Missouri’s Mandatory Pelvic Exam Requirement Is At Heart Of Battle Of Last-Remaining Abortion Clinic. Here Are The Details.
The state's health department claimed that the clinic violated laws and regulations, including a requirement that doctors give patients a pelvic exam at least 72 hours before an abortion, even if the patient is receiving a nonsurgical medication abortion. But the employees at the clinic have said that giving a pelvic exam before a medication abortion is unethical. Other abortion news comes from Illinois, Kansas, Alabama and Michigan.
The Washington Post:
Missouri Pelvic Exam Explained: Rachel Maddow Likens It To 'State-Sanctioned Sexual Assault'
Under any circumstances, a pelvic exam is uncomfortable. The invasive practice requires a doctor to insert a speculum into a patient’s vagina to examine her cervix and to insert fingers into that patient’s vagina while pressing her abdomen to feel her reproductive organs. Even when it’s medically necessary, it is unpleasant. But when it’s not — when it’s instead performed only because of a state mandate — doctors say the examination can be traumatizing. In Missouri, this issue — the subject of back-to-back episodes of Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show — is at the center of the fight over the fate of the state’s last abortion clinic. (Thebault, 6/8)
The Associated Press:
Missouri Health Officials Seek Answers On Abortion Clinic
Health officials on Friday said they're still seeking answers from Missouri's only abortion clinic about why some patients were unaware that they remained pregnant after what the agency described as "failed surgical abortions." The state Department of Health and Senior Services said a March health inspection of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic "identified serious concerns, one of those involving the handling of fetal tissue extracted from abortions." (Ballentine and Hanna, 6/7)
Southern Illinois Abortion Provider Prepares For An Upsurge Of Patients As Missouri Threatens To Close Its Last Clinic
The couple donned sunglasses and baseball caps before entering a southern Illinois clinic on a recent weekday, attempting to shield their identities from protesters outside. Fearing for their safety, they also rented a car so their own license plate could not be traced. The young woman’s 21-week pregnancy was clearly visible to the small cluster of anti-abortion activists. One of the strangers said she must be able to feel her baby moving and suggested adoption. Another mentioned that Father’s Day was approaching. (Lourgos, 6/10)
12 Attorneys General Say Recent Abortion Bans 'Appear To Be Unconstitutional'
Attorneys general for 11 states and the District of Columbia signed a joint statement saying they will not criminalize abortions and that recent abortion bans "appear to be unconstitutional." The Fair and Just prosecution statement was signed by the attorneys general of California, Vermont, Minnesota, Nevada, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, Michigan, D.C., Illinois, Oregon and Pennsylvania. It was also signed by elected prosecutors in several states, including some whose governments have recently passed abortion bans. (Frazin, 6/7)
Kansas City Star:
Anti-Abortion Amendments In Other States May Guide Kansas
Tennessee. West Virginia. Alabama.Abortion opponents want Kansas to join a small club of states that have changed their constitutions to limit abortion rights in the past decade. These states demonstrate the challenges of amending state constitutions – but also the potential rewards for anti-abortion activists if they’re successful. Those states have gone on to further restrict access to abortion, with Alabama instituting a near-total ban and Tennessee banning telemedicine abortions and requiring a 48-hour waiting period. (Shorman, 6/8)
The Washington Post:
In Alabama — Where Lawmakers Banned Abortion For Rape Victims — Rapists’ Parental Rights Are Protected
When a young woman came to the Family Services of North Alabama office last year for help with trauma, saying she had been raped by her step-uncle when she was 15, rape crisis advocate Portia Shepherd heard something that “killed me, shocked me. ”The step-uncle, who was getting out of jail after a drug conviction, wanted to be a part of their child’s life. And in Alabama, the alleged rapist could get custody. “It’s the craziest thing I ever heard in my life,” Shepherd said. “On the state level, people were shocked. How could Alabama even be missing this law?” (Wax-Thibodeaux, 6/9)
The Washington Post:
‘Women Should Have Autonomy’: A Michigan Hotel Offers Free Stays To Anyone Seeking An Abortion
From Yale, Mich., a conservative meat-processing town with less than 2,000 people in the state’s eastern “thumb,” the nearest abortion providers are roughly an hour drive away. For Shelley O’Brien, the manager of the Yale Hotel, that was close enough to be of help. “Dear sisters that live in Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, or any of the other states that follow with similar laws restricting access,” the 55-year-old mother of three wrote on the hotel’s Facebook page in May. “We cannot do anything about the way you are being treated in your home state. But, if you can make it to Michigan, we will support you with several nights lodging, and transportation to and from your appointment.” (Noori Farzan, 6/10)