May 20, 2013
Democrats in Congress Seek to Stop Deceptive Advertising by "Crisis Pregnancy Centers"
The Hill - Floor Action Blog: Dems look to crack down on anti-abortion 'crisis pregnancy centers', by Peter Kasperowicz:
Democrats in the House and Senate are looking to stop what they say are deceptive advertising practices by anti-abortion health clinics that imply they offer abortion services, but instead encourage birth and promote adoption.
The legislation is aimed at crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which are clinics often set up by a church or other anti-abortion groups. Democrats in Congress and other pro-abortion groups say these clinics are known to indicate they can perform abortions in order to attract pregnant women patients, and then try to convince them to carry their babies to term. . . .
The text of the bill is available here.
April 25, 2013
Senate Bill Would Cover Some Abortions for Peace Corps Volunteers
The Washington Post: Women’s health groups want Peace Corps volunteers to have insurance coverage for abortions, by Lisa Rein:
Yet women on the paid Peace Corps staff, along with other federal employees, federal prisoners, women on Medicaid and Native Americans, have long received insurance coverage for abortions in cases of rape or incest or if their health is in danger. In January, women in the military got the same access. . . .
April 15, 2013
How Obama’s Proposed Budget Affects Reproductive Rights
ACLU (blog): Reproductive Rights and Yesterday's Budget Release, by Sarah Lipton-Lubet:
President Obama yesterday released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2014. Here are five things you should know about how it affects reproductive rights:
Home Rule for the District of Columbia
As he has each year of his presidency, President Obama removed the D.C. abortion ban from his budget proposal. That ban prohibits the District of Columbia from using its own locally raised funds to pay for abortion care for low-income D.C. residents. By contrast, all other states are permitted to use non-federal revenues to pay for abortion care if they so choose. . . .
April 04, 2013
NGOs Challenge Speech-Related Conditions Placed on Federal Funds for Global HIV/AIDS Prevention
SCOTUSblog - SCOTUS for law students: SCOTUS for law students: Prostitution and Free Speech, by Stephen Wermiel:
Prostitution seems like an unlikely topic for a battle over freedom of speech, but that is precisely the focus of an important case to be argued in late April that tests the limits of the federal government’s ability to attach conditions to federal spending.
The case is Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc., to be argued on April 22.
The dispute involves a challenge by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to regulations implementing a federal law that provides funds to help combat the spread of HIV and AIDS throughout the world. . . .
March 16, 2013
Rep. Gingrey Backpedals on Rape Comments
The Hill - Healthwatch: Rep. Gingrey, mulling Senate bid, regrets defending Todd Akin, by Cameron Joseph:
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who is weighing a campaign for Senate, said he regrets defending former Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) infamous "legitimate rape" remarks.
Gingrey, an obstetrician, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had made "a very awkward attempt to explain the unexplainable" when he backed Akin in January. He disavowed his earlier remarks, calling them "stupid.". . .
March 05, 2013
The Guardian Offers Timeline of "2012 War on Women"
The Guardian: The War on Women, by Heather Long:
2012 was a tough year for American females as various aspects of female health and reproduction repeatedly took center stage. Politicians and pundits, mainly Republican, made degrading and factually incorrect remarks about rape and contraception. But Democrats also left their mark with an ill-timed snipe at stay-at-home mom Ann Romney, reinvigorating the "mommy wars".
Here are the key moments in the 2012 War on Women . . . .
March 5, 2013 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Contraception, Fetal Rights, In the Media, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Parenthood, Politics, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexual Assault, Sexuality, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 02, 2013
What Will the Sequester Mean for Reproductive Health and Access?
Center for American Progress: Cutting Title X Family Planning in the Sequester Hurts Women’s Reproductive Health, by Lindsay Rosenthal:
If the automatic across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester are allowed to take effect tomorrow, Title X—our nation’s family-planning program—could be cut by $15 million in fiscal year 2013.* The cut would be a significant blow to Title X, which has already been cut by more than $23 million over the past two fiscal years—limiting access to family-planning services and causing clinics to cut back on staff and hours.
For more than 40 years, Title X has served primarily low-income women, who rely heavily on community health centers for their reproductive health care. . . .
ThinkProgress: Five Ways The Sequester Will Harm Women, by Lindsay Rosenthal:
If sequestration is allowed to take effect as scheduled on March 1, $1.2 trillion will be automatically removed from the federal budget in across-the-board spending cuts that would potentially reverse our economic recovery. These cuts — which take money out of critical investments in education, public health services and research, disaster preparedness, and national security — would have devastating consequences in communities around the country and would harm all Americans in a number of ways.
Sequestration also institutes several cuts to key public investments that would disproportionately harm women. Low-income women and women of color will be hit hardest by the sequestration. Here are the top five ways in which the sequestration harms women . . . .
March 01, 2013
GOP Lawmakers Want to Investigate How Abortion Providers Use Federal Funds
The Hill - Healthwatch: GOP seeks Planned Parenthood study with hope to strip funding, by Elise Viebeck:
Dozens of Republicans in the House and Senate have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine how Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortion services are using taxpayer money. . . .
February 28, 2013
House Approves Expanded Violence Against Women Act
The New York Times: House Renews Violence Against Women Measure, by Ashley Parker:
The House on Thursday gave final approval to a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, sending a bipartisan Senate measure to President Obama after a House plan endorsed by conservatives was defeated. . . .
The legislation’s approval underscored the divide in the Republican party as it struggles to regain its footing with women after its 2012 electoral drubbing among female voters. . . .
February 20, 2013
GOP Senators (Re)Introduce Parental Involvement for Abortion Bill
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: GOP bill would tighten rules on parental consent for abortion, by Ramsey Cox:
A group of GOP senators introduced a bill Thursday that would prohibit minors from crossing state lines to avoid parental involvement in the decision to get an abortion.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) are the lead sponsors of the legislation. Some states don’t require parental consent for minors to get an abortion, causing some to cross state lines in order to avoid telling their parents about the procedure. . . .
For more on the history of this recurring bill, see:
National Abortion Federation: Teen Endangerment Act Repackaged: A Menacing Maze for Young Women, Their Families, and Their Doctors
February 19, 2013
Federal Sex Ed Bill Discourages Gender Stereotyping and Exclusion of LGBT Students
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Sex ed bill nixes 'gender stereotypes', by Elise Viebeck:
A new sex education bill would give grants to programs that reject gender stereotypes and embrace LGBT students.
The legislation from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and 32 other Democrats encourages a "comprehensive" approach to sex ed. . . .
February 06, 2013
Family Medical Leave Act Turns 20
Feminist Majority Foundation: Family Medical Leave Act Turns 20:
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which grants job-protected sick leave to those who are recovering or taking care of someone recovering from an illness or those who have had a new child. . . .
January 31, 2013
Senator Coburn Seeks to Ban Abortion Coverage in All State Health Insurance Plans
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Coburn bill would restrict abortion in plans created by healthcare law, by Sam Baker:
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced a bill Friday to ban abortion coverage in new healthcare plans created by President Obama's reform law.
The bill would restrict multistate plans selected by the Office of Personnel Management. Two multi-state policies would be available through each state's insurance exchanges, to ensure a certain level of competition among private insurers. . . .
January 17, 2013
Virginia AG Urges People to "Go to Jail" to Protest Federal Contraception Mandate
MSNBC - The Maddow Blog: Cuccinelli to allies: 'Go to jail' over contraception access, by Steve Benen:
Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) told supporters this week that they should "defy and or break the law" in order to resist the Affordable Care Act. Of course, the opinions of some strange former congressman, booted out of Congress after one term, probably don't carry much weight.
How about a man who may be elected governor of Virginia later this year?. . .
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Planned Parenthood slams Cucinelli for protest call for protest call against birth-control mandate, by Elise Viebeck:
Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC slammed the state's attorney general Friday after he said going to jail would be an effective way to protest President Obama's birth-control mandate.
Ken Cuccinelli, a conservative Catholic who opposes the mandate, made the remark late Wednesday on an Iowa radio program. . . .
Representative Diane Black Vows to Defund Planned Parenthood
The Hill - Healtwatch Blog: Rep. Black vows to defund Planned Parenthood after latest abortion report, by Pete Kasperowicz:
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) this week vowed to continue trying to starve Planned Parenthood of federal funds after the group's latest report showed it performed a record number of abortions in its latest fiscal year.
According to Black, Planned Parenthood's latest report says the group received $542 million in taxpayer funding, nearly half of the group's revenue. She said the group performed nearly 334,000 abortions in the last fiscal year. . . .
January 16, 2013
Reining in Republicans on the Topic of Rape
The Susan B. Anthony List will train Republicans on how to discuss rape:
Feministing: Susan B. Anthony List to create training programs to help Republicans talk about rape, by Samhita Mukhopadhyay:
The only instruction that Republicans need about talking about rape these days is to…stop. Or, well, keep talking–so we can continue to learn about their curious and frightening logix about pregnancy, sex, consent, and magic uteri. I imagine Susan B. Anthony list’s training is going to be some form of–”doh, just stop talking about it!” But these fine men just can’t help themselves, because they actually believe what is coming out of their mouths. . . .
And they seem to need it:
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Rep. Gingrey: Todd Akin 'partly right' about rape and pregnancy, by Sam Baker:
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) was "partly right" when he made controversial comments that women cannot become pregnant from a rape.
Akin, then the Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, said a woman cannot become pregnant from a "legitimate rape" because the female body can "shut that whole thing down."
Gingrey, who is an OB-GYN, said in a town-hall meeting that Akin was partially correct, according to a report in the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal. . . .
January 09, 2013
Paul Ryan Cosponsors Embryonic Personhood Bill
Huffington Post: Paul Ryan Cosponsors New Fetal Personhood Bill, by Laura Bassett:
Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization. . . .
January 06, 2013
Sen. Patty Murray on House Republicans' Failure To Take Up Bill Reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act
CNN opinion: House GOP failed women on Violence Against Women Act, by Patty Murray:
(CNN) -- This week, just over 250 days since the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan and inclusive bill to extend the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives allowed the clock to run out on protections that bill would have provided to millions of women across our country. . . .
January 03, 2013
Obama Signs Defense Authorization Act Including Health Coverage for Servicewomen and Military Dependents in Cases of Rape and Incest
Stand with Servicewomen press release: President Signs Defense Bill That Includes Shaheen Amendment Providing Equal Health Care for Servicewomen:
Bill Provides Equal Health Care Coverage for Servicewomen and Military Dependents in Cases of Rape and Incest
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has signed the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act into law, which includes the Shaheen Amendment, a provision that provides equal health care for servicewomen and military dependents who are survivors of rape and incest by extending to them the same abortion coverage provided to other women enrolled in federal health care.
The amendment repealing the ban was offered by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in May and adopted, with bipartisan support, by the Senate Armed Services Committee. House and Senate negotiators agreed to include the provision in the final defense bill and both chambers passed the bill last week.
“From the time I joined the Army in 1971, I was told that my principal job as an officer was to take care of my troops. We are a step closer to accomplishing that goal today,” said Major Gen. Dennis Laich, USAR (Ret.). “Women serve with courage and distinction in every branch of our service. I applaud Senator Shaheen for her tireless work to making sure these women receive the support they deserve.”
Just prior to the bill’s passage, Gen. Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state, joined dozens of military leaders in signing a letter urging congressional support for the amendment.
“This isn't about politics or ideology; it's about basic fairness and equity,” said Major General Gale Pollock, USA (Ret.). “The discriminatory policy preventing our women in uniform from receiving equal healthcare has gone on for too long and I am proud that Congress and the president have finally acted to right this wrong. Our servicewomen are fortunate to have a champion like Senator Shaheen, as well as strong supporters on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, fighting on their behalf.”
For more information, please visit www.standwithservicewomen.org
December 28, 2012
Anti-Choice Protestor Causes Disturbance in Senate
The Wall Street Journal: Anti-Abortion Protester Carried Out of Senate, by Michael R. Crittenden:
An anti-abortion protester was carried shirtless from the U.S. Senate chamber early Friday afternoon after causing a disturbance just after lawmakers adjourned for lunch. . . .