abortion

Updated at 12:39 p.m. ET

Health care workers who want to refuse to treat patients because of religious or moral beliefs will have a new defender in the Trump administration.

The top civil rights official at the Department of Health and Human Services is creating the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to protect doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to take part in procedures like abortion or treat certain people because of moral or religious objections.

When a pregnant woman finds out that she's likely to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome, she's often given the option to terminate the pregnancy. But families affected by the genetic disorder, which causes developmental delays, are conflicted over whether such abortions should be legal.

University of Toronto Students For Life / https://www.flickr.com/photos/utsfl/

Every medical provider must have a qualified company to haul away their waste. That includes everything from used needles, soiled bandages, discarded paper gowns, and fetal tissue from abortions.

Abortion opponents have seized on this as an Achilles heel of sorts and have pressured companies that provide medical waste services to end their relationships with abortion clinics.

Lisa Gillespie / WFPL News

It was surprisingly quiet outside of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in downtown Louisville Saturday.

Hundreds of anti-abortion activists were expected in front of Kentucky’s last remaining abortion clinic Saturday as far-right fundamentalist Christian group Operation Save America began its week-long conference with the stated goal of shutting down the clinic.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

 Planned Parenthood wants a court to halt portions of a new Indiana abortion law. It’s the fifth lawsuit over abortion legislation in seven years.

The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.

The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That's the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades — down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981.

 

Abortion remained a contentious issue in 2016 – the state saw a new law, demonstrations and three lawsuits. The Indiana’s abortion debate could continue to be a focus as the the 2017 legislative session gets underway.

In recent years, lawmakers in a handful of states have passed more restrictive abortion laws. Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana Ken Falk says Indiana is part of that trend.

Brandon Smith/IPBS

Indiana governor Mike Pence is in the spotlight this week as the man Donald Trump has chosen as his running mate. His decisions about health and healthcare in Indiana have drawn attention from within and outside the state. And his record could be important in November, because his running mate doesn’t have a legislative record at all.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Restrictions In Texas Anti-Abortion Law

Jun 27, 2016
In a 5-3 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor or Whole Woman's Health in their case against Texas health commissioner John Hellerstedt.
Jordan Uhl via Flickr

The Supreme Court struck down key aspects of a Texas abortion law Monday, casting doubt on similar laws in nearly two dozen states.

At issue in the court’s decision were two specific provisions of a sweeping law to restrict abortions passed by the Texas legislature in 2013. The provisions before the court required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles from the abortion clinic and required abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as “ambulatory surgical centers” that perform much more complicated procedures.

Supreme Court Tests Texas' New Restrictions On Abortion

Mar 2, 2016

Even with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Wednesday could mark a potential turning point for the Supreme Court on the subject of abortion. At issue is whether a new Texas law imposes restrictions that unconstitutionally limit a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.

Last June, a federal appeals court upheld the law. If the Supreme Court agrees, it would mean a dramatic cutback on abortion rights across the country, and potentially a steppingstone toward the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

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