This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Abortion Rights Under Attack Yet Again--UPDATED

As I've said before, I am 100% convinced that if both men and women could get pregnant, abortion would be legal everywhere. But that's not how we evolved, so we have to continually cope with attacks on women's reproductive rights. The latest is a law just passed in Ohio, as reported by CNN:
Donald Trump's election, and a presumption that he'll appoint conservative Supreme Court justices, spurred Ohio Republicans to pass what would effectively be the nation's strictest time-based abortion law, a legislator said. 
Ohio lawmakers on Tuesday passed a controversial "Heartbeat Bill" that would ban abortions in that state from the moment the heartbeat of a fetus can be detected -- which usually occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy.
Two things strike me about this. First, as noted on NPR's reporting about this, most women don't even know they're pregnant at 6 weeks, so this legislation is effectively taking that option away from them. Secondly, of course, is the idea that Trump's election will dramatically increase the pressure on abortion rights. This is the same pressure being felt by people like Dr. Warren Hern in Colorado, whom I discussed shortly after the election.

As I write this, Ohio governor John Kasich has not voiced an opinion about the bill, but everything that he has said in the past suggests that he would be sympathetic. He has another week to veto it, but if he does nothing, it automatically goes into law next year.

UPDATE (12/13/16): Governor Kasich did, in fact, veto this bill, although he signed into law a bill outlawing abortion after 20 weeks in Ohio. It is possible that the more extreme bill was just a smoke screen to make it easier to pass the 20 week law, but I am just guessing on that.

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