Will abortion opponents use a familiar playbook to push for a 20 week ban?

Screen shot of MSNBC report on House GOP efforts to  introduce new abortion bans

On the first day of the new Congress in January, anti-abortion legislators in the House introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The bill would have banned abortions after 20 weeks, except for those due to rape, incest or threats to the life of the pregnant woman.

The House had planned to vote on this measure on January 22, the anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision, but at the last minute canceled the vote. GOP lawmakers, many of them women, objected to the stringent rape reporting requirement included in the act.

Reports suggest, however, that this is not the end of the story for the federal 20 week ban and that a modified version of this bill will be voted on at a later date. (more…)


“False Witnesses” tells the truth


RH Reality Check‘s exposé on inaccurate “expert” testimony

With False Witnesses, its recent exposé of the coterie of anti-abortion “experts” who routinely offer testimony in legislative and legal hearings involving abortion, Sofia Resnick and Sharona Coutts, the investigative reporter team at RH Reality Check, have performed a great public service. The report offers chilling details of individuals who are driven by an ideological agenda, who are willing to ignore accepted scientific evidence or to intentionally distort it, and who are being paid handsomely by taxpayers for committing this scientific malpractice. Most disturbingly, whether cynically or naively, legislators and judges are making consequential decisions about numerous abortion restrictions based on this flawed testimony. (more…)


Tubal ligation in Catholic hospitals:
A qualitative study of ob–gyns’ experiences

Scripps Mercy Hospital

In our recently published qualitative study, obstetrician-gynecologists who work in Catholic hospitals say that not being able to perform a post-partum tubal ligation (sterilization procedure) is a major frustration that gets in the way of good patient care. It’s frustrating because hospital religious policy mandates that physicians cannot give the patient what she wants and needs, despite their own medical judgment. One doctor we quoted in the article explains,

“If you’re doing a C-section on somebody that wants a tubal and has had six other previous C-sections and, you know, if I tie her tubes I’m going to get kicked off the staff. And I just don’t think that’s right.”



Can abortion be funny? Thoughts on Obvious Child.

Obvious ChildObvious Child opens with a joke about vaginal discharge and ends with Donna, its protagonist, wrapped in blankets on her couch, sipping tea, resting after her abortion.  These moments represent the film’s strengths—its hilarity, its irreverence, its sincerity, and its quietly revolutionary story.

Our research here at ANSIRH has shown how fraught cinematic abortion stories can be.

Characters who consider having abortions often have their plans fortuitously derailed by pregnancy loss or change their minds suddenly in the waiting room of the clinic, or, should they actually get an abortion, deal with relationships falling apart, future infertility, or even tragic deaths. The few abortion stories that avoid these pitfalls are still serious and often grim; abortion is almost always the obstacle that nearly thwarts the protagonist’s happiness, and almost never the easy, safe path to that happy ending. (more…)


Does ‘loss of esteem’ follow an abortion?

Self-esteem trajectories 2.5 years following abortion seeking by study group

Figure 1. Self-esteem trajectories 2.5 years following abortion seeking by study group. Quality of Life Research. April 2014.

In 2007, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the Gonzales v. Carhart case:

“While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort…. Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.”

As a researcher, I find this statement particularly intriguing. (more…)