Map of the Day: “Bad medicine” laws undermine reproductive health care across the country

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new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families explores the common anti-choice restrictions that are forcing doctors to choose between following the law and doing what they know is best for their patients. 

The report focuses on four anti-abortion restrictions–ultrasound requirements, biased counseling sessions, mandatory waiting periods, and regulations on the abortion pill–that they describe as “bad medicine” laws since there is absolutely no medical justification for them. Over 30 states have at least one of these types of restrictions on their books, and half of those states have all four of them. And that doesn’t even include the TRAP laws that are equally medically unnecessary and are shutting down clinics altogether.

“Politics are taking over our exam rooms and that is a dangerous, disturbing trend,” said the group’s president Debra L. Ness. “More and more, lawmakers across the country are enacting laws that mandate how health care providers must practice medicine, without regard to their professional judgment or their patients’ needs.”

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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screenshot of ship from Vessel

Watch the new doc on one doctor’s quest to offer safe abortion where it’s illegal

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is outlawed. Her project eventually morphed into Women on Web, which does great, life-saving work by sending abortion pills by mail to people lacking legal access. The film has opened in NYC, and is now available for streaming on iTunes.

Also, be sure to check out this interview with director/producer Diana Whitten on the Community site. As she notes, the story, unfortunately, holds particular relevance in the US today. “Due to recent legislative attacks on reproductive healthcare, the situation for U.S. women in many ...

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is ...

black woman protestor with "keep abortion legal" sign

On having an abortion as a Black woman

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Last month, I had an abortion.

I’ve been a strident advocate for a woman’s right to choose since I was a pre-teen, and it’s still difficult for me to say those words. So many assumptions about my life can be made on the basis of that admission, and the shame is real. For White women in American society, the shame of having an abortion is mainly centered on their individual behavior. For Black women, our behavior reflects on Black folks as a whole, specifically other Black women—so the scope of the shame is much wider. An unintended pregnancy can call your responsibility into ...

Over at Ebony, Tasha Fierce writes about her experience getting an abortion last month as a Black woman. 

Last month, I had an abortion.

I’ve been a strident advocate for a woman’s right to choose since I was ...