Kentucky’s Attack On Abortion Rights Will Fail; Trump’s Perfidy Continues

By Donald A. Collins | 12 December 2019
Church and State

Abortion rights activists at the supreme court in May. In Kentucky, doctors must describe the ultrasound in detail while the pregnant woman listens to the fetal heartbeat. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty Images)

One of my long time family planning colleagues has just alerted me by email to the onerous Kentucky decision the newly radicalized US Supreme Court has let stand.

He emailed me as follows: “The Kentucky case requiring pregnant women to experience ultrasounds and fetal images before having an abortion was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in April, and the US Supreme Court has just now refused to hear the case. So the Sixth Circuit ruling stands, for now. The appeal to the US Supreme Court was taken by the lone abortion clinic in Kentucky. Roe v Wade might not be overturned, but it could suffer the death of a thousand cuts”.

He reminded me that since the mid-1960’s “Much of your professional career has been invested in establishing these rights” to which I hastily add, the substantial help of enlightened donors. He notes that “It’s tragic to see these rights erode. In time, the pro-choice effort will prevail (how could it not we ask ourselves), but it looks like a long fight is ahead.”

Perhaps brief mention of my background is in order. I served for several years in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s on the National Board of Planned Parenthood in NYC. Then I was involved in the start of a clinic in Pittsburgh which had the backup safety commitments from its three major hospitals. This facility, which initially was denied help from PP’s local affiliate, virtually eliminated sceptic abortions in that area after its first year of operation.

Then again with substantial private sector assistance, I became Chair and President of Ipas in NC which worldwide offered menstrual regulation kits to overseas providers, again with huge assistance from not only from private sector donors but with technical backing from the US Agency for International Development. Many other instances of my involvement in providing safe, early treatment could be listed, but you can imagine my shock at this latest inhibiting tactic.

Fortunately, the more recent arrival of the two-pill abortion option which allows abortion up to 11 weeks has arrived in the USA just as decisions such as the one in Kentucky above could well proliferate. Rather than repeat what readers can readily find on line, I recommend you access one example of a service provider called Carafem at carafem.org/about-carafem.

This thoroughly professional agency has rapidly expanded its outreach into several offices starting in DC and now in Chicago, Atlanta and Nashville, which suggests that other providers are out there now or will soon see the value of providing this service.

Then there is Planned Parenthood (PPFA), the largest network of family planning providers, which women can call for help. While the medical abortion procedure is simple and safe, it needs to be articulated fully for those women who might use it.

Here is what PPFA says about the procedure on its website.

I am not trying to sugar coat this decision. Proper use of safe, effective family planning methods can readily prevent the need for abortions, but the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision has been so attacked by religious zealots for so long that the evident need for alternatives such as the above is obvious.

These latest providers of alternative medical abortions need your support now more than ever as the Trump Administration has attacked Title Ten funding first established by President Nixon by saying none of those funds can be used for abortions!!! The fight will continue but the 1000 cuts will not stop the imaginative and effective alternatives cited above.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
ASIN: B00MA40TVE
Kindle Store

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