Brief abortion news roundup

Too much news, etc etc etc. You know the drill.

Houston crisis pregnancy centers, labeled ‘deceptive’ by experts, find new spotlight after Roe ruling.

Since 2011, pregnant Houstonians seeking abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic off the Gulf Freeway have encountered a large blue bus parked outside the entrance, offering “free and confidential pregnancy services” and “real choices.”

But those choices do not include abortion.

In fact, the bus, run by the nonprofit Houston Coalition for Life, is one of 22 crisis pregnancy centers in the Houston area that seek to deter patients from terminating a pregnancy, often with medically unreliable advice.

They are not licensed clinics and are usually run by religious organizations. Supporters say their services — free ultrasounds, parenting classes and baby items — help low-income, expectant mothers who may feel they have no options outside of abortion. One Houston center, run by Catholic Charities, also connects new refugee parents with rent and utility assistance. But when it comes to health care, the American Medical Association says they should be considered sources of “propaganda” and “misinformation” that undermine women’s health.

While the medical community has criticized the centers for years, last month’s overturning of Roe v. Wade puts them in a new spotlight. Abortion rights advocates and healthcare providers worry their advertising methods — using neutral language that gives the impression of a clinic — will absorb a rush of abortion-seeking patients who misunderstand the centers’ mission in states that offer no other alternative.

“As states move to ban and criminalize abortion care, it is critical that people who need abortions are able to access evidence-based, non-judgmental health information from qualified professionals, not crisis pregnancy centers that use deceptive advertising and misinformation to spread their ideology,” American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists President Dr. Iffath Abbasi Hoskins said in a statement supporting new federal legislation that would crack down on abortion-related disinformation.

These things have been a plague for a long time. Fun fact, a few years ago SCOTUS ruled unconstitutional a California law that required “crisis pregnancy centers” to display a sign that stated truthfully that they were not a licensed medical facility on the grounds that the law impeded their free speech rights, even though SCOTUS has previously upheld state laws requiring doctors to give out misleading information about abortion, on the grounds that such laws did not impede the doctors’ free speech rights. So they’re a plague that has the protection of our lawless and radical Supreme Court.

Biden pushes to protect inter-state abortion access amid Texas crackdown.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday to bolster access to abortion and other reproductive health services after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In his most pointed remarks since the ruling last month, Biden said he was outraged by the court’s decision and would take every step within his power to curb the damage. But he said he has limited ability to prevent Texas and other states from cracking down.

“The most extreme Republican governors and state legislatures have taken the court’s decision as a green light to impose some of the harshest and most restrictive laws seen in this country in a long time,” Biden said. “What we’re witnessing is a giant step backwards in much of our country.”

The directive instructs federal health officials to push back against state-led efforts to cut off access to federally approved abortion pills and out-of-state abortion services. It also calls for protecting privileged patient information around abortion and the privacy of those seeking information about reproductive care online.

But the order stopped short of more forceful responses that some fellow Democrats have pushed for in recent weeks, such as declaring a public health emergency and authorizing abortion care on federal lands in states with abortion bans.

The reaction I’ve seen online from reproductive rights activists is that this executive order was not expansive enough. Some of the things that President Biden did not include, like authorizing abortion care on federal lands in states with abortion bans, would be challenged in court and very likely knocked down by SCOTUS when it got to them. On the one hand, it’s almost certainly better politics to be caught trying to do as much as you can, and for sure the base really wants and needs to see a higher level of commitment not just from the President but from other Democratic leaders as well. Let SCOTUS continue to be the villain here, that’s a net positive for us. On the other hand, inviting them to make more rulings on the subject could result in firmer and more extensive restrictions or evisceration of existing rights. I don’t know how to evaluate the risks here, but in the absence of further information I side with those who pushed for more. There’s nothing to prevent the President from issuing another EO, so maybe this isn’t the end. Also, never forget that the stated goal of the forced birth radicals in the Legislature is to outlaw travel to other states to get abortions, and in keeping with SB8 to make it a crime for anyone to assist in that in any way. The stakes are already higher than you think.

Houston urologists say ‘tremendous’ uptick in vasectomies after Roe v. Wade ruling.

Houston urologist Russel Williams typically performed about 10 vasectomies a day. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, it’s already up to 15.

Houston urologists are seeing an increase in vasectomies, mirroring national trends, as Texas prepares to ban most abortions, following the Supreme Court decision.

Dr. Williams, who runs The Y Factor and its six urology and fertility clinics that dot the Greater Houston area, said there has been “a tremendous increase” in patients getting the procedure at his offices.

“We’re pretty busy, which is the new normal in our office,” said Stephanie Alvarado, the surgery coordinator at The Y Factor.


Houston Metro Urology, which staffs 19 urologists has seen similar trends at its facility in the Galleria area.

“It’s definitely something we’ve taken notice of and have tried to accommodate,” chief operating officer Nancy Nicolovski said.

Although her office is well staffed to handle the surge, she said, Nikolovski has considered expanding its operating hours to meet the demand. HMU was also already working on opening a vasectomy-only clinic on Saturdays before the Supreme Court’s ruling, but talks have accelerated and will likely open in the next few months, because she expects the trend to keep up through the end of the year.

“Vasectomy has always been a very popular procedure, anyway, but the changes in our landscape has prompted people who have been discussing it to just do it,” she said.

I mean, yeah. What did you think would happen?

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One Response to Brief abortion news roundup

  1. Hispanics are the largest potential voting group in Harris County. With abortion now at the forefront, will this issue help or hurt our pro-choice Democratic candidates in the Hispanic community? Hispanics have been a reliable Democratic constituency for many years. That said, the majority of Hispanics are Catholic and the Catholic Church, along with many other religions, are against abortions (view it as murdering an unborn child). This year, could Republicans use abortion as a wedge issue to separate Hispanic Catholics, and other religious voters, from our pro-choice Democratic candidates? Republicans have been reaching out to the Hispanic community and have made some gains in recent years. Anyway, since abortion is now a major election year, the local Democratic Party should at least be aware of the possibility. The last thing we want to do is take the Hispanic vote for granted and then be surprised in November. For more on this topic, see the link below:

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