The brutal murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller has brought the long-running controversy over reproductive and abortion rights back into the spotlight. In this issue of the RESIST Newsletter, we look at a range of issues regarding reproductive justice and the role RESIST grantees and allies play in maintaining access to these important forms of health care.
After eight years of relentless attacks on reproductive rights, it is impossible to overstate the relief with which advocates welcomed the election of Barack Obama. His administration acted decisively to reverse some of the most damaging reproductive policies of the Bush era.
In 2006 and 2008, anti-choice activists in South Dakota attempted to pass legislation that would criminalize nearly all abortions. Although right-wing organizers from across the nation assumed South Dakota was a "pro-life" state and would be an easy target from which to launch their attacks on Roe v Wade, they failed both times.
Because the national press and health care reformers were initially silent about whether the new health care program would cover abortions, prolife and Christian Right groups had a blank slate on which to write their warnings that people's tax money would pay for abortions. Their campaign against the plan because it would (hopefully) cover abortions was as vigorous as the campaign against "death panels" promoting euthanasia of the elderly.
The Carolina Justice Policy Center is celebrating the passage of the North Carolina Racial Justice Act. The new law makes North Carolina the second state in the nation that allows defense attorneys in capital cases to challenge death sentences with statistical evidence to prove that a particular prosecutor employs the race of defendants when opting for the death penalty.