Here are some quick reproductive rights highlights featured in the news recently:
• A Mother Jones article by Kate Sheppard talks about the new TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws in Kansas, which are similar to those recently passed in Virginia. In the article, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia executive director Tarina Keene notes TRAP regulations really serve “just to make life extremely difficult, if not impossible, for these facilities.”
Sharon Levin, the vice president of the National Abortion Federation, echoed the statement: “These are really politically motivated laws. These laws have nothing to do with patient safety.”
Providers in Kansas were given only two weeks to comply with the new regulations; it remains to be seen how long Virginia providers will have after draft regulations on September 15th (with final regulations approved by January 1, 2012). There is fear that the state health department will require Virginia providers to follow the same regulations South Carolina adopted in 2003 that “went so far as to dictate proper procedures for mowing the lawn.”
TRAP regulations use unwarranted and unnecessary restrictions to limit women’s ability to access full healthcare options. As Jezebel wrote so markedly in their response to: “We are curious to know what effect janitors’ closets have on the safety of women seeking care.”
• An Op-Ed in the Daily Press from Tamara Dietrich recapped this year in reproductive news. Dietrich cited the attempt to narrow the definition of rape under abortion law, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” and the Virginia General Assembly’s passage of TRAP legislation as the pronounced lows of this year. Tamara Dietrich quoted The Guttmacher Institute’s Elizabeth Nash stating: “It’s pretty much an all-out, anti-abortion free-for-all.”
• The Richmond Times-Dispatch chose to fact check our “McDonnell’s War on Women: By the Numbers” video. They ultimately confirmed the sad fact that we were not exaggerating about the extent of Governor McDonnell’s recent attacks on women’s health and reproductive rights in Virginia.