Planned Parenthood and ACLU mount abortion law challenges in three states

Dec 1, 2016

By Molly Redden

Reproductive rights advocates announced a significant slate of challenges to anti-abortion laws on Wednesday, taking aim at major restrictions in three states which advocates say are unconstitutional.

Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy group which argued a landmark abortion case earlier this year, filed three lawsuits in Alaska, Missouri and North Carolina. In Missouri, the groups will challenge a pair of abortion restrictions that have reduced the number of abortion providers to just one. They are taking aim at a similar clinic restriction in Alaska. In North Carolina, they will mount a challenge to a 20-week ban on abortion that has some of the nation’s strictest exceptions.

The two Missouri restrictions are highly similar to laws in Texas that the US supreme court struck down in June. They require abortions to be performed in expensive, hospital-like facilities and require abortion providers to have certain professional relationships with a local hospital.


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4 comments on “Planned Parenthood and ACLU mount abortion law challenges in three states

  • Meanwhile another biological issue requires knowledge of evolution.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38210837

    The regular use of Caesarean sections is having an impact on human evolution, say scientists.

    More mothers now need surgery to deliver a baby due to their narrow pelvis size, according to a study.

    Researchers estimate cases where the baby cannot fit down the birth canal have increased from 30 in 1,000 in the 1960s to 36 in 1,000 births today.

    Historically, these genes would not have been passed from mother to child as both would have died in labour.

    Researchers in Austria say the trend is likely to continue, but not to the extent that non-surgical births will become obsolete.

    Dr Philipp Mitteroecker, of the department of theoretical biology at the University of Vienna, said there was a long standing question in the understanding of human evolution.

    “Why is the rate of birth problems, in particular what we call fetopelvic disproportion – basically that the baby doesn’t fit through the maternal birth canal – why is this rate so high?” he said.

    “Without modern medical intervention such problems often were lethal and this is, from an evolutionary perspective, selection.

    “Women with a very narrow pelvis would not have survived birth 100 years ago. They do now and pass on their genes encoding for a narrow pelvis to their daughters.”

    Opposing forces

    It has been a long standing evolutionary question why the human pelvis has not grown wider over the years.

    The head of a human baby is large compared with other primates, meaning animals such as chimps can give birth relatively easily.

    The researchers devised a mathematical model using data from the World Health Organization and other large birth studies.

    They found opposing evolutionary forces.

    One is a trend towards larger newborns, which are more healthy.

    However, if they grow too large, they get stuck during labour, which historically would have proved disastrous for mother and baby, and their genes would not be passed on.

    “One side of this selective force – namely the trend towards smaller babies – has vanished due to Caesarean sections,” said Dr Mitteroecker.

    “Our intent is not to criticise medical intervention,” he said. “But it’s had an evolutionary effect. ”

    The researchers estimated that the global rate of cases where the baby could not fit through the maternal birth canal was 3%, or 30 in 1,000 births.

    Over the past 50 or 60 years, this rate has increased to about 3.3-3.6%, so up to 36 in 1,000 births.

    That is about a 10-20% increase of the original rate, due to the evolutionary effect.

    I suppose it could also be possible that a modern readily available nutritious diet, could also be having an effect on larger babies and their heads.



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  • Alan

    I suppose it could also be possible that a modern readily available nutritious diet, could also be having an effect on larger babies and their heads.

    Not only improved nutrition but also raised sugar levels that pertain with diabetics even when well controlled. We have had a variety of sad experiences as a result even taking the most assiduous care.

    Diabetic rates in the US have climbed to 7%, with type 2 kicking off younger and younger and pregnancies starting later and later.

    I wouldn’t mind June. There is some basic misapprehension going on.

    Perhaps, June could take another swing at it and perhaps evidence her complaint in some way, ideally quoting from this site. Otherwise it is rather a free floating cri de coeur.



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  • @OP – Reproductive rights advocates announced a significant slate of challenges to anti-abortion laws on Wednesday, taking aim at major restrictions in three states which advocates say are unconstitutional.

    Meanwhile the mental contortions of “right to life” supporters in the USA, are stretching legal challenges to new levels.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38252457

    Modern Family star Sofia Vergara is being, in effect, sued by two frozen embryos she conceived with the partner she split from, US media report.

    The embryos, named Emma and Isabella, are listed in Louisiana court documents obtained by the New York Post.

    She and Nick Loeb separated in 2014 and he has already tried unsuccessfully to sue for the embryos’ custody.

    The new lawsuit argues that the embryos are being deprived of their inheritance from a trust by not being born.

    The trust is reported to have been created for them in Louisiana, although the embryos are located in California.

    Louisiana is considered a “pro-life” state and under its law a fertilised egg is seen as a “juridical person”.

    The Louisiana case names a trustee as plaintiff, but not Mr Loeb himself. The suit asks that the embryos be transferred to Mr Loeb so that they can be born and receive their inheritance.

    Ms Vergara, 44, and Mr Loeb, a 41-year-old businessman, created the embryos at a California clinic through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in 2013.

    A contract signed at the time is reported to have stipulated that neither partner could do anything with the embryos without the other’s consent.

    Ms Vergara, according the suit, is alleged to be refusing to allow them to be implanted in a surrogate mother.

    Mr Loeb’s legal team allege that both Ms Vergara and Mr Loeb went into the IVF process on the understanding that the embryos would be brought to term.
    ‘Going to hell’

    The IVF process initially produced several embryos, prompting the following text message exchange, according to the plaintiff’s documents.

    Mr Loeb: “Now what. You can’t keep 4 frozen lives forever or kill them, we will go to hell.”

    Ms Vergara: “We r going to hell regardless”.

    Ms Vergara’s lawyer, Fred Silberberg, told US weekly the case against his client would fail.

    “That genetic material was created pursuant to a written agreement that required both parties’ written consent to attempt to create a pregnancy.”

    The case has again thrown the spotlight in the United States on the issue of when a fertilised egg should be considered a human being.



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