Thursday, January 24, 2013

Abortion Laws - MA, MI, MN, MS

Massachusetts - #16 - B-
29% of Massachusetts counties have no abortion provider.
Massachusetts has not repealed its pre-Roe ban, though it is now unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Biased Counseling and Insurance Prohibition
Partially unenforceable/unconstitutional requirement that a woman receive and sign a packet of state-approved materials 24 hours before an abortion.
Health insurance policies provided by the state for its employees may not provide abortion coverage for certain post-viability procedures, with exceptions for the woman's health.

Refusal Clause
No one's required to participate in abortions or sterilization procedures. Private hospitals don't have to provide/refer contraception, and religious organizations don't have to provide contraception or abortion insurance coverage.

Restriction on Young Women's Access to Abortion
Unmarried women under 18 must obtain the consent of one parent.

Unconstitutional and unenforceable restriction that abortions after 12 weeks must be performed in hospitals.

News Stories
Court upholds Massachusetts Abortion Clinic Buffer Law
Wiki entry on John Salvi, who murdered abortion clinic workers in Massachusetts in 1994

Michigan - #32 - F
83% of Michigan counties have no abortion provider.
Several bans, almost all of which are unconstitutional and unenforceable. But they keep trying.

Biased Counseling and Counseling Ban
24 hours before an abortion a woman must receive a state-approved packet of materials.
State Department of Community Health funds for pregnancy prevention cannot be used to counsel about or refer to abortion. They also must give funding priority to organizations that do not provide abortion except in the case of emergency.

Refusal Clause
No one has to participate in abortions; religious employers may choose not to provide contraception coverage.

Restrictions on Low Income Women's and Young Women's Access to Abortion
Public funding for abortion is prohibited except to save the woman's life or in cases of rape or incest.
Women under the age of 18 must obtain parental consent from one parent with no exceptions for rape, incest, or child abuse.

Facilities have their own unique licensing scheme, effectively requiring abortion clinics to be mini-hospitals. Doctors must have referring privileges at local hospitals.

News Stories
Michigan governor signs new abortion law

Minnesota - #18 - C+
95% of Minnesota counties have no abortion provider.
Biased Counseling and Counseling Ban
24 hours before getting an abortion a woman has to sit through a state-approved lecture, in person or by telephone.
Family planning grants from the state can't go towards abortion. They also can't make grants under the "Positive Abortion Alternatives" program for abortion services.

Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion
Women under 18 must wait 48 hours after notice is delivered to BOTH parents, either by certified mail or in person by the attending physician. Waived in cases of child abuse.

Abortions after the first trimester must be done in a hospital or licensed "abortion facility" (which usually have to be mini-hospitals themselves.)

Mississippi - #48 - F
99% of Mississippi counties have no abortion provider. (Soon to be 100%!)
Several unconstitutional and unenforceable bans on abortion, with one near-total criminal ban on abortion to take effect if Roe v Wade is ever repealed.

Biased Counseling, Counseling Ban, and Insurance Prohibition
24 hours before getting an abortion a woman must sit through an in-person, state approved lecture by the attending physician.
Public school nurses are prohibiting from counseling about abortion. No money from the Mississippi Children's Trust Fund may be used for abortion counseling or services.
No public funds can be used for abortions for state employees, except for rape or incest of inviability of the fetus. Insurance plans under the new state exchange cannot cover abortion except for rape, incest, or health of the mother.

Refusal Clause
No one is required to participate in ANY health care service.

Restrictions on Low Income Women's and Young Women's Access to Abortion
Prohibits public funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, to save the life of the mother, or if the fetus is not viable.
Unmarried women under 18 must obtain the written consent of both parents. No exception for rape, incest, or child abuse.

The TRAP laws in Mississippi are forcing the state's sole remaining abortion provider to close its doors. After remodeling and following all the mini-hospital guidelines, none of the doctors have been able to secure admitting rights at any nearby hospitals. The law requires them to have such rights, but does not require the hospitals to give it to them. Which shuts them down. The LAST REMAINING CLINIC IN THE STATE. All of the surrounding states have 24 hour delay laws, which means the women of Mississippi will have to travel out of state, stay overnight in a hotel, and THEN get an abortion. As if getting an abortion wasn't stressful enough.

Other laws
Section 97-29-11 of the Mississippi Code makes being the parent of an illegitimate child a misdemeanor, and requires that the State Health Department report out-of-wedlock births each month. The misdemeanor is punishable by “not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days or by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00), or both.” For repeat offenses, the jail time and fine double.  While this policy is not enforced, it is still valid law in Mississippi.

News Stories
Mississippi's last clinic fights to stay open
Mississippi and the state of Abortion 40 years after Roe

National Report Card
Part 1: Intro and Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas
Part 2: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware
Part 3: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho
Part 4: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas
Part 5: Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland
Part 6: this post

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