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There are 37 states that currently enforce parental notification or consent laws - find out here if yours is one, or call your local Planned Parenthood. To avoid having to notify or obtain consent from parents or guardians, you must get a judicial bypass, meaning a judge will decide if you can get an abortion. Here are a few resources I’ve found on judicial bypass for minors seeking a safe, legal abortion without parental notification or consent.

Getting a judicial bypass does not cost anything, and you are entitled to a court-appointed lawyer.

  • I found a lawyer in Ohio, Christine Baker, who offers free, confidential assistance.
  • Texas has a program called Jane’s Due Process that ensures legal representation for pregnant minors.
  • Contact your state’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). They may have a program that provides legal representation, or give referrals to lawyers.
  • Contact the National Abortion Federation’s hotline (1-800-772-9100) for information and referrals in your state.
  • Search your local Planned Parenthood’s website (find it here) for information on judicial bypass in your state. They may have a hotline or references for someone who can represent you.
  • Be prepared to go out of your county, or even out of your state. Some judges will refuse to handle judicial bypass petitions, or to even hear the proceedings. If you need help getting to a court that will hear your petition, check out or contact the Abortion Assistance Blog or your state’s abortion fund.

I’ll keep updating this post, so any more information is much appreciated.

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)


Remember those Michigan lawmakers who were silenced for saying the word “vagina”? The bill those women legislators wanted to discuss has passed the Michigan House and is now headed to the full Michigan Senate. If it passes and is signed into law, it will become virtually impossible to find a clinic in Michigan that can meet state regulations for performing abortions.

The bill is called HB-5711, and it would force women who have abortions to pay for the burial, cremation, or interment of any fetus 10-weeks or older, a first in the nation that would create unbearable costs for women, including those who have been raped. For fetuses at 20 weeks gestation, a death certificate must be obtained, subjecting the woman to potential public scrutiny at a time of private stress.

Additionally, any doctors who perform abortions would have to make costly and unnecessary renovations to their clinics — even if they only administer the morning-after pill. The dramatic effect of all this needless regulation is the closure of most Michigan health centers that provide abortions, and the remaining ones will be forced to charge much higher fees for services that one in three women will need some time in their life.

Tell Republican State Senators: HB-5711 will drive doctors out of Michigan and close family planning clinics. Say no to this bill and protect women’s access to the health care.

We have to stop this radical erosion of women’s access to healthcare masquerading as “reasonable restrictions.” The state Senate will consider this bill after it returns to session on August 15, and we need to show a determined opposition as soon as possible.

Under the bill, some physicians performing more than five abortions per month must carry $1 million in liability insurance. And it completely bans the best method for many rural women to access medication abortions through telemedicine practices. Michigan women are already suffering from too few obstetricians and gynecologists — especially in rural areas — and if HB-5711 gets passed and signed by the governor, some doctors will quit providing abortions, leave the state, or simply retire.

The committee that considered this bill in the Michigan House heard testimony from 10 people. Nine of them were against the bill, including a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist. Just one person testified in favor of the bill: the head of an anti-abortion group. Despite this testimony, the committee passed the bill. And the fact that these requirements are directed only at clinics where abortions are performed, a procedure that is less invasive than many procedures done routinely in doctor’s offices, shows that this has nothing to do with women’s health or safety, and everything to do with politics.

It’s still possible that with enough pressure and publicity, we can slow or stop this extreme and dangerous bill from getting out of the Michigan Senate and onto the Governor’s desk for signature. But we have to act fast to build the necessary momentum before the legislature returns to session on August 15.

Tell your State Senator: Reject HB-5711 and stop the war on women’s access to reproductive health care in Michigan.

*this issue affects everyone, not just women.



I know I’ve posted this before but I CARE about this. Please help me spread the word. 

Sign and signal boost!

[It does not matter whether you live in TX. This part of a performance of protest. The more signatures delivered at once, the better.]

These new requirements are intended to make abortion more difficult to provide and harder to access for the Texas doctors who have a legal right to provide the procedure and Texans who have a legal right to undergo it.

The new proposed rules are Department of State Health Services and HHSC’s attempts at putting into statute that which Rep. Bill Zedler’s proposed legislation could not put into law with his proposed, but failed, HB 1602 (82nd Legislature) and HB 1131 (80th Legislature), as well as the unattached Zedler amendment to SB7 in 2011.

Throughout the public comment period that opened on this matter in April, DSHS has as yet been unable or unwilling to identify any existing problems that these new requirements solve, or give any reasoning for their inception beyond admitting that they are a direct response to Bill Zedler’s personal desire to see his own anti-woman, anti-choice beliefs put into legal statute by any means necessary.

HHSC, if it adopts these new abortion reporting requirements, is subverting Texas’ critical democratic process by bending to the wishes of one individual legislator.

(sometime in September, HHSC will open up a 30-day comment period regarding the new reporting requirements, during which we will present this petition)

[As always, more people than just cis women need and want access to abortion care]


Republican Senators John McCain, Scott Brown, and Susan Collins all support an effort by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, to expand abortion access for military women who are raped. But despite bipartisan support in the Senate, Shaheen’s proposal may not make it into the final version of the 2013 defense authorization bill—because House Republicans oppose it.

If Shaheen’s measure passes, military families will finally have the same access to abortion that other federal employees already receive. Unlike the rest of the federal government, the Department of Defense currently only provides abortion coverage if the life of the mother is at stake. Under current law, if a State Department employee is raped, her government health insurance plan will pay for an abortion if she wants one. But if an Army medic serving in Afghanistan is raped and becomes pregnant, she can’t use her military health plan to pay for an abortion. If she does decide to get an abortion, she will have to pay for it with her own money. And if she can’t prove she was raped—which is difficult before an investigation is completed—she may have to look for services off base, which can be dangerous or impossible in many parts of the world.

“We have more than 200,000 women serving on active duty in our military,” Shaheen tells Mother Jones. “They should have the same rights to affordable reproductive health services as all of the civilians who they protect.”


More than just cis women can get pregnant and need access to abortions.

republicans love rape and murder.  that’s all there is to it.


This is the fifth in an on-going series where you all nominate state- or local-level elected officials who are standing up for reproductive rights in their communities and states, and we all, as a community, thank them for what they do.

We need to keep reminding these hard-working, often unacknowledged state-level politicians that we see the work they are doing and we are incredibly grateful for it.

(list of previous installments at end of post)


Today’s Pro-choice Politician is Nina Turner, an Ohio state senator (D-Cleveland).

Ms. Turner was nominated by both Gig Hartline and Heidi Swindell.

Ms. Turner became nationally famous in March when she introduced her “viagra bill.” Mimicking the paternalistic rhetoric of much anti-choice/anti-contraception legislation and the politicians who support it, Senator Turner said the bill was necessary to “protect men’s health.” From Robin Marty:

As I’m sure anyone who has experienced priapism can no doubt tell you, erectile drugs side affects are no laughing matter.  Well, unless you’re in an “American Pie” sequel.

That’s why Ohio state Senator Nina Turner is introducing a very important bill to help regulate Viagra usage.

Via the Middletown Journal:

Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way.

At least she didn’t mandate a rectal exam.

Today, if you head over to Senator Turner’s website, this is the first image you will see:

Help us say, “THANK YOU!” to Senator Turner for being a staunch pro-choice ally and for fighting tirelessly for reproductive rights.

Thank you, Senator Turner!

If you’d like to nominate someone for our new “My Pro-Choice Politician” series, you can do so on our Facebook page or via Twitter (we’re @rhrealitycheck and use hashtag #prochoicepol).


This idea was inspired by our post a while back for Kentucky State Rep Darryl Owens.

First installment: Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago)

Second installment: Kathy Stein (D- Fayette, Kentucky)

Third installment: Edith Ajello (D - Providence, Rhode Island)

Fourth installment: Mark Dayton (Governor of Minnesota)


[The HPV vaccine can be used by people other than young girls and women, and the media scare tactics surrounding the vaccine affects them as well.]

A study evaluating the efficacy of the HPV vaccine (also called the cervical cancer vaccine) was just published in the Lancet. In a nutshell, when young girls are vaccinated against HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer, the number of serious cancer precursors in girls 17 and younger dropped by 50%. Wow. This is important because serious cancer precursors (called dysplasia) lead to sometimes painful biopsies and treatments. And if these pre-cancers are not treated, for many women they can lead to cancer.

But how safe is the vaccine? With any treatment, you have to balance the risk benefit ratio. There is much HPV  vaccine mythology. On blogs, message boards and Twitter feeds you read whisperings of serious side effects and worse. Even physicians get on board. In the wee hours of June 15th, Dr. Jay Gordon and I had a healthy vaccine debate and he reported on his concerns that more than 50 girls have died from the vaccine. He’s wrong.

The HPV vaccines (there are two) are actually incredibly safe (and now we know they are incredibly effective). To talk responsibly about vaccine safety (or the safety of any medication) you need facts. So here they are.

As of February 14, 2011 there were a total of 53 HPV vaccine associated deaths reported to VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System). This means the deaths were temporally related to receiving the vaccine, not cause and effect. At total of 33 of the deaths were confirmed and 20 were unconfirmed (meaning there was no information provided about the death so no investigation was possible). After analysis not one of the 33 confirmed deaths were found to be related to the vaccine. Meaning no cause and effect.

There have been reports of blood clots. Now that these have been analyzed, it is clear the blood clots were not vaccine related. Many girls who get the HPV vaccine when they are a little older start the birth control pill at the same time. The pills raises the risk of blood clots (some more than others). Other girls who developed blood clots had other risk factors, like obesity.

But ultimately the problem with VAERS and vaccine safety is that the data isn’t clean. Reporting happens after the fact and can suffer from under reporting or inaccuracies, as anyone can report and you don’t need any kind of proof.

Fortunately, a GREAT study was published this year giving us the information that we need. It is an analysis of seven studies looking at the HPV vaccine and includes data from over 44,000 girls. These seven studies followed girls who received the vaccine in real-time (prospective studies), so if an adverse event occurred it would be captured. In the studies, the girls kept daily vaccination report cards and recorded their symptoms within 15-30 days of injection. In addition, information was solicited by the investigators. These studies also include control populations, which is very important. The studies in this meta analysis represent the cleanest kind of data and this is the information that we should be giving to girls (and boys) and parents about HPV vaccine safety:

There were no deaths in the more than 44,000 participants and there was no statistically significant difference between serious adverse events among the girls who got the HPV vaccine and those who received the placebo. Fainting and headache occurred equally in both groups, so it’s the needle people, not the vaccine. 

So in summary, more than 44,000 girls received the HPV vaccine in a highly monitored, placebo controlled setting. There were no deaths and the risk of serious adverse events was the same in the vaccine and the placebo group. Young girls faint from needles, not because of any hidden toxin in the HPV vaccine.

The HPV vaccine is safe. It’s effective. End of discussion.

[Brotherton JML, Fridman M, May CL, Chappell G, Saville AM, Gertig DM. Early effect of the HPV vaccination programme on cervical abnormalities in Victoria, Australia: an ecological study. Lancet (]





You obviously miss the point.

It has nothing to do with the child eating, it has to do with the fact that a womens breast is just out for the world to see.


And seeing some random womens breast can, and is offensive to some people.

Your point being? It’s a breast. Everyone has two of them. Half of us have them specifically to feed babies. What is supposed to be offensive about breasts or breastfeeding?

There is a difference between “people find this offensive” and “I am obligated to care that they are offended.” Frankly, I’m offended that some people think that their inability to control their reaction to any part of the human anatomy, despite being grown adults, is more important than feeding a hungry infant. But that’s just me.

And more then likely when a women is breast feeding the child isn’t going to completely cover the nipple, and if the nipple is exposed that is considered public nudity and if she did something simple as plus a blanket over her breast is just saves everyone a lot of awkardness.

Again, everyone has nipples, and for half of us, they are there to feed babies. Why is this supposed to make someone feel uncomfortable or awkward? And why should I care if they do?

Here’s an idea. If seeing me breastfeed my child makes you that uncomfortable, you can put a blanket over your head so that you don’t have to look at it. Problem solved! I can continue going about my business—feeding my child in a way that is safe, healthy, comfortable and natural—and you can deal with your inability to otherwise simply look away.

I am a 10% supporter of breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public, but just because your child is hungry doesn’t mean you should just take your tit out for all to see.

I’m a 100% supporter of breastfeeding, and a 0% support of coddling or catering to grown ass people who are too immature to control their reactions to an exposed female breast feeding a child or who are pissed off that I, as a mother, put attending to one of my child’s most basic needs above their irrational discomfort over seeing a part of the human anatomy.

If you have a problem with seeing a partially exposed boob, I guess you haven’t seen any advertisement, TV show, billboard, award show or music video in the past two decades. Or are exposed breasts only OK when they’re viewed as sex objects instead of functional feeding tools?


This is a major problem I have with the antichoice mentality that is ruining this country. The people who exalt motherhood and pregnancy in the name of God and LIFE are the same people to denigrate pregnant people by calling pregnancy a mere “inconvenience” and that breastfeeding in public is disgusting and offensive. Well, which is it asshats? You can’t have it both ways. Not everyone wants to breastfeed and they shouldn’t be shamed for that choice. But people who do breastfeed should feel free to do so anywhere they can legally be with their child. That means the supermarket, a park, a restaurant, the subway, wherever.

Further, this shaming of breastfeeding is privileged and classist as fuck. Do you understand that breast pumps are expensive, formula is expensive, taking months off of work to stay home and breastfeed in private is expensive, maternity leave isn’t offered at every job, and not every school or job has daycare? If you’re a parent with very little money do you think you’ll be spending money on formula you can’t afford and/or spending time you don’t have heating up or pumping it out or finding a private place to be when you could easily feed your baby with your body? Milk that is fresh, sanitary, the right temperature, and free? Who the fuck do you people think you are?

And the same people who are against abortion and public breastfeeding are also the same people cutting WIC, SNAP, free lunch, TANF, maternity benefits, unemployment benefits, and Pell Grants/Stafford Loans. So you want to force people to have every child they’re ever pregnant with, then you denigrate how hard pregnancy is, then you tell them caring for their child with their body is offensive to your “sensibilities”, and then you cut all monetary assistance programs which could help pay for formula or a breast pump so you wouldn’t have to see them breast feed in public. Uh huh, that’s what I like to call cognitive dissonance. 

You people don’t care about mothers or people capable of getting pregnant. You don’t think parenting is a beautiful thing. You don’t care about children. You’re just power-hungry, control-grabbing misogynists. 


Polifact has just released its “2011 lies of the year” nomination list, and two of the ten nominees are political whoppers told about reproductive health.

Both Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s claim that the HPV vaccination can cause “mental retardation,” and Senator Jon Kyle’s statement that abortion services are “well over 90 percent” of what Planned Parenthood does have made the cut, sandwiched in with claims about global warming, taxes and job creation.

To vote for the biggest, click here.


The PolitiFact article about Michele Bachmann’s lie about HPV.

The PolitiFact article about Jon Kyl’s lie about Planned Parenthood.




Women on Waves sails a ship around the world to countries where abortion is illegal. They work with local organizations to transport women 12 miles off shore into international waters where they can give abortions at sea.”

Always reblog.

Brings tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful organization.



The police said Thursday that they had charged Yaribely Almonte, 20, who had lived in the building, with self-abortion in the first degree, a misdemeanor charge that has been used only a few times in New York State. Although it was unclear how old the fetus was, the charge applies when the abortion occurs after 24 weeks of pregnancy, when it is legal only if a woman’s doctor says her life is in danger.

The state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services said that since 1980, four other women had been charged with self-abortion in the first degree or in the second degree, a lesser charge that can apply when the attempt is not successful. Three of those cases, from Nassau County in 2006 and 2010 and from Monroe County in 2000, ended in dismissal.

Please please please signal boost this. I saw it on Twitter in the early hours of the morning today and it hasn’t gotten much press yet.

If you live in NY, maybe give someone a call? This is an abhorrent violation of this woman’s right to privacy and bodily autonomy. I am sickened that they are targeting a poor WOC for this, but not at all shocked. There may be a petition in the works; stay tuned for updates.


[edit: It’s been brought to my attention that the article at the link has some pretty terrible reporting in it. I can totally see it now but I was half asleep when I first read it so I’m sorry for the oversight.]

This needs to be “super-reblogged”

(via adamangasaurus)


An Indiana mother recently accompanied her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend to one of Indiana’s Planned Parenthood clinics, but they unwittingly walked into a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” run by an anti-abortion group, one that shared a parking lot with the real Planned Parenthood clinic and was designed expressly to lure Planned Parenthood patients and deceive them.

The group took down the girl’s confidential personal information and told her to come back for her appointment, which they said would be in their “other office” (the real Planned Parenthood office nearby). When she arrived for her appointment, not only did the Planned Parenthood staff have no record of her, but the police were there. The “crisis pregnancy center” had called them, claiming that a minor was being forced to have an abortion against her will.

The “crisis pregnancy center” staff then proceeded to wage a campaign of intimidation and harassment over the following days, showing up at the girl’s home and calling her father’s workplace. Planned Parenthood’s clinic director reports that the girl was “scared to death to leave her house.” They even went to her school and urged classmates to pressure her not to have an abortion.

The anti-choice movement is setting up these “crisis pregnancy centers” across the country. Some of them have neutral-sounding names and run ads that falsely promise the full range of reproductive health services, but they dispense anti-choice propaganda and intimidation instead. And according to a recent article in The New York Times, there are currently more of these centers in the U.S. than there are actual abortion providers. What’s more, these centers have received $60 million in government grants. They’re being funded by our tax dollars. 
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 24 April 2006

[Emphasis mine. Hear that folks? We are funding terrorists with our tax dollars. The fact that this is legal is absolutely mind-blowing. And when we dare complain, they cry about how they’re being persecuted and censored unfairly, and we’re infringing on their freedom of speech. No, just no. This should not be fucking allowed.]

ETA: Some people in the notes were wondering about the veracity of this story so I found the original source (the citation above was all that was given at the website I got this from). Here’s some more quotes from the original story:

We [Planned Parenthood] have obtained permission to share some of the remarks the patient and her family wrote soon after their encounter with the CPC.

“I have been getting phone calls [from the CPC volunteer] at home and on my cell phone, and they came to my work… saying ‘we will come get you and throw you in a car and take you to a place that is safe.’  I made my decision [to have an abortion].  Even though I had talked to [the CPC person] before, she has no right to be giving out information about me [and my family].  They need to quit harassing me and my family and loved ones.  They have come to my home banging on my door and non-stop calling me.  I have heard racial comments about my boyfriend [and me].  They keep yelling my name, my mother’s, and my boyfriend’s.  They have no right giving out my information, and they need to respect my and my boyfriend’s decision. … They are trying to trap me but this is my decision and no person has forced me and I would like them to stop harassing me, my family, my boyfriend, and my work.”

Her mother added:

“These people have given [our personal contact] information to someone at [my daughter’s] school.  Now it seems even the students know certain things and are giving my daughter and her boyfriend a hard time as well.  Also, the faculty has heard things, too.  These people [the CPC personnel] have been standing outside Planned Parenthood yelling obscenities at all who enter.  My daughter’s, her boyfriend’s, and my name have been yelled out for all to hear.”

ETA #2: You might also be interested in this post I did awhile ago on more recent investigations of CPCs and their deceptive tactics.


@PPSWO just tweeted:   

OH’s Atty Genl has REJECTED the Personhood petition language to ban #birthcontrol It wasn’t “fair and truthful”.


The GOP has launched an all out assault on women’s* rights and restrict access to vital health services. But we are fighting back, and we won’t go back to the back alley. 

Check out this ad featuring House star Lisa Edelstein and join the fight here:

The on-screen doc appears in an ad titled “We Won’t Go Back” for the activist group MoveOn. The pro-choice ad is currently on YouTube and is expected to air on certain cable networks. 

The 30-second spot shows the actress dressed as a woman from the 1950s walking toward a closet door. As she walks, her voice is heard saying “Decades ago, women suffered through horrifying back alley abortions, or they used dangerous methods when they had no other recourse.” 

The voice-over continues to criticize the Republican party’s recent “all out assault on women’s health” by limiting access to “vital services,” as she continues to walk toward the door in front of her.

“Why is the GOP trying to send women back… to the back alley?” she asks. 

The end of the commercial reveals nothing but a wire hanger in the closet, while flashing between a modern day Edlestein, and her 1950s portrayal.”

*doesn’t just affect cis women, but rather all people capable of getting pregnant.