Kansas Abortion Restrictions

Despite advancements being made in society from top to bottom, from gay marriage to the Supreme Court stepping in to keep abortion clinics in Texas open, there are still states holding out when it comes to the right of women to have control over their own bodies. Kansas may not be one of them.


The state is a battleground when it comes to women’s rights. Recently, Kansas has plans for a first-in-the nation ban on a procedure that anti-abortion activists call “dismemberment abortion.”


There is one judge, Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks, who blocked the law and believes the state’s constitution protects a woman’s right to have an abortion and is separate from the U.S. Constitution. What this means is, if his ruling is upheld, the Kansas Supreme Court could grant more protections on abortion than the U.S. Supreme Court does. That is certainly groundbreaking.


Every day it seems there are new groups hoping to add more restrictions to a woman’s body. The situation is still poised to get more combative, but there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


Abortion Law in Texas

With all the positivity going on in America, with the Supreme Court’s decision regarding gay marriage, it’s still a bit of shock to see some states still lost in the stone age when it comes to abortion rights. It’s a frustrating situation to say the least, to see the whole of the country making great leaps forward in terms of equality but still taking that one or two steps back when it comes to women and their bodies. No better do we see this than in Texas where the Supreme Court had to step in to keep 19 abortion clinics open.


The AP reported that “the justices voted 5-4 to grant an emergency appeal from the clinics after a federal appeals court upheld new clinic regulations and refused to keep them on hold while the clinics appealed to the Supreme Court.”  This is huge, and could possibly be the biggest abortion case at the Supreme Court in nearly 25 years.


This is all in response to a state law passed in 2013 that put many abortion clinics on life support. The law requires all clinics providing abortion services to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. That certainly makes it difficult for these clinics to stay open, not to mention that the doctors providing the services have to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Not surprisingly, over half of Texas’s abortion clinics closed down, stranding many women and health professionals on harsh island. Texas wants to take these restrictions one-step further.


What are state lawmakers thinking? Enforcing the state law would close all but a couple of the 19 abortion clinics in Texas. Thankfully, the Supreme Court stepped in. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


Drones for Reproductive Rights

When you think about news on reproductive rights it usually centers on state laws and legislature. Testimonials of both tragedy and success are widely spread around the press to gain awareness on the issue. The link between drones and safely ending an early pregnancy is not a connection commonly made-until now.


A coalition of outside-the-box thinkers called Women on Waves, a non-profit organization located in Europe, are now using drones to transport abortion-inducing medication to those who otherwise would not have access. The upcoming flight is planned to carry these packages from Germany to Poland, where some of the strictest abortion laws are enforced.


After Ireland and Malta, Poland has the most enforced and restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Rebecca Gomperts, Women on Waves founder, hopes to cause a media frenzy by way of this groundbreaking flight. “We’re very interested in the new developments around drones. In a sense it’s a campaign to call attention to the reality for women in Poland. But there’s a future for it as a delivery model. We might do it in Ireland.”


Through this technological advancement, Gomperts hopes to make a more symbolic statement than physical one. While the drone can only transport a limited amount of medication for a few women she hopes that through her and her group’s efforts, to spark dialogue in politicians and advocacy groups across the world.


At South Women’s Services, we are proud of what Women on Waves are trying to accomplish. We also believe that every woman should have the resources and support available to make the choice that’s right for you.


Source: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/06/24/3673350/abortion-drone-poland/


Missouri Abortion Law

In many of the more progressive regions of the United States, it’s easy to think that women’s rights battles are typically fought overseas, in areas where there is massive inequality between men and women. However, there are plenty of instances of reproductive rights and other women’s issues coming under the crosshairs in political debates right here at home.


Basic reproductive rights for women are still being fought for here in America, as this letter to the editor published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reminds us. Restrictions to reproductive rights for Missouri women are just the latest in a long line of socially restrictive pieces of legislation that the writers, two male retired history teachers, argue is harming the state’s competitiveness. “As we look to future economic growth, why would talented and highly educated young people consider Missouri if they had other options,” they state.


As is often the case, women are only one minority group either being targeted by or left out of the political debate in recent years. Before passing laws to restrict reproductive rights, the Missouri state legislature just barely dropped an attempt to institute voter identification laws that would have skewed the voting process against non-white voters. Marriage equality and worker’s rights are other areas of great social impact where this state is much more restrictive than most.


Even in areas where women enjoy a greater amount of reproductive rights, the social stigma that surrounds your need to find effective care in times of crisis can be traumatic. Here at South Avenue Womens Services, we believe that no woman should have to feel persecuted or targeted for seeking professional clinical services. We have a highly trained staff skilled in the use of the latest technology. We can take you conscientiously through the process and help you be sure that pregnancy termination is the correct choice for your health. Call us if you’d like to schedule a consultation at our facility in Rochester, NY.


Abortion Procedures in Texas

There is a dangerous experiment in women’s reproductive health happening in Texas this year. There were more restrictions placed on abortion procedures and operating sites in that state between 2011 and 2013 than in the decade preceding it combined.


As a result, a mere 44 clinics remain open in Texas, a number that could dwindle to only 12 if all of the proposed legislation for Texas goes through. Women are now turning to two primary sources to fill that void: illegal procedures across the border and a self-induced abortion medication called misoprostol.


Misoprostol is legally available in the U.S. only by prescription and is meant for use in conjunction with mifepristone during the first trimester of pregnancy to induce abortion. The medications are extremely safe and 90% effective when taken together.


The problem is that with clinics closing, prescriptions are hard to come by. American women are now obtaining it illegally, usually in black markets or on the internet for an incredible mark up in price. It can be very complicated to self-administer and needs to be monitored by medical professionals in cases of ectopic pregnancies or other complications or else risk fever, infection, and sepsis.


When self-inducing the drug illegally, women often only use misoprostol (if that is in fact the drug they purchase rather than a placebo) and don’t know how to administer it or overdose.


“We know the prohibition and criminalization will never stop women from having abortions,” said Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. With options slowly becoming more and more limited, we can only hope that women seek out what professional services are left for their own safety.


Contact South Avenue Women’s Services today for more information or a consult.


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/03/back-alley-abortions_n_5065301.html

Abortion Rights in Spain

The fight for women’s rights is truly an international one, and in some regions, we’ve been faring very well. Although abortion rights for women has been a difficult world to navigate here in the United States, progressive governments across Europe have acknowledged the right of women to decide what happens to their child and body.


Typically, we see that, although the political dialogue in most countries is steeped in bipartisan rhetoric, a fair amount of the populace is in favor of keeping abortion legal within their countries. That makes recent reports of a conservative backlash against women’s rights in one European country all the more troubling.


Spain may not be the superpower it was during the days of the Renaissance, but its cultural influence can be felt all over the world. Recently, that country’s government has been busy penning what would become one of Europe’s strictest anti-abortion bans, according to this piece published by NPR.


If this legislation were to pass, Spanish women would only be able to procure an abortion in very limited circumstances that involve grave risk to the mother’s health or in the case of rape. No longer would a large risk of serious birth defects be available as a grounds to terminate a pregnancy. As the above article indicates, this push seems to be a reaction to an incredible liberalization of Spain that occurred during the 1980s after the dictator Francisco Franco died.


Most of Spain’s population does not want to see their women have to travel to faraway lands to obtain the medical attention they require. Public polls report that about 80 percent of the Spanish general population wants abortions to remain legal within the country. Some accuse the government of pandering too much to the Catholic Church, which has strong ties to the region.


South Avenue Womens Services knows that the fight for women’s natural rights is still going on all over the world. When you need a conscientious and professional service to discuss your options, contact us at your earliest convenience. We’ll explain what you need to know to make the decision that’s best for you.

Federal Payments for Abortion Services

Here at South Avenue Women’s Services, we know how important it is to enter the fray in the current battle being waged over women’s rights. For more than 100 years, different parties in our country have debated reproductive rights, and aside from a few landmark victories, it has been a long road for women to earn what is rightfully theirs.


Recently, news out of Washington, D.C., indicates that the current situation may get a little more difficult for women who are facing difficult decisions like abortion. As this article from The New York Times reports, the U.S. House of Representative just passed a measure that restricted certain federal payments for abortion services by a vote of 227 to 188. This includes only one Republican representative who voted no and six Democrats who voted in favor of the rules changes.


Many Democrats, including WNY Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, were very opposed to the outcome, noting that the Republicans who by and large voted for the measure were mostly men. In that context, it’s understandable why many people would be threatened that half of our society, women, have their own reproductive rights decided upon by men who can’t truly understand the issue in the same way.


The battle over abortions goes through political cycles, just like any issue does, but it looks like we may be entering a period of intense scrutiny and bipartisan bickering in the coming year. With the presidential election in late 2015 just now starting to take shape, we’re quickly coming to a time where our nation’s future will be decided for another four years. If abortion remains an issue that divides Congress so deeply along party lines, it’s reasonable to assume that much of the presidential debate would include a lot of the same talking points.


Through it all, South Avenue Women’s Services will be here to make sure that you get the health services you deserve. We think that women facing tough choices should be treated with understanding and compassion. If you want to discuss treatment options, you’ll find caring and knowledgeable professionals here at our facilities.

A War on Women in 2014

Just yesterday, much of the nation commemorated the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Roe v. Wade. While many of us celebrated the decision as a monumental step forward in terms of equality and the total right for a woman to choose what to do with her own body, others were not so enthused, with some holding prayer vigils and marches rallying against Roe v. Wade, including the March for Life in Washington.


The anniversary was proof that while we have come a long way, there is still much left to do, many more miles to travel. In the article, “Abortion attitudes are a chameleon, and Republicans are trying to adapt, Scott Clement of the Washington Post writes, “The Republican National Committee, meeting today in Washington, is considering a new resolution that calls for candidates to speak up about their antiabortion views and defend their support for restricting abortion in a variety of situations.”


Republicans, conservatives really, believe that public opinion is against abortion and a woman’s right to choose; the committee is attempting to exploit this false belief, urging its constituents to speak out more against abortion. In many conservative eyes, anti-abortion views are the key to winning positions in office.  This view, however, goes against the belief that strong anti-abortion stances can cost a politician an election, as was the case with the campaigns of Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia and Todd Akin in Missouri.


Abortion is sure to play an even larger role in republican political strategies. The support is unfortunately there; the March for Life in Washington is proof of that. Ultimately, if anti-abortion stances are intensified, this will amount to a war on women.


Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/01/22/abortion-attitudes-are-a-chameleon-and-republicans-are-trying-to-adapt/

We Must Fight the Good Fight in 2014

When it comes to freedom, or the idea of it, 2013 was a complicated and terrifying year, to say the least. Between Edward Snowden and the NSA controversy, our basic rights have been put under the bureaucratic microscope and the results don’t look pretty. Are we free or are we not? Do we have control over our own bodies or do we not? These are crucial questions heading into the New Year, especially as we near January 22.


January 22 is, of course, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision by the Supreme Court on the issue of abortion and a woman’s decision to have an abortion. As is usually the case, there will be protestors gathered in front of the Supreme Court. Their persistent efforts have paid off in certain instances, as state abortion control laws are just now coming into fruition one way or the other.


Earlier this month, for instance, Michigan passed regulations that restrict insurance plans (both private and public) from covering abortions. Other states are expected to follow in some way, including Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah, which means that women will need to additional abortion coverage.


Regarding Michigan, Nicki Rossoll of Abcnews.com writes, “The law prohibits all insurance companies from providing coverage for the medical procedure, unless a women’s life is at risk, without the additional purchase of a supplemental policy, also known as a rider.”


This is yet another wall erected between a woman and her body, her right to choose. Unfortunately, many of these walls are expected to be erected in the New Year. We must stay vigilant and fight the good fight.


Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/states-abortion-insurance/story?id=21197679

Protecting Peace Corps women in the event of rape

The three goals of the Peace Corps are as follows: helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of peoples served and helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. Those are certainly three admirable goals. We should admire Peace Corps volunteers, as they are good-natured and brave, oftentimes working in some of the most dangerous areas in the world. There is, however, a dark side to the Peace Corps, much of which is swept under the proverbial rug.


60% of Peace Corps volunteers are women. Every year, 22 volunteers report being the victims of rape, with more reporting sexual assault. The numbers could be, and probably are, much higher. If one of these volunteers becomes pregnant, she has to pay for the abortion herself. For a group of women volunteering their time and service, this is an egregious crime. These women deserve not only the protection of the Peace Corps, but also its support in the event of such a tragedy.


In the article, “Women’s health groups want Peace Corps volunteers to have insurance coverage for abortions,” Lisa Rein of The Washington Post writes, “The ban for Peace Corps volunteers has been in place since 1979, when Congress attached a rider to the agency’s annual appropriation amid other laws restricting federal funding for abortion.” This is ludicrous!


This issue has, rightfully so, attracted the attention of many women’s rights groups who see the ban as a cruel and outdated measure. Considering that sexual assaults in the humanitarian agency industry seem to be on the rise, these groups are only doing what is right and just. Their vigor has the support of the Obama administration, which is pushing for federal coverage for volunteers.


Meanwhile antiabortion groups believe that the Peace Corps is simply failing in keeping these volunteers safe, all while seemingly ignoring the fact that much of the sexual assault is committed by fellow volunteers. What seems to be no-debate issue is rapidly devolving into a back and forth between lawmakers, especially those in antiabortion states.


Peace Corps volunteers spend years taking care of people from all around the world. Least we can do as a country and as a government is to take care of the volunteers. What do you think?


You can find Rein’s article here.