This week: Scott Walker thinks forced ultrasounds are "cool"; West Virginia bans abortion at 20 weeks, and Texas gynoticians try to make it harder for abused teens to get an abortion (because they might be lying).
Scott Walker Thinks He’s the Fonz
By Jenny Kutner, Salon, May 27, 2015
During an interview with conservative radio host Dana Loesch last week, Walker bragged about his anti-choice record, highlighting his recent decision to sign a bill that requires women to undergo medically unnecessary ultrasounds before having an abortion. According to the GOP governor, the measure is partly an effort to coerce women into staying pregnant, but Walker also stood behind it because he thinks ultrasounds are just “a cool thing.”
Go Home and Think About It...Again
By Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, May 26, 2015
There’s a new type of abortion roadblock that’s swiftly gaining popularity: a state-imposed wait between the day a woman decides to have the procedure and the day she can actually get one.
In recent weeks, Oklahoma tripled the length of its waiting period, becoming the fourth state with a 72-hour (three-day) delay. Florida enacted a 24-hour waiting period between two different appointments—one for an ultrasound and another for the procedure. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a two-day waiting-period bill last month—and simultaneously made the state the record-holder for the number of abortion restrictions passed in 2015 so far, advocates say. Tennessee passed a 48-hour wait just last week. Twenty-six states in all now impose these mandatory delays.
West Virginia #JunkScience
By Lauren Barbato, BUSTLE, May 26, 2015
Drafted under the premise that fetuses begin to feel pain at or around 20 weeks of pregnancy, the new law bars abortions after 20 weeks “postfertilization,” or 22 weeks of pregnancy dating from last menstrual period (doctors use the LMP method when dating and discussing pregnancy). There are narrow exceptions for when a woman’s life or health is at risk, and for a non-viable fetus, but no exemptions are made for survivors of rape or incest….
West Virginia joins 12 others states that currently outlaw abortion after either 20 weeks of pregnancy, 20 weeks postfertilization or 22 weeks of pregnancy (not all 20-week abortion bans are equal)....
But the West Virginia law particularly sparked debate after quotes from anti-abortion state legislators comparing women to refrigerators and romanticizing rape were publicized. Delegate Brian Kurcaba said that while rape is “awful,” a rape or incest exemption wasn’t needed because, “what is beautiful is the child that could come from this.”
Cause Hurdles Never Go Out of Style
By Andrea Grimes, Rh Reality Check, May 25, 2015
Pregnant minors who seek abortion care without parental consent must go through a judicial bypass process….The new restrictions would raise the burden of proof that abused, abandoned, and neglected minors must meet when taking their case to a judge, and would give judges five business days, rather than two business days, to rule on a minor’s judicial bypass application. This delay could extend the process of judicial bypass by more than a week and push some minors past the threshold when legal abortion care is allowed in the state.
During earlier hearings on earlier versions of the bill, anti-choice Republicans indicated that they believed that teens were lying to otherwise loving parents in trying to obtain judicial bypasses, and that judges wanted clarification on the existing law.
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