Abortion news roundup

Antiabortion terrorism, parental notification in Illinois and more

Published April 27, 2007 11:24PM (EDT)

It's time for another, ever more frequent abortion news update -- starting stateside with some good news. Today, United Press International reports that the Oklahoma state Senate rejected an attempt to toss out the governor's veto of a bill prohibiting state-run hospitals from performing abortions. It was a narrow win -- only one more vote was need to overturn the veto -- but, still, it's something to celebrate. Also, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced plans to loosen restrictions on late-term abortions and decriminalize "providing nonprescription contraception to minors."

Now, for the bad: The Illinois House rejected a bill that would have allowed minors to have an abortion without notifying their parents -- so long as they first had a consultation with a medical professional. Unfortunately, there's plenty more in the bad-news pile: An explosive device was found Wednesday in the parking lot of an Austin, Texas, women's clinic that provides abortions. After inspecting the device, the Austin Police Department said in a statement: "It was determined that the package ... would have caused serious bodily injury and/or death had it functioned." Luckily, the bomb didn't function and was disarmed by a robot, reports the Associated Press.

Some argue this is a sign that antiabortion forces have been bolstered by the Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold a federal abortion ban. "The extremists in the anti-abortion movement have been emboldened by the latest Supreme Court decision," said Katherine Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "These domestic terrorists will continue to attack women's health clinics across the country until their financial and support networks are closed down."

It sounds like Mexico City may get its own taste of antiabortion terrorism following lawmakers' approval this week of a bill allowing for abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The country's antiabortionists have every reason to feel defensive: Today marks the first day that a woman can legally have an abortion in Mexico City without needing to prove that she was raped or her life is in danger -- though until the final regulations are published, the procedure is limited to women whose pregnancies are approaching the 12-week mark. Antiabortion group Pro-Vida essentially told lawmakers they could take the new law and shove it, announcing it would do its best to "block entry to clinics performing abortions and to publicly identify abortion doctors."

Apparently antiabortion vigilantism is shared the world over.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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