for a woman and a doctor to be making this decision together and not have the Legislature get too deep in the weeds of how we would describe when that was appropriate.” As CBS News points out, the position may be an effort to widen her political appeal in the state, as she may be preparing to run for governor: “By supporting a version of the 20-week ban, Davis is likely trying to stake out broader support in her conservative state” ... Discuss

 

According to a new report from the pro-choice organization, The Guttmacher Institute, between 2008 and 2011, abortions in America fell by 13 percent—hitting the lowest rates in nearly 40 years. The research looked at women ages 15-44 and found that in 2011 there were just 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women in the U.S. In 1981, at the abortion rate’s peak, that number was 29.3. The latest numbers show that the American abortion rate is at its lowest point since 1973. Because research looked at the years of 2008-2011, the Institute says that the falling numbers were not the result of recent abortion-restricting legislative measures; instead, they pointed to the overall falling birth rate and greater access to contraception. The president of the National Right to Life Committee told the AP that they believe that the numbers reflect the awareness and lobbying efforts of anti-abortion groups. "It shows that women are rejecting the idea of abortion as the answer to an unexpected pregnancy" ... Discuss

 

A Florida court has sentenced a 29-year-old man to 13 years in prison, after he tricked his girlfriend into taking an abortion pill, causing the six-week pregnant woman to miscarry. John Andrew Welden reportedly forged a prescription to obtain the miscarry-inducing drug Misoprostol, switched its label with a common antibiotic and convinced his girlfriend to take it. Soon after, she lost the unborn child. According to this story from The Christian Post, Welden tricked the woman because he did not want another girlfriend to find out about the pregnancy. In a statement to the court, Welden apologized for what he had done, saying, “I've caused everyone a huge amount of emotional pain. What I've done will stay with me every day for the rest of my life" ... Discuss

 
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