Sunday January 26, 2020

Dozens of US Abortion Rights Protester Rally across Nationwide

The demonstrations targeted a recent array of anti-abortion laws being adopted by conservative state legislatures

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A group gathers to protest abortion restrictions at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, May 21, 2019. VOA

Dozens of protests supporting abortion rights unfolded across the United States on Tuesday, including one held outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

The demonstrations targeted a recent array of anti-abortion laws being adopted by conservative state legislatures that have voiced the hope that the ensuing legal battles over the strict abortion curbs will eventually push the court to overturn its landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the country.

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Gracie Burke, 19, center, a student at American University, joins other in a protest against abortion bans, May 21, 2019, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. VOA

The laws have imposed various restrictions, often limiting abortions to the first few weeks of a woman’s pregnancy and sometimes before a woman would know she was pregnant.

The StopTheBans protests were sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other abortion rights groups.

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Supporters of abortion rights rally against recently passed restrictions on abortions in the Statehouse rotunda, May 21, 2019, at the Nebraska Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska. VOA

“Across the country,” the groups said, “we are seeing a new wave of extreme bans on abortion, stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access.”

They described the new laws adopted or headed toward enactment in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri and elsewhere as President Donald Trump’s “anti-choice movement … and it’s terrifying, particularly for women of color and low-income women who are most affected by these bans.”

abortion rights
Protesters for women’s rights march to the Alabama Capitol to protest a law passed last week making abortion a felony in nearly all cases with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, May 19, 2019, in Montgomery, Ala. VOA

In the southern state of Alabama, virtually all abortions were banned, an action that Trump, and some other Republicans who otherwise support most abortion restrictions, have said went too far. Trump two decades ago described himself as “very pro-choice” in support of abortion rights, but last weekend said he approves ending pregnancies only if they occurred because of rape or incest or if the life of the mother is endangered.

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As security guards the steps of the Supreme Court, Kristin Mink of Silver Spring, Md., holds her three-week-old daughter by a sign she brought that says, “I exist because my Mom had an abortion,” as Mink joined a protest against abortion bans, May 21, 2019. VOA

At the Supreme Court, several hundred abortion-rights supporters staged a protest against the new laws, most of which have yet to take affect and are being challenged in court suits as not complying with the high court’s 1973 decision.

Several Democratic presidential contenders looking to be the party’s nominee against Trump in the November 2020 election joined the protesters.

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during a protest against abortion bans, May 21, 2019, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. VOA

“We are not going to allow them to move our country backward,” Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar told the crowd through a megaphone.

Conservatives pushing for the abortion restrictions have been emboldened by Trump’s appointment of two conservative justices to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who they believe will join three other conservatives on the court to make a 5-4 majority to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision. The 1973 Roe decision upheld the right to an abortion.

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It could be months before a new abortion rights case reaches the Supreme Court, but it is possible a new ruling could land in the midst of next year’s presidential election campaign. (VOA)

Next Story

Over 95% Women Feel That Abortion Was The Right Decision: Study

Over 95% women do not regret having an abortion says a new study

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According to a new study, over 95% women do not regret the decision of having an abortion. Pixabay

Researchers have found that even five years down the line after having an abortion, over 95 per cent of the women said it was the right decision for them.

Published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, the study found no evidence that women began to regret their decisions as years passed.

On the contrary, the women reported that both their positive and negative feelings about the abortion diminished over time. At five years, the overwhelming majority (84 per cent) had either positive feelings, or none at all.

“Even if they had difficulty making the decision initially, or if they felt their community would not approve, our research shows that the overwhelming majority of women who obtain abortions continue to believe it was the right decision,” said study researcher Corinne Rocca, Associate Professor at University of California in the US.

“This debunks the idea that most women suffer emotionally from having an abortion,” Rocca added.

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Most women suffer emotionally from having an abortion. Pixabay

For the findings, the researchers analysed data from the Turnaway Study, a five-year effort to understand the health and socioeconomic consequences for nearly 1,000 women who sought abortions in 21 states around the country.

The analysis included 667 participants who had abortions at the start of the study. The women were surveyed a week after they sought care and every six months thereafter, for a total of 11 times.

While women did not report regretting their decision, many did struggle initially to make it. Just over half said the decision to terminate their pregnancy was very difficult (27 per cent) or somewhat difficult (27 pe rcent), while the rest (46 percent) said it was not difficult.

About 70 per cent also reported feeling they would be stigmatised by their communities if people knew they had sought an abortion, with 29 per cent reporting low levels and 31 percent reporting high levels of community stigma. Those who struggled with their decisions or felt stigmatized were more likely to experience sadness, guilt and anger shortly after obtaining the abortion.

Over time, however, the number of women reporting these negative emotions declined dramatically, particularly in the first year after their abortion. This was also true for those who initially struggled with their decision.

And relief was the most prominent emotion reported by all groups at the end of the study — just as it was at every time point in the study.

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“This research goes further than previous studies, in that it follows women for longer, and was conducted on a larger sample from many different clinics throughout the US,” said Julia Steinberg from University of Maryland.

“It shows that women remain certain in their decision to get an abortion over time. These results clearly disprove claims that regret is likely after abortion,” Steinberg said. (IANS)