Physicians’ Challenges under El Salvador’s Criminal Abortion Prohibition

September 30, 2018
Congratulations to Alyson Zureick and her colleagues Amber Khan, Angeline Chen and Astrid Reyes at New York University for their new publication in the Ethical and Legal Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.  A PDF of the published text is now online.  We are pleased to circulate the abstract to REPROHEALTHLAW subscribers.
Alyson Zureick, Amber Khan, Angeline Chen and Astrid Reyes “Physicians’ Challenges under El Salvador’s Criminal Abortion Prohibition.” International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 143 (Oct. 2018) : 121–126.
Early view PDF online.   Submitted text  at SSRN.

El Salvador’s criminal abortion law—one of the few in the world that prohibits all abortions and that is actively enforced against women—harms women’s health and undermines the ethical duties of Salvadoran physicians and the standing of the medical profession. Under the criminal abortion regime, physicians are incentivized to disclose their patients’ confidential medical information, in violation of their ethical duties, and public health care facilities have become sites of criminal investigation. These investigations target women not only for illegal abortions but also for miscarriages and obstetric emergencies. The ban further prevents physicians from providing medical care that is often necessary to preserve a woman’s life or health. Finally, by criminalizing women’s pregnancy outcomes, the regime undermines the country’s recent public health improvement efforts and compounds the marginalization of women and girls from its most vulnerable communities, in violation of the state’s international human rights obligations.

Keywords: Abortion legislation; Criminalization, El Salvador, International human rights, Medical ethics, Reproductive health, Public hospitals.

Full text PDF is now accessible:   Early view PDF online.

Submitted text  can be downloaded through SSRN.

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Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


Access to knowledge and the Global Abortion Policies Database

September 30, 2018

Congratulations to Joanna N. Erdman and Brooke R. Johnson Jr., who recently published an article in the Ethical and Legal Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.  Prof. Joanna Erdman teaches Law at Dalhousie University and Brooke R. Johnson the World Health Organization’s Department of Health and Research and manages the WHO’s Global Abortion Policies Database.

“Access to knowledge and the Global Abortion Policies Database,”  by Joanna Erdman, Brooke Ronald Johnson.  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics  2018; 142: 120–124   PDF at Wiley online.   Submitted text online at SSRN.

Research shows that women, healthcare providers, and even policy makers worldwide have limited or inaccurate knowledge of the abortion law and policies in their country. These knowledge gaps sometimes stem from the vague and broad terms of the law, which breed uncertainty and even conflict when unaccompanied by accessible regulation or guidelines. Inconsistency across national law and policy further impedes safe and evidence‐based practice. This lack of transparency creates a crisis of accountability. Those seeking care cannot know their legal entitlements, service providers cannot practice with legal protection, and governments can escape legal responsibility for the adverse effects of their laws. This is the context for the newly launched Global Abortion Policies Database—an open‐access repository that seeks to promote transparency and state accountability by providing clear and comprehensive information about national laws, policies, health standards, and guidelines, and by creating the capacity for comparative analysis and cross‐referencing to health indicators, WHO recommendations, and human rights standards.

The published article  can temporarily be downloaded in PDF at Wiley online.
Full text, as submitted, is online at SSRN.
Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health: 85+ concise articles.


Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – December 2016

December 20, 2016

SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW: To receive these updates monthly by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

DEVELOPMENTS

African LGBT advocacy rulings, 2014-2016   Overview by Godfrey Kangaude
—-[Botswana] Attorney General of Botswana v. Thuto Rammoge & 19 Others  [2016] CACGB-128-14 (Botswana, Court of Appeal at Gaborone).  [Appeal against LGBT organization registration dismissed]   Decision onlineCase summary for Legal Grounds III.
—-[Kenya] Eric Gitari v. Non-Governmental Organizations Co-Ordination Board & 4 Others, [2015] eKLR, Petition No. 440 of 2013  (Kenya, High Court at Nairobi).  [LGBT organizations can be registered.]  Decision online.   Case summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.
—-[Kenya] Republic v. Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Board & another ex-parte Transgender Education and Advocacy & 3 Others [2014] eKLR, JR Miscellaneous Application No. 308a of 2013 (Kenya, High Court). [Transgender organization can be registered].   Decision onlineCase summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.
—-[Zambia] People v. Paul Kasonkomona [2015] HPA/53/2014  (Zambia, High Court).[Freedom of expression: HIV/LGBT activist acquitted for remarks made on television.]   Decisions and documents onlineCase summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.

[Belize – homosexuality]:  Caleb Orozco v Attorney General of Belize et al., Claim No. 668 of 2010 (Supreme Court of Belize)  August 10, 2016. [First-ever successful court challenge to a Caribbean anti-sodomy law.]   38-page Judgment online.   News reportGovernment won’t appeal ruling.   Press release by Caleb Orozco of UNIBAM.

[Brazil – abortion]  Habeas Corpus n. 124.306judged by 1st Panel of the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court on November 29, 2016.  Summary in English by Marta Machado.   Sexuality Policy Watch comment.  English news report.  Summary in Portuguese.     Leading vote by Judge Luis Roberto Barroso in PortugueseComment in Portuguese by Debora Diniz

[Brazil – zika]  Direct Action of Unconstitutionality  n. 5581 (Supreme Court of Brazil).  Zika abortion decision  delayed until early 2017.  Summary of the claim in Portuguese.

[Chile – obstetric violence against prisoner]  Lorenza Cayuhán Llebul s/amparo, Rol 92.795-2010 (Supreme Court of Chile). December 1, 2016.    Decision online in Spanish.     English summary by Carlos Herrera.

[Kenya – homosexuality] C.O.L. & G.M.N. v. Resident Magistrate Kwale Court & Others, Petition No. 51 of 2015 (Kenya, High Court –Constitutional and Judicial Review Division).  [Court allowed medical examinations including anal examinations to prove crime of homosexuality].  Decision online.     Case summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.

[South Africa: surrogacy]  AB and Another v Minister of Social Development (CCT155/15) [2016] ZACC 43 (29 November 2016)  Constitutional Court of South Africa.  [At least one parent must donate sperm or eggs for a surrogacy agreement to be legal in South Africa]  Decision online.    News Report

SCHOLARSHIP

[abortion, health rights] “Adjudicating Health-Related Rights: Proposed Considerations for the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Other Supra-National Tribunals,” by Alicia Ely Yamin and Angela Duger, Chicago Journal of International Law 17.1 (Summer 2016): 80-120.  Abstract and Article.

[Brazil] – [Zika: from Brazilian backlands to global threat] Zika: Do Sertão nordestino à ameaça global  by  Debora Diniz  (Rio de Janeiro:  Civilização Brasileira, 2016).  Forthcoming in English from Zed Books in September 2017, this book analyses scientific discoveries regarding Zika in Brazil as well as the impact of the epidemic on poor black and brown women’s lives.  Portuguese: Book or e-bookSinopseA história contada.
—Related resources in English:”The Zika Virus and Brazilian Women’s Right to Choose,” op/ed by Debora Diniz, February 8, 2016.  New York Times editorial.  “Zika”  30 minute April 2016 documentary with English subtitles;  “Zika: More than a health issue (Dec 1, 2016)   53-minute  TV interview with English subtitles.  “Zika emergency pushes women to challenge Brazilian abortion law”  Guardian news report.

[Brazil – abortion law] “Social Movements and Constitutional Politics in Latin America: Reconfiguring Alliances, Framings and Legal Opportunities in the Judicialization of Abortion Rights in Brazil” by Alba Ruibal. Contemporary Social Science 10:4 (October 18, 2016): 375-385. Abstract and article.   Other articles on strategic litigation in Latin America.

[Canada – mifepristone]  “Requiring physicians to dispense mifepristone:  an unnecessary limit on safety and access to medical abortion,” by Wendy V. Norman and Judith A. Soon, forthcoming in Canadian Medical Association Journal, Early release October 18, 2016 to institutional subscribers.   Summarized in “Abortion pill dispensing by doctors and not pharmacists could hinder access … [and] entrench inequity” CBC News report.

[obstetric violence] International Human Rights and the Mistreatment of Women during Childbirth, by Rajat Khosla, Christina Zampas, Joshua P. Vogel, Meghan A. Bohren, Mindy Roseman, and Joanna N. Erdman.  Health and Human Rights Journal (in press)  Abstract and Full Text.

[reproductive rights] ” ‘Woman’ in the European Human Rights System:  How is the reproductive rights jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights constructing narratives of women’s citizenship?” by  Liiri Oja and Alicia Ely Yamin in Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 32.1 (2016): 62-95.   Abstract and Article.

[Uruguay] “Reform of abortion law in Uruguay: context, process and lessons learned,” by Susan Wood, Lilián Abracinskas, Sonia Corrêa, and Mario Pecheny, Reproductive Health Matters, online since December 8, 2016. Abstract and Article.

US-focused news, resources, and legal developments are available on Repro Rights Prof Blog.  View or subscribe.

NEWS

[Mexico] Excerpts from the Symbolic Tribunal on Maternal Mortality and Obstetric Violence, (published by GIRE, Oct 28, 2016).   5-minute film.

[Spain – conscientious objection]  Galician health system ordered to compensate woman – Forced travel to Madrid for late-term abortion of doomed fetus cost woman her uterus, nearly her life.  News report in EnglishNoticias en español.

[Uruguay Model] “From Uruguay, a model for making abortion safer” [misoprostol – harm reduction instruction method spreading to restrictive jurisdictions, e.g. Uganda and Tanzania.   New York Times editorial.   Relevant 2011 article: Access to Information on Safe abortion, by Joanna Erdman.

JOBS

Links to other employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here

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Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


Call for Papers on Abortion and Human Rights

June 15, 2016

The Health and Human Rights Journal is calling for papers to be published in a special section in June 2017 on abortion from a human rights perspective. The special section will be edited by Alicia Ely Yamin and Paola Bergallo.  Papers must be submitted by 31 October 2016.
Topics could include:

  • Conceptual and theoretical analysis of the developments on abortion law and human rights in international and constitutional law throughout the world.
  • Socio-legal studies of legal mobilization and counter-mobilization on abortion rights exploring the role of actors such as the women’s and the human rights movement, health providers, conservative and religious groups, legal support structures, and political players. The studies could focus in the dynamics of national, sub-national, regional, transnational or international struggles for and against the right to abortion.
  • The challenges of implementing abortion reforms through high impact litigation, abortion guidelines, or social mobilization strategies such as the hotlines providing access to information on medical abortion or the damage reduction model put forward by physicians.
  • The effects and impacts—for example, in women, groups, public opinion, policies, rules and other contexts—of the different legal strategies for abortion deployed by progressive and conservative movements. The impact of policies criminalizing abortion and other reproductive rights in women’s life and health.
  • A critical examination of the experience and policies of particular countries as they have attempted to expand access to abortion trough legal reforms and health policies.
  • Comparisons of health and legal abortion reforms adopted in different countries of the world. Sub-national comparisons within countries or between sub-national experiences of different countries.

About the Journal: The Health and Human Rights Journal is a peer-reviewed, open access journal under the editorship of Partners in Health co-founder Paul Farmer. It is published twice yearly by Harvard University Press, with new issues released in June and December. There are no publication fees unless authors can use open access publication grants.

Submission Details:

  • Papers must be submitted by 31 October 2016
  • Papers have a maximum word length of 7,000 words, including references.
  • Author guidelines are available here.
  • Editorial style guide is online here.

Questions about this special section on “Abortion and Human Rights”  can be directed to: Alicia Ely Yamin (ayamin@hsph.harvard.edu), Paola Bergallo (paola.bergallo@gmail.com) or Carmel Williams, Executive Editor, Health and Human Rights Journal (HHRsubmissions@hsph.harvard.edu).


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates: Publications, News and Jobs

November 26, 2015

 REPROHEALTHLAW-L
November 26, 2015

SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW:  To receive these updates monthly by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

PUBLICATIONS

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective:  Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens, 16 chapters.  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014, 482 pages. Introduction by the editors. Table of Cases online  Table of ContentsPurchase from U Penn PressAhora disponible en español.

[abortion, South Africa]  Abortion Under Apartheid: Nationalism, Sexuality, and Women’s Reproductive Rights in South Africa, by Susanne Klausen,  (Oxford University Press, 2015) the first full-length scholarly study of the history of abortion in an African context.    Table of Contents and overview from OUP.   Abstract from OUP Canada    Review in The Daily Maverick.

[abortion rights] “How to talk about abortion: A guide to rights based messaging” by IPPF. 32-page guide.

[Africa]  Litigating the Right to Health in Africa  Challenges and Prospects,  ed.  Ebenezer Durojaye  (Ashgate: London 2015).  Abstract, Table of Contents and Introduction (“Look Inside”)   50% discount code:  50CZP15N

Colombia – plan to decriminalize abortion within 12 weeks’ gestation.  Article Nov 11, 2015.

[conscience] Drawing the Line:  Tackling tensions between religion and equality, by INCLO.  56-page report

Spanish resources available online:
—Estereotipos de Género:  Perspectivas Legales Transnacionales, por Rebecca J. Cook y Simone Cusack  (Bogota: Profamilia, 2010)   Libro Espanol en PDF.     Tabla  de Contenido     [English:] Gender Stereotyping: Transnational Legal Perspectives

Salud reproductiva y derechos humanos: Integración de la medicina, la ética y el derecho, por Rebecca J. Cook, Bernard M. Dickens y Mahmoud F. Fathalla (Bogota, Profamilia, 2004) Libro Espanol en PDF[English:] Reproductive Health and Human Rights: Integrating Medicine, Ethics and Law  (Oxford, 2003).

Other Spanish publications from the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law programme.

[sterilization] Robbed of Choice:   Forced and coerced sterilization experiences of women living with HIV in Kenya, by F. Kasiva
48-page report.  10 minute video.

[violence against women] ‘Bridging the Divide’: An Interview with Professor Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women – Springer.  Abstract and interview text: Temporary open access.

NEWS:

Australian home-based medical abortion now available  Tabbot website.

China ends one-child policy after 35 years.  Guardian newspaper.

Ireland:  Labour to seek cross-party consensus on abortion legislation — Proposal to repeal eighth amendment (equal rights for fetus) to be key demand for party after general election.  Irish Times article.

US-focused news, resources, and legal developments are available on Repro Rights Prof Blog. View or subscribe.

JOBS

Guttmacher Institute (Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights  through research, policy analysis and public education) is hiring:  State Issues Assistant, Research Assistant, and Communications Associates.  Guttmacher jobs

Links to other employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here

Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca   For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here.
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Types of Consent in Reproductive Health Care

January 28, 2015

Congratulations to Bernard Dickens and Rebecca Cook whose recent article on Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive and Sexual Healthis now available online here.   An abstract is provided below:

Types of Consent in Reproductive Health Care
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 128 (2015) 181–184

Healthcare providers require prior consent to treat patients. Consent can be different for legal purposes, and be expressed in different ways. Simple consent affords providers protection from liability for assault, but negligence can arise if the consent is inadequately informed. Providers cannot coerce or improperly induce consent; patients’ agreement that a provider wrongly influences is compliance, not true consent. Attempts to rescue patients in peril may be lawful on the presumption of their implied consent, unless patients negate the presumption. In special cases, laws may require that consent be written, but generally consent can be given by speech or conduct. Informed consent depends on patients’ comprehension, but consent for treatment of uncomprehending patients may come from third parties, including legally recognized substitutes or judges. There may be legal limits to reproductive procedures to which patients may consent, under laws that can be respectfully tested, but have to be obeyed.

The Full text can be downloaded here.

For all 67 IJGO articles on “Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive and Sexual Health,” see this webpage.

 


REPROHEALTHLAW: Updates, Resources and News

October 29, 2014

SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW:  To receive these updates  by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS:

Ireland: Detailed guidelines on legal abortion released: Termination permitted when there is “real and substantial threat” to a woman’s life – News article July 2014.

Kenya:  High Court:  Police should investigate child sexual assaults.   C.K. (a child) (Through Ripples International As Her Guardian And Next Friend) & 11 Others  v.  Commissioner of Police/Inspector General of the National Police Service,  & 3 Others [2013] eKLR  Decision onlineSummary by law student.

Peru adopts National Guidelines, an important step to clarify rights to safe abortion services, in response to CEDAW “LC” decision of 2011.  News  July 2014.  Center for Reproductive Rights press release.

Zimbabwe Supreme Court finds State liable for preventing emergency contraception after rape but not termination of pregnancy.  Mildred Mapingure v Minister of Home Affairs, No. SC 22/14, 25 March 2014, Supreme Court of Zimbabwe.  Court  Decision online.    Summary by law student.

EVENTS:

“Overcoming Obstacles – Towards the effective implementation of the rights of women with disabilities in Africa, Conference at the Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Tues/Wed Nov 4-5, 2014.  Conference invitation.

FIGO World Congress 2015, Vancouver, BC,  Canada,  Oct 4-9, 2015 .  Congress 2015 website

RESOURCES:

[abortion, Brazil]  “Modern-Day Inquisition: A Report on Criminal Persecution, Exposure of Intimacy and Violation of Rights in Brazil,” by Alexandra Lopes da Costa, in: SUR – International Journal On Human Rights, 10.19, Dec. 2013. Abstract and article online.

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective:  Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens, 16 chapters.  Published by University of Pennsylvania Press, August 2014, 482 pages.
Introduction by the editors: online through SSRN.
Book reviewers should contact Gigi Lamm (glamm {a} pobox. upenn. edu)
Includes 16 chapters, Table of Legislation,

Table of Cases, also online here, with links to abortion-related decisions in English and/or other languages).
Table of Contents online here.
Purchase info: link to U Penn Press.

“Abortion Privacy/Abortion Secrecy – What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter?””  video guest-lecture by US professor Carol Sanger at Birmingham Law School, UK, April 29, 2014, 53 minute lecture by Prof. Sanger.
Written comment by Prof. Máiréad Enright on the Human Rights in Ireland blog, June 6, 2014.  Written comment by Prof. Enright

[adolescents – El Salvador, Senegal and United Kingdom]  Over-protected and under-served: Legal barriers to young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health services.  Case studies 32-60 pages each.

[Canada]  “Choice, Interrupted: Travel and Inequality of Access to Abortion Services Since the 1960s,” Christabelle Sethna, Beth Palmer, Katrina Ackerman, and Nancy Janovicek, Labour/Le Travail, 71 (Spring 2013), 29-48.  Abstract and article online.

[Colombia]  Case Study on Colombia: Judicial Standards on Abortion to Advance the Agenda of the Cairo Programme of Action, by Ana Cristina González Vélez and Viviana Bohórquez Monsalve, SUR – International Journal On Human Rights, v. 10, n. 19, Dec. 2013.  Abstract and article online.

[Colombia]  “Movement and Counter-Movement: A History of Abortion Law Reform and Backlash in Colombia, 2006-2014” by Alba Ruibal,  (November 20, 2014). Reproductive Health Matters, Vol. 22, No. 44, November 2014, Forthcoming. Abstract online.

[Conscientious objection in healthcare – Colombia Constitutional Court’s definition of 2009]
—-T388/2009:  “Conscientious Objection And Abortion. A Global Perspective On The Colombian Experience,”   English, 198 pages    Spanish, 210 pages    (Joint publication by Women’s Link Worldwide and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

—“Striking a Balance: Conscientious Objection and Reproductive Health Care from the Colombian Perspective,”  by Luisa Cabal, Monica Arango Olaya, Valentina Montoya Robledo,  Health and Human Rights Dec.  2014, 16/2.  Special issue on Health Rights Litigation.   Abstract and article online.

—see also:  “Healthcare responsibilities and Conscientious Objection” by R. J. Cook, M. Arango Olaya and B.M. Dickens,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 104 (2009): 249-252. English original.   Spanish translationOther “Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health”

[emergency contraception, Chile] “Morning-After Decisions: Legal Mobilization against Emergency Contraception in Chile,” by Fernando Muñoz León,  Michigan Journal of Gender and Law 21(2014):123-175.  Article online.

Health and Human Rights Resource Guide – updated 5th edition, from Harvard University. Searchable, available in English, Spanish and Georgian.  Resource Guide.

Health & Human Rights Syllabi Database has moved to USC:  Overview online.

[Late-stage clinical trials]  “Ethical issues for late-stage trials of multipurpose prevention technologies for HIV and pregnancy,” by Jessica A. Cohen, Anna C. Mastroianni and Ruth Macklin,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 127 (2014) 221–224.  Abstract and article online.

[Sexual and Gender-based Crimes]:  Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of International Criminal Court publishes comprehensive Policy Paper.  More info and download.

[South Africa] “The Nasciturus Non-Fiction – The Libby Gonen Story – Contemporary Reflections on the Status of Nascitural Personhood in South African Law, by Marc Schulman (March 31, 2014 working paper).  Abstract and article online. 

US-focused news, resources, and legal developments are available on Repro Rights Prof Blog. View or subscribe.

NEWS:

Czech Republic: Controversial abortion pill (RU-486) goes on sale in Czech pharmacies.  English edition and Czech radio report.

Northern Ireland:  Public consultation on proposal to allow abortion for fetus with lethal abnormality  Newspaper article

JOBS / INTERNSHIPS

Global Legal Program 2015 Summer Internship at New York office- apply as soon as possible, before Nov 28, 2014 applications accepted on rolling basis.  Global internship details.

Legal Adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bogota Colombia, Legal adviser LAC details.

US Federal Policy Law Student Intern, Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, USA.   Apply for Spring 2015 by Oct. 29, 2014  US internship details

Links to other employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here http://www.law.utoronto.ca/documents/reprohealth/joblinks.doc

Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto .ca .  For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.