25 September 2013, 10:31

Republicans pushing bill to create anti-abortion license plates

аборт новорожденный младенец ребенок дети

Anti-choice campaign is speeding up in the US and is legislatively backed by antiabortion politicians, mainly Republicans. Thus, recently, a Republican lawmaker has initiated a bill to create anti-abortion license plates to raise money for crisis pregnancy centers.

Rep. Andre Jacque proposes to create plates saying “Choose Life” and featuring an image of an infant’s footprint. Purchasers would have to pay both the annual $75 vehicle registration fee and a $15 special plate fee. They’d also have to pay another $25 that would go to Choose Life Wisconsin Inc., a corporation that anti-abortion groups Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin have set up to raise money for crisis pregnancy centers’ adoption programs.

Jacque said 29 other states offer similar anti-abortion license plates.

“This is certainly a cause that is worthy of support,” Jacque said, “It’s supporting women and children.”

Jacque introduced a similar bill at the end of the last session but it went nowhere.

This summer, Republicans tried to pass a measure requiring women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds and abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

However, Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services have challenged the admitting privileges provision in federal court, alleging it would force two abortion clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee to close because providers at the facilities lack such privileges.

Growing extremism among politicians has triggered the ire of abortion rights supporters and boosted public support for abortion rights.

Democrats and abortion rights organizations said Republicans have been too much and extreme in their initiatives, which hurt women’s privacy and health.

“It is beyond inappropriate for the state to officially partner with organizations like Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin, whose extreme agendas are out of touch with Wisconsinites and undermine women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care,” Jenni Dye, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, said in response to the plate proposal.

Another threat to women’s access to abortion is the declining number of doctors who perform abortions, as medical schools aren’t training enough students to replace them.

According to data from the National Abortion Federation, nearly 70 percent of medical students in the United States have received less than 30 minutes of class training about abortion by the time they graduate from medical school.

Dr. Nancy Stanwood, associate professor and section chief of Family Planning at the Yale School of Medicine and board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, remembers: “We spent literally an hour and a half learning about birth control in two years of lectures,” she says. “We spent more time on cochlear implants — an important, but far less common, procedure.”

“There are a lot of reasons why reproductive healthcare is not well covered in medical school curricula,” Lois Backus, executive director of Medical Students for Choice, told Salon news site. “But among the most serious causes is the fact that reproductive health topics are still a source of controversy. Even though abortion is the second most common procedure experienced by women of childbearing age, it is routinely ignored in medical education.”

Uneven training shapes students’ career choices and they tend not to go into reproductive health care, as it’s not something they’re prepared to perform.

The scarcity of students being trained to perform the procedure is also directly connected to the proliferation of GOP-backed state-level restrictions — on funding, on clinics and on physicians themselves.

Now, almost 90 percent of American counties lack an abortion provider, leaving millions of women without access to reproductive healthcare.

But for a medical student, the absence of providers can also mean the absence of teachers.

In Ohio earlier this year, the University of Toledo Medical Center, under the pressure from state Republicans and Ohio Right to Life, refused to renew its transfer agreement with two area clinics, the Center for Choice and Capital Care Network, thus leaving medical students at the University of Toledo with anyone able to teach them how to perform abortions.

In Kansas, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a bill requiring public hospitals to use private funds for medical residents’ abortion training. Gov. Sam Brownback signed it, along with dozens of other abortion restrictions.

It’s a national trend with long-term consequences, but faced with growing barriers to comprehensive training, medical students across the country have started to fight back, Salon writes.

“Students are hungry for this training,” Stanwood says. “We’re witnessing a really important generational shift. More and more medical students want to be equipped to meet these needs, and reform is beginning to happen because students are demanding it. Change is coming from the bottom up rather than the top down.”

Training opportunities in obstetrics-gynecology residency programs and family practice residency programs are now mostly funded by organizations like the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Program, the continued advocacy of groups Medical Students for Choice and medical students themselves.

But there is still a long way to go. And the stakes are really high.

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