While we’re on the subject of abortion politics …

A link-dump of recent articles on the politics of abortion.

Steven Brill: “Stories I’d Like to See

2. How many years up the river for an abortion?

While we’re on the subject of questions reporters might ask on the campaign trail, here’s another that I can only remember NBC’s Tim Russert asking various anti-choice candidates: “Once you outlaw abortion, how much prison time would you sentence a woman to who has an abortion? What about her doctor? If abortion is murder, then isn’t the woman guilty, at least, of conspiracy to commit murder, and isn’t the doctor a murderer?”

With the Republicans candidates competing to be the most anti-choice, their answers ought to be interesting.

Maria Cheng: “Abortion Rates Are Higher in Countries Where Procedure Is Illegal

Abortion rates are higher in countries where the procedure is illegal and nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, with the vast majority in developing countries, a new study concludes.

Experts couldn’t say whether more liberal laws led to fewer procedures, but said good access to birth control in those countries resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies.

Sarah Kliff: “2011: The year of the abortion restrictions

Eight states now bar any private insurance plan from covering abortion and five more will limit such coverage on the exchanges, the new health insurance marketplaces that are scheduled to launch in 2014.

That’s a big shift from just two years ago, when only five states barred private insurance plans from covering abortion.

This, too, is class warfare — a way of ensuring that those who can afford to pay out of pocket have access to choices forbidden to those with less money.

Joan Walsh: “Today’s GOP makes Mississippi look liberal

Their target is no longer just abortion, but contraception as well. At Tuesday’s “tele-town hall,” Bachmann lied about President Obama’s Plan B stance, insisting the president is “putting abortion pills for young minors, girls as young as 8 years of age or 11 years of age, on [the] bubblegum aisle.” Of course, Obama backed HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ decision to override the FDA and refuse to allow Plan B to be sold on drugstore shelves, specifically citing concerns about young girls. Personhood legislation would make the IUD illegal, as well as any measure that interferes with a fertilized egg attaching itself to the uterine wall, including some fertility treatments.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: “Why American Religion Isn’t Refining American Values

Watch the Republican debates on television and you would think that America faces not a single social challenge other than stopping gays from marrying and women from aborting fetuses. America is a religious nation whose religious convictions have been hijacked by these twin issues, even though they have little to do with most Americans.

Ed Kilgore: “Tiller’s Killer

Such an examination might have begun with some consideration of why late-term abortions have become such a lightning rod in the first place. After all, according to orthodox life-begins-at-conception true believers, George Tiller was no more of a “mass murderer” than any other abortion provider, or, for that matter, a technician discarding frozen embryos at a fertility clinic or a pharmacist dispensing Plan B contraceptive pills (a practice dubbed “abortifacients” by virtually all right-to-lifers).

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  • Kirala

    The trained help would be psychological for someone who’s going through a Big Scary Life Event (at least, I’m told that even wanted pregnancies are scary as well as whatever else) without having reached adulthood or having other adult support. I don’t know enough about teen pregnancy or safe teen abortion to know whether there should be default advice for the situation – perhaps any default would be bad – but advice, support and guidance there should be. The pregnant teens I’ve encountered in my school badly need support and advice but often don’t know where to turn and won’t proactively seek help.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, that wasn’t clear from my reading of your statement, and most trained help in the past has been directly aimed at discouraging women from getting abortions. I agree that pregnant teens should get some sort of directed information, although “educational barriers” wouldn’t be exactly how I’d phrase it.


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