Looking to 2020 and The Future of Roe v. Wade

Looking to 2020 and The Future of Roe v. Wade

Article by: Diya Chadha Abortion and reproductive healthcare access at large have definitely been key areas of contention and policy focus under the Trump administration. Notably, the reform of Title X under the domestic gag rule and the passing of “heartbeat bills” in nearly 15 states have imposed serious limitations on women’s access to healthcare in the country. And, as much as we hail Supreme Court decisions to function as laws of the land, working to remedy some of the outdatedness of the Constitution, it is simply unreasonable to throw complete faith into the institution given how unorthodox politics have become. As can be seen with those aforementioned policy changes, it is clear that the legislative climate has become increasingly restrictive and less progressive, arguably working in the opposite direction of how it traditionally changes over time. Naturally, the interested portion of the public has been looking towards the 2020 candidates to see how they aim to combat the seemingly growing...
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Illinois Passes Landmark Reproductive Rights Law

Illinois Passes Landmark Reproductive Rights Law

Article by Jackie Vicksman Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker signed a progressive reproductive rights bill into law on June 12, 2019. The Reproductive Health Act identifies abortion as a “fundamental right” for individuals, and states that a “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights.” It also explicitly does not permit the State to “deny, interfere with, or discriminate against these fundamental rights.” By repealing old restrictive laws such as the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Reproductive Health Act also removes barriers to abortion such as waiting periods, consent from a partner, and TRAP laws that incriminate doctors who provide abortions or post-abortion care. The new law also requires private insurance companies to cover abortions along with contraceptives. As several other states such as Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri have attempted to intensively restrict abortion access and other reproductive resources, the passage of this law is especially essential....
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Impact of the “Domestic Gag Rule”

Impact of the “Domestic Gag Rule”

Article by Emmy Duerr In February of 2019, the Trump administration proposed changes to Title X’s family planning program that forbid Title X-funded clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, from performing some of their foundational services. Under the new propositions, providers and staff are not permitted to refer patients for abortion or accept funds to provide cancer and STI screenings, even if they use non-federal funds to fund abortion. In place of these services, the rule recommends referral for prenatal care and social services such as foster care or adoption. The Trump Administration’s proposed changes, widely known as the “domestic gag rule” went into effect on July 15, forcing Planned Parenthood to completely withdraw from the Title X program. Although the intention of the new ruling is to decrease domestic abortion rate, the consequences will likely reflect those of its international counterpart, the “global gag rule”. The rule is unlikely to decrease abortion because it reduces women’s access to a broad spectrum of reproductive health services including contraception, resulting in an increase in...
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UK’s Commitment towards Global Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Article by Ramya Ginjupalli During the UN General Assembly on Universal Health Coverage, the UK’s International Development Secretary, Alok Sharma, pledged £600 million towards a “Reproductive Health Supplies programme” between 2020-20251. This program aims to provide up to 20 million women and girls with family planning services including the contraceptive pill, condoms, and safe abortions2. In addition, this program aims to prevent millions of unintended pregnancies, prevent over a million of unsafe abortions, and save thousands of women’s lives3. This commitment is in the wake of President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, also known as the “Global Gag Rule”2. With new restrictions, this policy affects an additional $8 billion of United States’ aid2. According to a leaked letter, the United States also encouraged UN member states with a pro-life stance to join a coalition against the promotion of abortion in the United Nations2. In response to this, Mr. Sharma gave a speech renewing the UK’s commitment towards Universal Health...
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Northern Ireland Makes Progress in Reproductive Rights

Northern Ireland Makes Progress in Reproductive Rights

Article by Jackie Vicksman After criminalizing abortion for more than a century, Northern Ireland has finally reached a breakthrough. Although the rest of the United Kingdom legalized abortion in the 1967 Abortion Act and the Republic of Ireland repealed its restrictive abortion laws in September of 2018, these laws did not extend to Northern Ireland, which maintained its extremely strict policies. Until now. Beginning October 22 of this year, women in Northern Ireland may be given the right to have an abortion in certain circumstances. This possibility is due to the fact that Northern Ireland has not had a functioning government for the past two years because of partisan conflict between Unionists and Republicans, as both parties have an agreement to share power equally in the country. As a result, the U.K. was able to sign an amendment that decriminalizes abortion in the region. The amendment will go into effect on October 21 if the government of Northern Ireland has not...
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The Trump Administration’s Domestic Gag Rule

Since running for President and into his presidency, Donald Trump and his Administration have sought to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care. Last year, the Trump Administration proposed changes to Title X—which is federal grant program that provides funding for comprehensive family planning services. Known as the “domestic gag rule,” the proposed changes “gag” or bar healthcare providers from referring their patients to abortion providers. Moreover, the rule would drastically alter access to reproductive health care, including birth control and other family planning services, for millions of women who depend on Title X funded clinics. When the Administration released the final version of the rule changes, reproductive health organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association immediately challenged the rule. Despite a preliminary injunction that prevented the rule’s implementation, on July 3, a panel of three judges lifted the injunction. Devastatingly, last week by 7-4...
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