Our Bodies, Our Blog

Scenes from Boston Vigil for George Tiller

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

More than 500 people gathered in downtown Boston Monday evening to mourn the death and celebrate the life of Dr. George Tiller. OBOS’s own Wendy Brovold helped in the planning and put together this video. Speakers included Stephanie Poggi, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds. The vigil was covered on New England Cable News. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act Now

Writings About George Tiller and Where We Go From Here

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

There’s so much important policy analysis and moving stories about Dr. George Tiller that we wanted to try to bring you a snapshot of it all here. We’ll continue to add to this post — please also leave suggestions for additional reading, or your own thoughts, in the comments. In our previous post on Tiller’s murder, we included Tiller’s own story about becoming an abortion provider. He learned his father had provided medically safe abortions for women who had no place else to turn prior to Roe v. Wade only after taking over his father’s practice. Tiller decided to continue to provide the service for women, despite great risk to him and his family. Since then, Judy Norsigian, Our Bodies Ourselves executive director, expanded on her blog post about how to show support for abortion providers with three things everyone can do. And we continue to support the efforts of IAmDrTiller.com and the George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowAnalysis & Public Policy Abortion Wars, the First Time Around: On The New York Times op-ed page, Kate Manning writes: “Dr. Tiller is just the latest … More

Abortion Provider George Tiller, 67, Murdered at Church

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

George Tiller, an abortion provider in Wichita, Kan., was shot and killed this morning at his church. Police have a suspect in custody — a 51-year-old male — according to the Kansas City Star. Tiller, 67, was shot just after 10 a.m. in the lobby of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, where he was a member of the congregation. Tiller was serving as an usher at the church, one of six ushers listed in the church bulletin. He was handing out bulletins to people going into the sanctuary minutes before being shot. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowTiller’s family issued a statement through Wichita attorneys Dan Monnat and Lee Thompson. “Today we mourn the loss of our husband, father and grandfather. Today’s event is an unspeakable tragedy for all of us and for George’s friends and patients. “This is particularly heart wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace.” In March, Tiller was found not guilty of illegal abortion. He had faced 19 criminal charges for allegedly violating a state law requiring an “independent” second physician’s concurring opinion before performing later term … More

Anti-Choice Judge Steps Aside in Tiller Case

By Kiki Zeldes |

Guest blogger Rachel Walden of Women’s Health News is posting here this week, while Christine is on vacation. Judge Anthony Powell announced today that he would recuse himself from presiding over the prosecution of Witchita, Kansas abortion provider George Tiller, one of a handful of late-term abortion providers. Powell is visibly anti-choice, having helped to push the 1998 legislation under which Tiller is charged; this editorial from the Witchita Eagle suggests that the law was intended from its inception to target Dr. Tiller. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowTiller is charged with 19 misdemeanor counts for allegedly violating a law that requires providers to obtain an independent opinion from a second doctor prior to performing a late-term abortion. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. Feministing has a good summary of the case, and explains that he is accused of having had a financial relationship with the second doctor who signed off on the procedures. Tiller’s attorneys requested Powell’s removal from the case, and argue that the law is unconstitutional because it does not adequately define the limits of the relationship of the doctors and the allowable burden … More

Clear Channel Won’t Run Ads for Women’s Health Clinic, Cites “Decency Standards”

By Rachel Walden |

Following a successful campaign urging Facebook to apply its community standards toward pages and groups promoting rape and other violence against women, Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) has launched a new effort: calling on Clear Channel to lift a ban on radio ads promoting a Wichita, Kan., women’s health clinic that provides abortions. “At a time when access to reproductive health services, including but not limited to abortion, is under ever increasing attack by politicians and antichoice extremist groups alike, it’s ever more critical that women learn about the services that are still available to them,” said Jaclyn Friedman, executive director of WAM!. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowThe South Wind Women’s Center recently opened to provide a full range of sexual and reproductive health services, including well-woman exams, cancer screenings, contraception and pregnancy-options counseling. It is one of just just three facilities in all of Kansas that provide abortion care — and one of only three clinics in Wichita (which has a metropolitan population of 650,000) that provide subsidized birth control for low-income individuals. The clinic is run by Julie Burkhart, a colleague of Dr. George Tiller, the abortion … More

Roe Round-Up: Analysis on the 40th Anniversary of Legalized Abortion

By Rachel Walden |

Lizz Winstead, Daily Show co-creator and producer, has a message for what’s at stake on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. On the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, we celebrate four decades of legal abortion — which has undoubtedly changed and saved many women’s live. Yet we recognize there is still much work to be done. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowTo help change policy and to ensure that all legislators understand the basics about women’s bodies and reproduction, OBOS has re-opened the campaign to send copies of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” to every member of Congress. Let your friends and colleagues know there’s still time to join the campaign — we’ll be delivering the books to D.C. starting in late February. OBOS is also taking part in Trust Women Week to urge policy makers to support reproductive justice and access to contraception and abortion. You can add your name to a petition that will be sent to legislators. If you’re in San Francisco, there’s an event this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at Justin Herman Plaza. Many organizations and individuals are covering the anniversary today from a variety of personal and political perspectives. … More

Stirring the Pot – How Has Obama Done on Choice?

By Rachel Walden |

We’re all pretty used to hearing about anti-choice, anti-reproductive justice Republican proposals that do little to promote the health of all women, but how is our current Democratic President doing on these issues? That is the theme explored by the current issue of Conscience, the magazine of Catholics for Choice, which explores the question of President Obama’s record of pro-choice action. In the first essay, Jodi Jacobsen of RH Reality Check asks, “Is Obama Prochoice?” and focuses on the topic by looking at the President’s actions related to the stimulus package, healthcare reform debates, the murder of Dr. Tiller, and other events. Her conclusion? “Is Obama Prochoice? Not by my definition.” Other authors discuss the need for a true “champion” of reproductive rights, express disappointment in Obama’s approach to HIV/AIDS, decry the continuance of financial support of abstinence-only programs, and explore USAID approaches, faith-based initiatives, and other topics. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowThe issue also includes a review of the book “Willing and Unable: Doctors’ Constraints in Abortion Care,” which we wrote about last June, as well as a few other relevant books that may be of interest … More

¿Confía que la mujer puede elegir por sí misma servicios de salud reproductiva?

By Kiki Zeldes |

Escrito por Christine; traducido por Ema Rosero del orginial en inglés Jan 19, 2011. La mayoría de adolescentes y adultos sexualmente activos en los Estados Unidos utilizan métodos anticonceptivos y favorecen que la mujer haga por sí misma decisiones sobre su salud reproductiva. A pesar de este apoyo, los que se oponen a la planificación familiar y a los derechos de las mujeres han intentando presentarse como la verdadera voz de moralidad y han logrado avances políticos que amenazan la salud de la mujer. Este año se celebró el 38vo aniversario de Roe vs. Wade el día 22 de enero. El grupo “Defensores para la salud de la mujer y la Campaña Cinta de Plata para que la mujer asuma sus derechos de reproducción y de justicia” (Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women for Reproductive Rights and Justice) ha demostrado nuestra fortaleza y se ha reivindicado con respecto a los derechos que tiene la mujer para obtener servicios de salud. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowLa Campaña Cinta de Plata es el esfuerzo de docenas de organizaciones incluyendo Nuestros Cuerpos Nuestras Vidas, para darle prioridad a la ciencia sobre … More

Do You Trust Women to Make Their Own Choices About Reproductive Healthcare?

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The majority of sexually active adolescents and adults in the United States use birth control and are in favor of women being able to make their own reproductive health decisions. Despite this support, opponents of family planning and women’s rights have tried to assert themselves as the true moral voice — and have made political gains that severely threaten women’s health. This year, as women’s health advocates celebrate the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Jan. 22, the Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women for Reproductive Rights and Justice has emerged as an opportunity to show our strength and claim our rights to the legal healthcare to which we are entitled. The Silver Ribbon Campaign is the effort of dozens of organizations — including Our Bodies Ourselves — committed to prioritizing science over ideology and offering full support for reproductive healthcare; free access to birth control; and keeping abortion legal and accessible. Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowYou can take part by spreading the word through Twitter and Facebook and by wearing a Trust Women Silver Ribbon from Jan. 22 – Feb. 22. Make your own or make … More

Health Care Reform Update: Effort to Restrict Abortion Coverage Fails, Mixed Results on Abstinence Only Funding

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The health care reform debate hasn’t been encouraging for reproductive health advocates, but on Wednesday the Senate Finance Committee pushed back against a Republican amendment designed to “doubly triply restrict abortion coverage in the bill,” as Rachel Maddow described it last night. Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine joined almost all of the Democrats to defeat the amendment 13-10. Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, a Democrat, voted for the restrictions along with the rest of the Republicans. Robert Pear of The New York Times explains the framework of the amendment: Like what you’re reading? Our Bodies Ourselves needs your support to continue providing trusted health info!Act NowThe bill, written by the chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, says that no tax credits could be used to pay for abortions except as allowed in the latest appropriations for the Department of Health and Human Services — in case of rape or incest or if the life of a pregnant woman was in danger. Under the bill, some health plans would cover abortion, and some would not. Private insurers that chose to cover abortion would be required to segregate money, taken from private premiums, to cover the procedure. The … More