Women are already ‘punished’ for abortions

first_imgRight-wing, racist, sexist, Republican Party presidential contender Donald Trump stated March 30 that women would need “some form of punishment” if abortion were banned in this country. What the bigoted, blowhard bully doesn’t realize — like the majority of people in the U.S. — is that women who need abortion care are already being punished. Nearly 300 laws regulating abortion services — mostly far-reaching, medically unnecessary laws under the guise of “protecting women” — have been passed by 44 state legislatures and the District of Columbia since 2010. Written by anti-abortion “Americans United for Life,” the measures subject clinic providers to legal restrictions not required for other medical procedures or professionals, and they impose economic, social, and emotional hardships on women. Two new documentaries reveal the deeply personal effects the new laws have on the one-in-three women who need such health care in their lifetime and on the clinic staffs who provide them. ‘Trapped’ exposes unnecessary laws“Trapped” by award-winning director Dawn Porter explores the ramifications of so-called TRAP laws. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers laws single out the medical practices of doctors who provide abortions and impose on them requirements that are different and more burdensome than those imposed on other medical practices.” Porter goes behind clinic doors to give voice to providers and clients in Alabama and Texas. The film is timely since the Texas-based Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case was heard by the Supreme Court on March 2, and will be decided in late June. The legal suit challenges two provisions in the 2013 Texas law HB2: abortion clinics must be ambulatory surgical centers, and doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges at hospitals 30 miles from where they work.  Interviews with Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of WWH, who brought the case against Texas, and Marva Sadler, director of WWH clinical services, are particularly telling. Miller describes how clinics have been forced to close, forcing poor women, especially in the southeastern region along the Rio Grande, to travel hundreds of miles at great expense to get an abortion. Because clinic closings have put huge pressures on still-open clinics, Sadler, an African-American mother of six, describes with tears in her eyes not being able to accommodate a 13-year-old incest victim. She had to be turned away because she needed an immediate procedure, but the doctor, who is only scheduled on certain days, was not available. Gloria Gray, owner of the West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa, fought the admitting privileges’ law in Alabama. She discussed the issue with her provider, Dr. Willie Parker, an experienced, faith-based African-American ob-gyn, who was not approved by local hospitals. Parker is straightforward about state laws. When counseling a patient, he recites the state script that “abortions will give you breast cancer,” but adds, “Now I’ll tell you the truth — there is no scientific evidence supporting that.” Ultimately, Gray’s challenge to the law succeeded in overturning it.  “Trapped” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking.Talking openly about abortionIn “Abortion: Stories Women Tell,” award-winning documentary director and producer Tracy Droz Tragos chose to focus on conditions in her home state of Missouri, where only one clinic remains open, in St. Louis. She started the movie after passage of a law requiring a 72-hour waiting period.  After a counseling session, there’s a three-day wait (regardless of rape or incest) before a woman can have an abortion. Utah, South Dakota, Oklahoma and North Carolina have similar regulations. Droz Tragos deliberately chose to focus on women instead of politicians or current events. “Women have so many different feelings,” she told Elle magazine. “It’s very, very complicated. I knew from the onset that … my interest [was] elevating the voices of women on both sides of the issue.” (April 7)Thirty-two of the 81 women Droz Tragos interviewed discuss their views. Those who elect abortion have a variety of reasons, mostly economic, bad timing or rape. Many are mothers, including Amie, a single-mother of two who works 70- to 90-hours a week and drives three hours to a clinic near the Illinois border for a medical abortion. Sarah, whose wanted pregnancy had a terminal birth defect, has the support of her husband and pastor. Female security guard Chi Chi verbally protects women entering her clinic from threatening male antagonists. Of those who oppose abortion or work to ban it, there’s Reagan, a Midwest regional coordinator for Students for Life. Te’Aundra was persuaded by her boyfriend to give birth after she was barred from a basketball scholarship due to her pregnancy.While showing both sides is startling at first — it’s the only movie I’ve seen which does that — the contrast between the two groups of women is clear. Those supporting reproductive freedom are motivated by the need for a woman to take control of her life; those who oppose abortion base their beliefs on religious dogma, shame, guilt or family pressure. The film, produced by HBO, had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 18-23.Both films should have a wide showing to educate the public about the harsh, reactionary legislative climate aimed at ending women’s legal right to control their own bodies, their lives and their families. Having access to abortion is a fundamental human right. As Juan Mendez, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture noted in his April 7 report to the Human Rights Council, restricting protective abortion laws is a form of torture. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

New Jersey Aims to Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

first_imgSubscribe Home / Daily Dose / New Jersey Aims to Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure New Jersey Aims to Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago About Author: Krista Franks Brock With a foreclosure rate more than twice as high as the national average, New Jersey is aiming to help thousands of homeowners with a new housing counseling program. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency announced recently that it will spend $1 million to provide housing counseling for up to 2,000 homeowners facing foreclosure. “Foreclosures continue to threaten homeowners in New Jersey, creating housing instability for thousands of people every year,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Commissioner, and Chair of the New Jersey Housing and Finance Agency board. “By providing housing counselors who will work with the homeowners in the court’s mediation program, we are hoping to provide many more residents, regardless of income, access to resources that may help save their home.” New Jersey’s foreclosure rate is currently 0.16 percent, compared to a national average of 0.06 percent, according to industry data. “Mediation can save a home from foreclosure, yet too many homeowners enter the foreclosure process with their mortgage lender without and understanding of the type of relief that may be available to them,” the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency stated with the announcement of the new program. Under the program, homeowners served with a foreclosure notice will be made aware of available housing counseling services through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Counselors will be able to provide services such as creating an action plan, negotiating with the lender, and providing post-mediation counseling. Counseling will be available to homeowners who are “the subject of an active residential mortgage foreclosure action,” who request counseling within 60 days of foreclosure notice, who live in the property facing foreclosure, and who are not currently in bankruptcy. The New Jersey agency referenced research by the Urban Institute that suggested that homeowners who receive housing counseling when facing foreclosure are three times more likely to receive a loan modification and 70 percent more likely to remain current on their mortgage after receiving that loan modification. “Foreclosures crush families and blight neighborhoods,” said Ras J. Baraka, mayor of Newark, New Jersey. “Governor Murphy’s new housing counseling program is an important addition to Newark’s existing stabilization partnerships that give owner occupants the opportunity to modify their loans, write down the balances and forgive back payments.” Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency Charles A. Richman said, “Housing counselors serve a vital role in mediation and provide valuable assistance in guiding a homeowner facing foreclosure to explore options.” Tagged with: Counseling Foreclosure Homeowners HUD New Jersey August 15, 2018 2,259 Views Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago  Print This Post Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Foreclosure, Newscenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Counseling Foreclosure Homeowners HUD New Jersey 2018-08-15 Krista Franks Brock The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Previous: Predicting Servicing Issues Before they Happen Next: A Snapshot of the Housing Market in 2019 The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more