Bans on Dilation & Evacuation Abortions

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Bans on “dilation & evacuation” (or D&E) abortions are the latest front in the states’ war against a woman’s right to have an abortion, which has been waged ever since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision guaranteed that right in 1973. D&E abortion involves dilating the woman’s cervix and removing the fetus, often in parts.  It is the safest and most widely used method of second-trimester abortion. Last month, Kansas and Oklahoma became the first states to ban D&E abortions. The nearly identical laws, which are both referred to as the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act, outlaw the [...]

Pregnant, and No Civil Rights

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A recent article in the New York Times exposed the horrific extent that states have gone to in an attempt to ban abortion by passing laws that criminalize pregnant women. The article tells the stories of women who are forced to undergo cesarean sections, or arrested for “attempted fetal homicide” after falling down a flight of stairs, or jailed for over a year second-degree murder because of unexplained vaginal bleeding that turned out to be a miscarriage. Please read the text of the article below, or follow the link to the article itself. We welcome your questions and comments. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/opinion/pregnant-and-no-civil-rights.html [...]

Notice of Public Hearing Re: State Single Payer Health Coverage

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There will be a public hearing to receive testimony concerning the New York Health bill to create single payer health coverage.  The New York Health bill would provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker, with a benefit package more comprehensive than commercial or other health plans, with full choices of doctors and other providers.  The program would be funded by broad-based taxes based on the ability to pay, and it would eliminate the local share of Medicaid (which would become part of New York Health). The New York City hearing will be held on Tuesday, December 16, 10AM, [...]

Castration: The Goldmine of American Medicine

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The following is Sybil Shainwald's Keynote Speaker address given at the 27th Annual Hysterectomy Conference for Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS). Castration: The Goldmine of Gynecology Introduction/Statistics Female castration is the most performed non-obstetric operation in the U.S., at the rate of about 1,643 per day. That is more than one every minute. Sex organs have been removed from more than 22 million U.S. women and over 600,000 hysterectomies are still performed each year without informing women of the consequences of this needless, heedless surgery. In fact, for every 10,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States, 11 women die. [...]

Sex Differences in Clinical Trials: Another Example of Inequality

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The following is a speech given to a group of Columbia University Fellows on November 12, 2014. A PDF version of the  entire article can be downloaded by clicking here. Ambien, the sleeping pill, which was prescribed 40 million times last year and approved 20 years ago, has been prescribed for women in a dose that is twice as high as they need, putting them at risk for drowsiness while driving and other problems. Indeed, it appears that women respond differently from men to a broad array of treatments, from aspirin to anesthesia, and often do not derive the same [...]

Reproductive Injustice in the New Millennium

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This article originally appeared in  20 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 123 (2013), http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmjowl/vol20/iss1/7 A PDF version of the  entire article can be downloaded by clicking here. INTRODUCTION I. COMMON LAW, THE EARLY STATUTES, AND THE EMBERS OF REFORM A. Legal Abortions (c. 1250–1803) B. Abortion Becomes a Crime: The Birth of Anti-Abortion Legislation (1803–1900) C. Abortion is Illegal (1900–1960) II. THE TIDE CHANGES A. The Liberalization Movement (1960–1973) B. The Decision in Roe and its Aftermath (1973–1982) C. Twenty-Five Years of Legal Abortions (1982–2007) III. A CONSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS OF RECENT STATE RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION RIGHTS CONCLUSION INTRODUCTION [...]

Conversation with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

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Please see the conversation with  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi covered by CSpan. http://www.c-span.org/video/?321519-1/conversation-house-democratic-leader-nancy-pelosi  

The Medicalization of Women

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The following is a speech given at a conference for Hysterectomy Education Resources and Sources (HERS). It is a great pleasure to be here and to be on the same program with the first woman elected to Congress from my district, as well as the first and only woman to establish a successful hysterectomy prevention organization. I have reviewed the number of speeches that I have made over the course of the last twenty years for HERS and they are all mainly repetitive of the same themes: Estrogen, unnecessary surgery, the medicalization of our bodies, and the rise of the [...]

Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Currier

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The recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Currier, again illustrates how endangered a woman’s reproductive freedom is in today’s climate. The Court struck down a law that required doctors performing abortions in a clinic to obtain hospital admitting privileges. The crucial ruling allowed the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi to remain open, stating that Mississippi could not rely on its “neighbors to provide protection of its citizens’ federal constitutional rights”. The ruling is limited and such rights as those to safe and legal abortions or contraceptive [...]

Hobby Lobby

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The Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case caused a great deal of chagrin for those concerned with reproductive freedom. A careful reading of the majority opinion and developments thereafter show that the concern is more than justified as Hobby Lobby has put the Court on a slippery slope that will undoubtedly lead the country backward. Although extremists take issue with Justice Ginsberg’s dissent, that dissent did not overstate the depth of the majority opinion. A corporation is clearly an entity that is distinct from its directors and shareholders. It is an artificial entity and one that confers [...]