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Professor David S. Cohen Discusses Access to Reproductive Health Services in Philadelphia Weekly, Penn Newspaper

January 25, 2012

Philadelphia Weekly and the Daily Pennsylvanian both quoted Professor David S. Cohen on recent issues that emerged in the abortion-rights arena.

The Philadelphia Weekly on Jan. 25 quoted Cohen on the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which was enacted following the 1994 murder of David Gunn of Pensacola, Fla., a doctor who performed abortions. The article noted the recent activities around Philadelphia by Operation Rescue, an organization that opposes abortion.

The law outlaws threats against abortion providers, Cohen said, explaining that the threats need not be terribly specific, given broad efforts to intimidate health-care providers.

Cohen, an expert on feminist law, was also quoted on Jan. 24 in a Daily Pennsylvanian article about former West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who pleaded not guilty to drug charges. Gosnell has also been charged with eight counts of murder, for seven infants and one women who died as a result of procedures performed in his clinic.

Calling allegations that infants in the clinic had spinal cords severed with scissors “absolutely horrible,” Cohen said state lawmakers limited access to an important resource for many women last year when they passed a bill that imposes strict standards on clinics that deliver reproductive health care services.

“One of the biggest problems we have in this country is that Medicaid does not pay for abortion,” Cohen told the newspaper, forcing low-income women to depend on doctors like Gosnell who provide cheap services.