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abortion

A popular contraception program in Colorado is receiving criticism from conservative lawmakers who say that the program's use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, qualify as abortions.

More than 30,000 women in Colorado have gotten a device because of the state program, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. An IUD normally costs between $500 and several thousand dollars. Through the program women could receive one for free.

A part of a Texas abortion law — one that requires that any clinic performing abortions meet stringent, hospital-like medical standards — is on trial this week in a U.S. appeals court.

The effect of the law has already been dramatic in Texas. Before it passed, a year and a half ago, more than 40 clinics provided abortions in the state. Now there are about 17 such facilities. If this part of the law is reinstated, about 10 facilities would close, leaving vast distances between some residents and the nearest clinic.

Advocates for abortion rights are increasingly calling on women who've had the procedure to tell their stories publicly in an effort to combat the "shame and stigma" around it.

Over the past year, abortion activists have talked about their procedures online, in books and at open forums on college campuses. One put her procedure on YouTube to show, she says, a "positive" abortion story. The video went viral. (Her original YouTube video has been taken down and reuploaded here.)

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked enforcement of an Arizona law aimed at limiting use of the increasingly popular abortion pill. In 2012 nearly half of the abortions in the state were via the pill, known as RU-486.

The pill was approved by the FDA in 2000 for the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Since then, scientists have developed safer and smaller doses that allow the drug to be used through the ninth week.

Amid all the shakeout from this week's midterm elections, many are trying to assess the impact on abortion.

Two abortion-related ballot measures were soundly defeated. A third passed easily. And those favoring restrictions on abortion will have a much bigger voice in the new Congress.

In North Dakota and Colorado, voters rejected 2-to-1 so-called personhood measures, which would give legal rights to fetuses.

Texans on both sides of the abortion issue are taking stock after the U.S. Supreme Court intervened in a lawsuit over a state law that would require clinics that provide abortion services to conform to standards for ambulatory surgery centers.

The court issued an order late Tuesday saying 13 Texas clinics that had to close can reopen their doors for now.

A requirement that doctors providing abortion have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles has yet to take effect in Louisiana, while a legal challenge is pending.

Texas started enforcing a very similar restriction last November. Half the abortion clinics in that state immediately closed.

Louisiana's new abortion law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital. But a lawsuit challenged the law on the basis that the requirement was medically unnecessary and would result in the closure of the state's abortion clinics. A federal judge on Sunday temporarily blocked the measure.

A new law that could close every abortion clinic in south Louisiana goes into effect in less than three weeks, on Sept. 1. Clinics in Baton Rouge and New Orleans are fighting to stay open. 


Even if you're trying, it's tough to keep score of what's happening with various lawsuits challenging some state abortion laws.

States led by anti-abortion governors and legislatures have been passing a broad array of measures over the past few years aimed at making the procedure more difficult for women to obtain.

About two dozen states enacted 70 such measures in 2013, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Those laws range from imposing waiting periods to requiring ultrasounds to limiting the use of the "abortion pill" mifepristone, or RU486.

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