A Big Win for Abortion Rights

A big win for abortion rights: Our view

The Supreme Court unmasked Texas’ bogus health laws on abortion as an illegal burden.

For more than 25 years, abortion opponents unable to overturn Roe v. Wade have been building ever-higher barriers to a woman’s right to an abortion. On Thursday, in the most far-reaching abortion ruling in a generation, the Supreme Court in essence told them, “Stop, you’ve gone too far.”

In its 5-3 decision, the bitterly divided court struck down parts of a Texas law that had already closed half of the state’s abortion clinics, and if allowed to go forward, would have left the nation’s second largest state with less than 10 clinics to serve 5.4 million women of reproductive age. By contrast, California, the nation’s most populous state, had 160 abortion clinicsat last count.

Texas is one of many states that have used onerous restrictions to turn what is a constitutional right, guaranteed by the court in 1973, into little more than an empty promise, especially for low-income women who have less ability to overcome these obstacles. The barriers include waiting periods of anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, required counseling and forced sonograms.

Between the growing restrictions and anti-abortion politics, abortions have become hard to obtain in many states and almost impossible to get in some. Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, for example, are each down to a single clinic.

In recent years, abortion foes have turned their sights from women seeking abortions to the clinics providing them, passing especially rigorous laws in 15 states. Texas’ 2013 law — which requires all providers to have “admitting privileges” at a nearby hospital and to maintain hospital-like standards of ambulatory surgical centers — was among the harshest.

While both provisions might sound like they promote health, as Texas insists they do, the Supreme Court unmasked that rationale as bogus. In 2013, Texas already had strong abortion clinic regulations, particularly low rates of complications and virtually no deaths from abortions, but passed a new law anyway.

The results? Wait times ballooned, from about five days to 28 days in Dallas-Ft. Worth, for example. Clinic staffs faced burn-out, and many women faced driving hundreds of miles to get an abortion in what the court called “crammed-to-capacity superfacilities” where “individualized attention, serious conversation, and emotional support” were less likely.

Balancing a “virtual absence of any health benefit” from the restrictions against the obstacles they placed in women’s paths, the court ruled that the Texas law violates the “undue burden” standard it spelled out in a 1992 decision.

The ruling will likely impact similar laws across wide swaths of the country. But it may take some time, as courts weigh the facts in each. Certainly, the Supreme Court’s strong language should dissuade more lawmakers from going down this cynical path.

Abortion foes latched onto the idea of regulating clinics after Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell was indicted in 2011 and later convicted of three counts of first-degree murder at his horrifying clinic. Disreputable providers deserve to be shut down and criminal doctors prosecuted.

But Gosnell’s crimes had nothing to do with the lack of hospital-like facilities or admitting privileges. His rogue clinic flourished amid a complete breakdown of oversight by multiple agencies, hospitals and professional organizations that failed to do their jobs.

If state health officials are interested in women’s safety, they should focus on these issues and ensure that inspections are carried out. Providers, too, could do a much better job of policing their own.

Thursday’s decision will not change the country’s deep, emotional divide over abortion. But it should make clear that abortion rights can’t be trampled with laws that pretend to protect women but actually endanger their health.

USA TODAY’s editorial opinions are decided by its Editorial Board, separate from the news staff. Most editorials are coupled with an opposing view — a unique USA TODAY feature.



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This doesn’t mean that the work is over.  For now, we have a victory, but they will  come up with something else. A  woman’s body is her own. When the GOP talks about less contraceptives available to couples or no contraceptives, unwanted pregnancies will be the result.


Enjoy the few moments of victory but know this is not over yet. This is where women need to get out and speak up for our rights.


Any child born has the right to be born wanted, cared for, and loved.

That baby has a right to be wanted and loved and doted over. That child has the right to regular health and dental care and a good education. They have the right to a decent chance to a life worth living. They have a right to a life that won’t end up in homelessness. They have a right to what we had.

And if a woman is unable or unwilling to care for that child, a woman has a right to not have that child.  If a woman is unable or unwilling to carry that child, she has a right to  not be forced to carry a fetus for 9 months.

Children should not be forced to have children, and victims of rape or molestation have the right to not have to be reminded of the most life-shattering trauma they will likely ever face  for every moment of every day for the next 9 months, and into the rest of her life.


Blessed be.

Displaced by Violence, Columbian Women build their own City

Traditionally women have been seen as and forced to be second class citizens. All throughout written history, they have been expected to obey their husbands, accept any and all violence. They have been supposed to tolerate adultery. They have been made to feed their families with little or no help from their man. Marriage was a business arrangement to solidify relations between countries, as a mediation between warring clans or families. Marriage also used to require a bride price. Marry my daughter and I will give you 10 horses, 12 goats, and 6 bracelets of silver. We like to think times have changed but women continue to cook, clean, have babies and never speak about anything important.

Violence is happening around the world to men, women and children, but the women and children carry the brunt of the scars of the violence. Women may not look strong, but millions are strong. This is the story of such women and what they chose to do when violence drove them from their villages.

To the bravery and strength of every woman who surmounts her poverty, illiteracy, and homelessness and carves out for herself and her children a better life: I say you are heroines. Be proud of yourselves and children be proud of your Moms. Their strength keeps you all alive. Their bravery has shown the people of Colombia that women and children do matter. It shows that violence does not always win.

Displaced by violence, Colombian women build their own city



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Is it glamourous to be a victim?

These days there are two kinds of women who are victims. One is the woman who has been sexually molested. The other are women who have been in a battering situation. Both type of woman has been violated. The violation is physical and emotional and mental.


The first time a man hits a woman, she is in shock. She can’t believe this person she loves would have raised his hand and hit her. Hit her so hard her lip bled and her jaw cracked. The pain is excruciating. He is screaming at her and calling her stupid and ugly. Her mind freezes. This is a nightmare. She must be dreaming. She must. This can’t really be happening.


When a woman is a victim or rape or molestation, the man and society often try to tell her it is her own fault. She shouldn’t have been where she was, her skirt was too short, she is a tease. Violence goes with the unwanted sex. Rape is often happening at the same time as she is tied up, he talks trash to her. Rape often includes inanimate objects which can cause severe injuries that will require surgery or leave permanent injuries.


There is no perk to being victimized. None. Some women are stronger than others, they can walk away the first time they are battered. For some,  the emotional abuse wrecks their self-confidence and his words begin to play over and over in her head. With time that voice is louder than the voices of the people around her.


A woman who has been raped, she knows what kinds of things that may be said about her. She was asking for it. She really wanted it. In truth, rape has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power and control. The rapist needs that power and control to perform. Often a rapist will threaten to come back and kill her if she tells anyone. He often has a gun or a knife in his hand. So, many young women hesitate to report the rape.Some can take a month or two to find the courage and conquer the shame before they can report it.


Both types of victims feel shame, guilt and fear. Battered women live with the abuser and fear more abuse. Often, when they leave, it is in the middle of the night and they flee for their lives and the lives of their children. Many have no job skills, or access to credit. This is why battered women’s shelters are so important. It is important that shelter locations remain secret to protect the women and children who are staying there and also to protect the staff. Taxi drivers know where they are.


There is nothing to be gained by being a victim. Helping a woman to listen to her own voice and not the voice of her rapist of batterer is important but it often takes quite a while. There is no status in being raped or beaten. Society needs to remember that these women are someone’s daughters, sisters, cousins, mother and friends.


So please don’t judge. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Take in consideration that she is vulnerable and frightened. Scorn from people in her life will only increase her fear and vulnerability.






Rape Hotline

Rape Hotline



No one wants to be raped or molested.

No one wants to be raped or molested.


Survivors get a second chance.

Survivors get a second chance.



Domestic Violence is a crime. You can't hit another person,ever.

Domestic Violence is a crime. You can’t hit another person, ever.


Domestic Violence is found in every level of society.

Domestic Violence is found in every level of society.