When Abortion Is the Merciful Option

HeartSymbol

Last week, voters in Albuquerque decisively defeated a ballot measure that would have banned abortion in the city after 20 weeks, by a ten-point margin. The failed ban, which made no exceptions for rape, incest or fatal fetal abnormality, was the culmination of a months-long campaign by anti-choice groups in the city, including a grossly offensive protest outside the New Mexico Holocaust Museum and a truck bearing the usual gory fetus pictures.Since the bill was defeated by a solid margin … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: November 9

Coffee

• Following the resignation of the previous team, CFI has announced the new hosts of their podcast Point of Inquiry, one of whom is my friend Lindsay Beyerstein. Congratulations!• This week's entry in the WTF Department: Richard Cohen, an awful columnist for the Washington Post, saw the movie 12 Years a Slave and was shocked to learn how bad slavery was. I wish I were kidding about that.• Three cheers for science! A new antiviral therapy can cure hepatitis C without a … [Read more...]

Attacking Half the Electorate Surprisingly Not a Winning Strategy

Next Tuesday, voters in Virginia will choose their state's next governor. After months of hard-fought campaigning, the race is clearly tilting in favor of the Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe, and against Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli. As recently as May, Cuccinelli was ahead in the polls, but the most recent poll shows that McAuliffe has taken a double-digit lead - almost entirely because of an astonishing 24-point gap that's opened up among women.And why is there such a yawning … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: Abortion in the Bible

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, There's Nothing About Abortion in the Bible -- So How Do Right-Wing Christians Justify Their Crusade Against Women? In it, I discuss the biblical verses that touch on abortion - or more accurately, the lack of such verses - as well as the passages which strongly suggest that the Bible's authors didn't consider an unborn fetus to have the same moral status as an adult person. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:One would think … [Read more...]

World News Roundup

FoundationBeyondBelief

I can't write about every story that crosses my radar, as much as I'd like to. But so much that's noteworthy has been happening in the world lately, I'm overdue for a catch-up post.First, there's a glimmer of good news: the Dáil, the lower house of Ireland's Parliament, easily passed a bill that (slightly) relaxes the draconian, no-exceptions abortion ban that killed Savita Halappanavar. The upper house, the Seanad, still has to approve it, but since the government controls both houses by a … [Read more...]

A Constitutional Rollercoaster

ParisLGBTRights

I had another post written for today, but there's much too much going on! This week has been a rollercoaster of disappointment, despair, joy and exaltation, and it's only Wednesday.On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court issued an awful ruling that struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act. As compiled by Slacktivist, a flurry of Republican-controlled state legislatures immediately began efforts to pass restrictive voter-ID laws and redraw electoral maps to dilute minority votes - … [Read more...]

The Republicans Can’t Help Themselves

SoapBubble

Almost lost in the furor last week over the NSA spying story, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to ban all abortion after 20 weeks. The debate over the bill brought forth some ludicrous moments, such as when Rep. Michael Burgess defended it by arguing that male fetuses at that stage of development can masturbate. This led to one of the better Twitter jokes I've seen lately:Life begins at masturbation. #masturbatingfetus http://t.co/64SuFRbYtF— Julia Ioffe … [Read more...]

The Beatriz Fiasco: Playing Roulette with Women’s Lives

RouletteWheel

In my last post about the inquest into Savita Halappanavar's death, I mentioned a similar story then unfolding in Latin America: a pregnant 22-year-old woman, known in the media only as Beatriz, was five months pregnant and gravely ill, suffering from lupus and kidney failure. Allowing the pregnancy to continue would almost certainly mean her death. What's more, Beatriz's fetus had anencephaly, a fatal defect in which the neural tube fails to close properly and the fetus ends up without a brain. … [Read more...]

The Savita Inquest Concludes

Last month, the official inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar concluded. In a tragic irony, the jury delivered its verdict on the very date that would have been her fifth wedding anniversary.In my last post, I pessimistically predicted that the final report would take the anti-choice position that abortion should be forbidden until the woman is clearly dying and then blaming the doctors if they can't pull her back from the brink. To my surprise, that isn't what happened. Instead, … [Read more...]

The Savita Inquest

Last week in Ireland, the official inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar began with several days of testimony.So far, nothing has altered the basic sequence of events as we know them. Savita arrived at Galway University Hospital in October 2012, 17 weeks pregnant, with ruptured membranes and a dilated cervix, clear signs that a miscarriage was beginning. As ob/gyn Dr. Jen Gunter has said, "Her presentation should not have posed a diagnostic dilemma, not even for an intern." An open … [Read more...]


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