Saturday, January 19, 2013

40th Anniversary

While Monday marks the MLK holiday and the inauguration - Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe V Wade, also announced the same day as Lyndon Johnson's death.  Rachel Maddow has video (one segment below) -- how the right to choose *on paper* is not necessarily the right to choose in actuality.  Mississippi, for example, may soon become the first state to completely ban abortion - in spite of the Constitutional protections guaranteed to women on that date - and by closing the last clinic that provides this service -  generally to low income women - and by depriving physicians of their hospital access if they assist women undergoing abortion procedures.  

In the far reaches of Mississippi and states where these services are especially under fire -- dedicated women's rights advocates work under continuous siege.  Health care providers go to work in disguise, they are personally harassed on a daily basis by unknown individuals who familiarly address them by name, one physician's children were targeted at school, and he describes looking around every day before leaving his home.  The news piece includes a similar situation in North and South Dakota where some health care providers feel compelled to carry concealed firearms for protection.  

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More blogging here on Mississippi;  in May 2012, Rachel Maddow spoke with Dr. Carl Maddix, an OB-GYN who was removed and blocked from serving on the Mississippi Board of Health because he served as hospital access for clinic patients in the event of complications developing during an abortion procedure.

Photographer: Eva Russo
Women's rights demonstrators outside the Virginia State Capitol in March 2012, with over 30 arrested that day.

Back in March 2012, thirty-three women's rights demonstrators were arrested in Virginia objecting to a controversial wave of laws in Virginia, Georgia, and New Hampshire being argued and passed by mostly male lawmakers.  In Georgia, 8 of the 9 women legislators walked out as their male colleagues advanced curbs on contraception and abortion coverage, and considered a bill to ban abortion at 20 weeks.  

In May, the Georgia governor, Nathan Deal (R), signed this stringent 20 week ban, and with no exceptions for rape or incest.  Think Progress reported in early January that it was scheduled to go into effect with the new year, but the ACLU filed a suit on behalf of 3 obstetricians;  then, right before Christmas, Georgia Judge Doris Downs issued a temporary injunction, to rule later on the merits of the challenge.  Georgia's constitution has especially strong privacy provisions and AJC reports the ACLU advancing the case on that basis.

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