KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Exploring Abortion’s ‘Gray’ Areas; The Importance Of Personal Experiences

News outlets offer opinion pieces on abortion policies.

The Washington Post: Abortion's Gray Areas
We have some models of what happens, even in very liberal societies, when public views prevail on abortion. Across most of Western Europe, abortion is legal during the first trimester but heavily restricted later in pregnancy — after the 14th week in France, Germany and Spain. These limits are not a violation of liberal principles but a recognition that the inherent violence of late-term abortion is at odds with liberal principles (Michael Gerson, 7/4).

The New York Times: My Mother's Abortion
Recently, I heard my mother reveal her experience to four friends who are devoted to protecting women's right to choose. Strikingly, two of them revealed that they had had an abortion, and the other two had close friends who’d had an abortion. None had told my mother before. What the movement for reproductive rights needs is for the faces of freedom to emerge from the captivity of shame. To my mother's generation, I ask: Speak openly about the choices you have made. To all women: ask your mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and partners about their reproductive histories. Show that abortion has myriad faces: those of women we love, respect and cherish. You have the power to cement in the minds of your communities and families the importance of reproductive freedom (Beth Matusoff Merfish, 7/7).

The Washington Post: North Carolina's Abortion-Law Sham
On Wednesday, just before the Fourth of July holiday, North Carolina Republicans added a slew of anti-abortion restrictions at the last minute to a bill otherwise concerned with banning Sharia law (already a questionable endeavor, but never mind that now). Following Virginia, whose General Assembly voted in 2011 to require abortion clinics to meet hospital — rather than doctor's office — standards, ostensibly in the name of safety, the North Carolina Senate joined a growing number of state legislatures mandating stricter standards for abortion clinics. Safety in abortion clinics is a legitimate concern, but these regulations probably will have little effect on patient safety (7/7).

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