Archive for the ‘abortion’ Category

You Shall Procreate: Attacks on Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Iran

March 19, 2015 Comments off

You Shall Procreate: Attacks on Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Iran
Source: Amnesty International

Women in Iran could face significant restrictions on their use of contraceptives and be further excluded from the labour market unless they have had a child if two proposed laws are approved, says a new report by Amnesty International.

You Shall Procreate: Attacks on Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Iran details the extreme lengths the Iranian authorities are going to in order to encourage repeated childbearing in a misguided attempt to boost the country’s declining population figures.

The Bill to Increase Fertility Rates and Prevent Population Decline (Bill 446) outlaws voluntary sterilization, which is believed to be the second most common method of modern contraception in Iran, and blocks access to information about contraception, denying women the opportunity to make informed decisions about having children. Coupled with the elimination of state funding for Iran’s family planning program, which had, up until 2012, provided millions of women in the country with access to affordable modern contraception, the move would undoubtedly result in greater numbers of unwanted pregnancies, forcing more women to seek illegal and unsafe abortions. Lack of access to condoms, which were previously dispended through urban clinics and rural health houses funded by Iran’s Family and Population Planning Programme, would also lead to a rise in sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

The U.S. Government and International Family Planning & Reproductive Health: Statutory Requirements and Policies

March 18, 2015 Comments off

The U.S. Government and International Family Planning & Reproductive Health: Statutory Requirements and Policies
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

This fact sheet summarizes the major statutory requirements and policies pertaining to U.S. global family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) efforts over time and identifies those currently in effect. These laws and policies collectively serve to direct how U.S. funds are spent, to where and which organizations funds are provided, and generally shape the implementation and define the scope of U.S. global FP/RH activities. It includes U.S. laws and annual requirements enacted by Congress through appropriations bills (statutory provisions) as well as executive branch policies and guidance specific to FP/RH (policy provisions). Each category lists provisions in chronological order.

Sex, contraception, or abortion? Explaining class gaps in unintended childbearing

March 6, 2015 Comments off

Sex, contraception, or abortion? Explaining class gaps in unintended childbearing
Source: Brookings Institution

There are wide class gaps in unintended childbearing among single women in the United States, resulting from different contraceptive and abortion choices across income groups. In this paper, we use data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG 2011-2013) to estimate how sexual activity, contraceptive use, and abortion use vary across income lines. Though rates of sexual activity are comparable for all women, low-income women are less likely to use contraception and are less likely to have an abortion once pregnant. We use a shift-share analysis to simulate the effect of equalizing, at the rates of affluent women, the use of the contraception and abortion services across income groups. We find that equalizing contraceptive use reduces the ratio of unintended births between affluent and poor women by half, and that equalizing abortion rates reduces the ratio by one-third.

CRS — Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response (January 23, 2015)

February 12, 2015 Comments off

Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in Roe v. Wade that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy. In Doe v. Bolton, a companion decision, the Court found that a state may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right with regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating the decision to have an abortion. Rather than settle the issue, the Court’s rulings since Roe and Doe have continued to generate debate and have precipitated a variety of governmental actions at the national, state, and local levels designed either to nullify the rulings or limit their effect. These governmental regulations have, in turn, spawned further litigation in which resulting judicial refinements in the law have been no more successful in dampening the controversy.

Abortion Legislation in Europe

February 12, 2015 Comments off

Abortion Legislation in Europe (PDF)
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report summarizing laws on abortion in selected European countries shows diverse approaches to the regulation of abortion in Europe.

A majority of the surveyed countries allow abortion upon the woman’s request in the early weeks of pregnancy, and allow abortion under specified circumstances in later periods. Some countries impose a waiting period of a certain number of days following counseling. Some require consultation with medical personnel before an abortion may be performed. Several countries require that medical personnel certify the abortion is for a reason permitted by law. The most restrictive country surveyed here, Ireland, allows abortion only when there is a real and substantial risk to the woman’s life.

State Considers Amendment to Protect Human Life at Any Stage of Development, CRS Legal Sidebar (October 30, 2014)

November 3, 2014 Comments off

State Considers Amendment to Protect Human Life at Any Stage of Development, CRS Legal Sidebar (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Next week, voters in North Dakota will consider a proposal that would amend the state constitution to address the right to life. If adopted, the North Dakota constitution would state: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.” The amendment was proposed by state Senator Margaret Sitte, who has indicated that the amendment “is intended to present a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.” Whether such an amendment would have an impact on a woman’s ability to terminate a pregnancy, however, is not certain. Similar federal legislation that would recognize the right to life for the unborn has been criticized by legal scholars who have maintained that Congress cannot displace the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

New From the GAO

September 17, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office


1. 8(a) Subcontracting Limitations: Continued Noncompliance with Monitoring Requirements Signals Need for Regulatory Change. GAO-14-706, September 16.
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2. Health Insurance Exchanges: Coverage of Non-excepted Abortion Services by Qualified Health Plans. GAO-14-742R, September 15.


1. Land-Use Agreements: Department of Veterans Affairs Needs to Improve Data Reliability and Monitoring. GAO-14-501, August 18.
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2. Actions Needed to Address Weaknesses in Information Security and Privacy Controls. GAO-14-730, September 17.
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3. Broadcast Television and Radio: Disclosure Requirements for Broadcasted Content. GAO-14-738, September 17.
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Statement for the Record

1. Individual Retirement Accounts: Preliminary Information on IRA Balances Accumulated as of 2011, by James R. McTigue, director, strategic issues, and Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security issues, to the Senate Committee on Finance. GAO-14-878T, September 16.
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1. Financial Stability Oversight Council: Status of Efforts to Improve Transparency, Accountability, and Collaboration, by A. Nicole Clowers, director, financial markets and community investment team, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Financial Services. GAO-14-873T, September 17.
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