Thursday, July 23, 2009

Abortion providers under siege

Women in a half dozen states studied by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CPR) face a dwindling number legal and safe abortion services as states impose regulations applicable only to abortion providers and so-call pro-lifers threaten violence and death. This from McClatchy:
An abortion-rights group said Wednesday that doctors and clinics that perform abortions in six states "are routinely targeted" for legal and physical harassment, including death threats, and called on the Justice Department to do more to protect clinic workers.

In a report, the Center for Reproductive Rights said that women seeking to terminate pregnancies in those states face a dwindling supply of providers as threats and intimidation take their toll.
Nancy Northup, the center's president, said the number of physicians and clinics providing abortions has fallen by 25 percent since the 1990s.

Two of the states, Mississippi and North Dakota, have only one abortion provider. The other studied states were Missouri, with three, Alabama, with seven, Pennsylvania, with about a dozen, and Texas, with about 40.

Even in states with multiple clinics, however, most are clustered in urban areas, leaving women in less populous regions to travel long distances for the service.

The center concluded the study before the killing in May of Dr. George Tiller, who ran a well-known abortion clinic in Wichita, Kan. An abortion opponent has been charged with shooting Tiller inside his church as Tiller was serving as an usher during Sunday services.


Abortion became legal nationwide in 1973 as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. About a third of all women will have the procedure during their reproductive years, according to the report.

The group said it singled out the six states for study because they were geographically diverse and illustrative of the problems abortion providers face.

All six have some sort of laws restricting abortion, regulations that apply only to abortion providers and recurring problems with clinic protests, intimidation and threats.
You can read the entire article here and access the CPR report, Defending Human Rights, here.

1 comment:

Comrade Kevin said...

And we're really going to have to address this directly, even if it's painful and comes at some political price.