Back Off, Intrusive and Offensive Anti-Choice Rabble!

Remembering Trailblazing Abortion Provider Mildred ‘Millie’ Hanson

Friends, family members, and former colleagues gathered in Minnesota Monday to celebrate the life of Dr. Mildred Hanson, the chapel filled with flowers sent by well-wishers from across the country. 596 MORE WORDS

‘Personhood’ Legislation Dealt Another Blow, This Time in Iowa

An Iowa state lawmaker’s bill to define life as beginning at fertilization failed to meet a legislative deadline Friday, joining so-called personhood bills in at least nine other states introduced without success this year. 638 MORE WORDS

Reflections on trying to organise a panel with more women

Recently, we—Elisa Freschi and Malcolm Keating—set about organizing a panel for the upcoming ATINER panel. We aimed for a panel which would include significant numbers of women, using suggestions from the Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC) published on the Feminist Philosophers website to achieve this goal.109 MORE WORDS


Twitter Changes Sexual Health Ad Policy, Reinstates Condom Retailer’s Account

Several condom companies and sexual health campaigns last year said Twitter had blocked them from advertising about condoms and safer sex. The reason for the blocks appeared to be Twitter’s… 565 MORE WORDS

IAPh in Australia in 2016. See you there!

Women and Philosophy: History, Values, Knowledge

A conference to be held at Monash University, Caulfield Campus, Melbourne, Australia

7-10 July 2016

Invited speakers: Moira Gatens (Sydney, Australia), Ruth Hagengruber (Paderborn, Germany), Sally Haslanger (MIT, US), Lisa Shapiro (Simon Fraser, Canada)167 MORE WORDS

Pro-Choice Win: Federal Court Upholds Pittsburgh Buffer Zone

A federal judge in Pennsylvania last week upheld the enforcement of a Pittsburgh ordinance that establishes a 15-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon issued the ruling in the case of… 467 MORE WORDS

More from NU grad student Kathryn Pogin

Kathryn Pogin, a philosophy grad student at Northwestern, has followed up her open letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education with an editorial at the Huffington Post… 238 MORE WORDS

Women Deserve to Know About HIV Prevention Medication Too

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the antiretroviral medication Truvada as the first form of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a pill to protect against getting HIV. 1,018 MORE WORDS

red bean and green grain taco bowl

I swear, this wholesome-looking meal isn’t penance for anything. It’s not a budget-friendly apology for the frenetic unplanned redecorating project or atonement for the fact that I’ve basically only wanted to eat chocolate, peanut butter, bread and…212 MORE WORDS

The Epidemic of Lying at Crisis Pregnancy Centers Exposes the Moral Rot in the Anti-Choice Movement

This new NARAL report about the tactics of CPCs is called Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie: The Insidious Threat to Reproductive Freedom. It’s an apt title, because once you’re done reading it, you could be forgiven for wondering if anti-choice activists are capable of telling the truth about anything, much less reproductive health care.1,098 MORE WORDS

No, It’s Still Yogaphobia

Kyle Garton-Gundling has offered a thoughtful and critical response to my discussions on yogaphobia and the Catholic Church in my recent RD essay, “Is Pope Francis Yogaphobic” 2,008 MORE WORDS

It’s Not Yogaphobia, It’s Theology

Andrea Jain’s timely piece in RD sets Pope Francis’ recent inoffensive reference to yoga against a larger context of yogaphobia in Catholic thought. Of particular importance is her reading of “ 1,096 MORE WORDS

Dr. Cheryl Chastine of South Wind Women’s Center Talks Reproductive Justice and Not Backing Down

This piece is published in collaboration with Echoing Ida, a Forward Together project.

Abortion providers are the backbone of reproductive health care. They are there for patients in emergencies, and often experience stigma simply for providing a procedure that is essential to economic and reproductive freedom.


Pro-Choice Win: Federal Court Upholds Pittsburgh Buffer Zone

A federal court in Pennsylvania was the first to uphold an abortion clinic buffer zone ordinance since the Supreme Court called into question the constitutionality of similar laws last summer.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania last weekupheld the enforcement of a Pittsburgh ordinance that establishes a 15-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon issued the ruling in the case of Nikki Bruni and four other anti-choice protesters who sued the city last year claiming the ordinance unconstitutionally prevented them from offering “sidewalk counseling” to patients. The conservative religious advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the lawsuit on Bruni’s behalf and had asked the court for an injunction blocking the ordinance.

Bruni is the local campaign director for “40 Days for Life,” a nationwide anti-choice protest campaign that targets clinics for daily protests and picketing.

Bissoon’s order upholding Pittsburgh’s buffer zone is the first federal court decision to examine the constitutionality of abortion clinic buffer zones after last summer’s Supreme Court decision in McCullen v. Coakely, which struck down a Massachusetts buffer zone law.

The Pittsburgh ordinance creates a 15-foot buffer zone around health-care facilities in the city. As first passed in 2005, the ordinance creates both a fixed 15-foot buffer zone around facilities and a floating “bubble” zone around patients.

The bubble zone rule meant that people outside the clinic were protected by a roving eight-foot buffer zone while within 100 feet of the clinic. But in 2009, a court ruled that Pittsburgh must choose between either a fixed or floating buffer zone, but not both at the same time. Friday’s ruling upholds the fixed 15-foot buffer zone.

Bissoon, in upholding Pittsburgh’s buffer zone, noted the history of anti-choice violence that had plagued the area and concluded that the ordinance did not violate protesters’ First Amendment rights. “Prior to the enactment of the Ordinance, there were incidents of physical intimidation, violence and obstruction where the buffer zone now stands,” Bissoon wrote. “Such incidents have rarely, if ever, occurred since the buffer zone has been implemented.”

“While plaintiffs’ message is restricted in that they cannot continue to walk alongside women as they approach within fifteen feet of the entrance, that method of communication is not foreclosed or effectively stifled,” Bissoon concluded.

Attorneys for ADF said they are considering appealing Friday’s decision.

“Americans, including those who are pro-life, have the freedom to speak with whomever they please on public sidewalks,” ADF litigation council Elissa Graves said in a statement. “Because of this, we are considering appeal of the court’s decision, which allows enforcement of Pittsburgh’s unconstitutional censorship zones to continue.”

Bissoon’s ruling did not dismiss all of the protesters’ claims, however. Bissoon let continue a claim by protesters that police do not enforce the buffer zone evenhandedly. She also ruled that more evidence is needed to resolve that claim and ordered that it continue to trial.

Image: Shutterstock

The post Pro-Choice Win: Federal Court Upholds Pittsburgh Buffer Zoneappeared first on RH Reality Check.