Abortion and Contraception Restrictions

NAPW knows that there are many ways to reduce the number of abortions but that banning abortions is not one of them. Throughout history, women have sought to control their reproduction regardless of cultural, religious or family proscriptions against contraception, abortion and child bearing. Efforts to prohibit abortion, contraception, and child bearing have been notoriously and consistently unsuccessful. Not only do women continue to find ways to control their reproductive lives and to protect their families, the criminalization of such activities results in flourishing illegal markets, and a deeply ingrained cynicism toward the government authority that attempts to enforce the law.

NAPW knows that such things as providing comprehensive sex education and access to contraceptive and other health services can have a significant impact on reducing the number of abortions.

NAPW also knows that more than half of all women having abortions already are mothers, raising one or more children. A majority of those having abortions who are not yet raising children, will someday become mothers and spend much of their lives raising and caring for their children and other loved ones.

The abortion controversy however focuses on pregnant women and mothers as people who “terminate” or abandon their “unborn children” rather than as life and caregivers. This focus distracts attention from the profound debt America owes to its pregnant women and mothers. American women — many of whom at some point in their lives have had or will have abortions — “do 80 percent of the child care and two-thirds of the housework.” They do this work without any form of formal compensation, without any guaranteed pensions, and without any form of insurance or healthcare should they need it. Economists suggest that if Americans had to pay for the volunteer and unpaid labor that America’s pregnant women and mothers do, we would go bankrupt.

NAPW believes that supporting a “culture of life” has little meaning when the primary way our legislatures value the women who give that life is to limit their access to abortion and other reproductive health services and information.

In this section you will find articles, resources, and links to information about abortion and contraceptive services and restrictions on them, action people are taking to ensure reproductive justice, and opportunities for people to talk and write about their experiences outside of the existing pro-and ant-choice frameworks.

GRIT TV addresses attacks on pregnant women's rights.

January 03, 2011

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Lynn Paltrow and Loretta Ross, National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, joined Grit TV host Laura Flanders for a discussion of current attacks on reproductive justice, including the recent campaigns specifically challenging African-American women’s reproductive rights and health.

Letter released, Challenging VoteYesForLife False Claims re Emergency Contraception

October 31, 2006

Rapid City, South Dakota - South Dakota attorney Catherine Ratliff along with Massachusetts's lawyer Connie Rudnick and National Advocates for Pregnant Women released a letter to KOTA television refuting the false allegations written in a letter to the station by the law firm Murphy, Goldammer & Prendergast, representing VoteYesForLife.com, about a recent television advertisement sponsored by opponents of South Dakota's proposed law that would ban virtually all women from obtaining legal abortions.

Why are Doctor's Lying?

October 31, 2006

South Dakota allies Barbara Chapman and Karen Miller, in an op ed featured in the Rapid City Journal challenge the lies some doctors are telling about the new law that would ban virtually all South Dakota women from legal abortion services.

South Dakota's New Murderers

March 21, 2006

TomPaine.Com Commentary
By Lynn Paltrow and Charon Asetoyer
March 08, 2006
Lynn Paltrow is the executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women in New York and Charon Asetoyer is the executive director of the Native American Women's Health and Education Resource Center in South Dakota.

This week South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signed a law that bans almost all abortions in the state. Neither the governor nor the law's supporters have been honest about what the effect of the law will be.

Those who authored the law want to create impression that only the people providing the abortions will be punished, not the women having them. They are not brave enough enough to admit what is clear: women will be punished and they and their families will suffer if this law goes into effect.

Pro-Voice: A Framework for Communicating Personal Experiences with Abortion

March 19, 2006

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Pregnant Drug Users, Fetal Persons and the Threat to Roe v. Wade

January 13, 1999

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By: Lynn Paltrow, 62 Albany Law Review 999 (1999)

Roe v. Wade marked only the beginning of the struggle for reproductive justice for all women. Many women fall outside of its "core" protections. Among these are drug addicted pregnant women. This article addresses how the arrest and prosecution of these women, based on claims of fetal personhood, reflect the extent to which Roe is vulnerable. By linking anti-abortion arguments to other highly-charged political issues and to particularly marginalized groups of women, anti-choice advocates have made significant inroads on the limited rights won in Roe v. Wade. Twenty-five years after Roe v. Wade's decision that fetuses are not legal persons, claims of fetal personhood are gaining unprecedented legal recognition while the struggle for women's rights and full constitutional personhood remains far from finished.