By Carole JoffeIn a story that has remarkable relevance for today’s reproductive wars, on March 22, 1929, the New York City Police Department sent an undercover female detective to a birth control clinic run by Margaret Sanger. Detective Anna McNamara received an examination and and was told by the examining physician of several pelvic disorders. Strikingly, even though she had obtained the necessary evidence that the clinic was providing then-illegal birth control services, McNamara returned to the clinic several times for follow-up visits.
By Carole JoffeWhen it comes to reproductive matters this campaign season, Democrats and Republicans are operating in parallel universes. For Republican presidential candidates, Planned Parenthood (PP) is the Great Satan that sells baby parts (though Donald Trump is partly off the reservation about PP’s non-abortion activities); abortion is an abomination, and the only policy disagreement among the candidates is whether there should be exceptions for women seeking abortion as a result of rape or incest. The two Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, staunchly support legal abortion and both have defended Planned Parenthood against the inflammatory charges made in a series of highly edited videos about its fetal donation policies and the witch hunt led by Republicans in Congress and many red states.
By Caitlin MeyerLands’ End recently did something wonderful and bold. Their newish CEO, Federica Marchionni, launched a feature in their spring catalog called “Legends,” which aimed to highlight a broad range of individuals who have made a difference in the world. Their first pick, Gloria Steinem, was beautifully photographed and interviewed by Marchionni about issues including gender equality and challenges faced by women in the workplace. Steinem posed with an embroidered tote bag, and part of the proceeds from its sale would go toward the Fund for Women’s Equality, a backing campaign that supports the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment. What a lovely and unexpected move by a clothing company! Except soon after, they did something sort of terrible. They removed the interview from their website, apologized for it, and as a result, withdrew their commitment to the Fund for Women’s Equality.
By Carole JoffeThe Zika virus crisis, which is believed to have already caused the birth of thousands of newborns with microcephaly (which causes unusually small heads and underdeveloped brains), has created an acutely distressing situation for millions of women. Most of the affected countries, particularly in Latin America, have extremely strict policies about abortion and very inadequate provision of birth control. Most notably, in El Salvador, where the Minister of Health recently suggested that women delay pregnancy for two years because of the Zika virus, abortion is absolutely forbidden, even in cases where the pregnant women’s life is at risk. Women suspected of abortion, or even in some cases, miscarriages, now languish in El Salvador’s jails. (Other Zika-infected countries which have a similar absolute ban on abortion are Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic). But being pregnant while infected with the Zika virus is not life threatening—so even in Latin American countries which would permit abortion in such cases would not do so, under current law, because of the possibility of the serious birth defects of microcephaly.
In some ways, the profile of Robert Lewis Dear, the man who was arrested for a shooting rampage at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday, is similar to that of the other six individuals who have been charged with abortion-related murders in the past two decades. But unlike them, Dear does not appear to have a history of public involvement with the organized anti-choice movement. Though several sources, including an ex-wife, told the New York Times that he was staunchly against abortion, another former partner said that “It was never really a topic of discussion.”
By Carole Joffe Photo credit: Flickr user kaibara87 This article appeared originally in RH Reality Check. Imagine if the next debate among the Republican presidential candidates started with the moderator asking all the participants who are parents to raise their...
By Carole Joffe Photo credit: Flickr user Fibonacci Blue This blog piece appeared originally on RH Reality Check As reproductive politics are once again consumed by an attack on Planned Parenthood, it is worth stepping back and asking why this...
Reproductive rights advocate Dr. Carole Joffe looks at President Obama's State of the Union proposal for expanded child care, and compares it with the sad history of child care legislation in the US.
Reproductive rights advocate Dr. Carole Joffe reveals the hidden costs of TRAP laws and ASC regulations for abortion providers and their patients.
Women's reproductive health advocate Carole Joffe reflects on the recent Hobby Lobby SCOTUS ruling and who, ultimately, pays the price for such setbacks in contraceptive policy.
Dr. Carole Joffe—author of 'Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion before and after Roe v Wade' and 'Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients and the Rest of Us'—remembers Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortion provider who was assassinated five years ago, and examines the abortion situation in Kansas in the post-Tiller era.
Conservative mouthpiece Phyllis Schlafly recently claimed that the best way to improve women's economic prospects is to pay men more. Dr. Carole Joffee, author of 'Doctors of Conscience' and 'Dispatches from the Abortion Wars,' explains just how wrong Schlafly is.
After vandals destroyed abortion provider Susan Cahill's clinic, author and advocate Carole Joffe remember's Cahill's incredible contributions to abortion care in the US.
Because of all the ramifications of the abortion wars in this country, U.S. providers have become de facto social workers, fundraisers, and travel agents, to name just a few of their ancillary roles. Dr. Carole Joffe shows us a hidden side of the abortion issue.
Dr. Carole Joffe revisits her classic book "Doctors of Conscience" upon accepting the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Family Planning.
A new law in Kansas essentially treats abortion providers like sex offenders.
When anti-abortion groups secretly film in doctors' offices, what kind of effect will it have on trust between patients and providers?
On the anniversary of a landmark ruling giving women the right to control their reproductive destiny, Carole Joffe reflects on where we stand today.
By Carole Joffe This post originally appeared at RHRealityCheck. Here are some things that have occurred in the immediate aftermath of the tragic slaughter of children and their teachers in Newtown, Connecticut: More signatures on a petition calling for gun...
Unlike many of the challenges abortion providers face, "A natural disaster at least is something we can cope with and then it’s over.”