For the last several weeks, all eyes have been focused on the high-profile clash between Catholic bishops (if not their parishioners) and the Obama administration over mandated insurance coverage for contraception at their non-church institutions. But in cities and towns across the country, a second battlefront is jeopardizing access to essential reproductive care for millions of American women. As The New York Times and the New Republic each recently documented, the expansion of Catholic hospitals nationwide is putting women's reproductive care—and in some cases, their lives—at risk.
Posted by JENNIFER DALVEN, Reproductive Freedom Project, ACLU
First, a bill that gives immunity to doctors who lie to couples about the results of their prenatal tests in order to prevent them from getting an abortion. Now, a bill that would give your boss the green light to fire you for using birth control. You think I am kidding? I wish.
Bob Brown/AP - Abortion rights advocate Margaret Doyle is removed from the General Assembly in Richmond after a Senate committee vote. She says male lawmakers in Virginia are “obsessing over our wombs.”
by COURTLAND MILLOY, The Washington Post
When Margaret Doyle’s temper exploded inside the Virginia General Assembly a few weeks ago, a photograph of her being ejected from the state Capitol became a symbol of front-line resistance to legislative assaults on women’s reproductive rights.
[Sunday] This morning, you may or may not have today's edition of the syndicated comic strip "Doonesbury" in your local newspaper. Starting today, cartoonist Garry Trudeau is shining a satirical light on the recent legislation in states like Virginia and Texas targeting women seeking an abortion -- using medically unnecessary procedures designed to shame them into a different reproductive choice. [MORE]
Excerpt from article by JUDD LEGUM, Think Progress
The advertisers have also requested to be excluded from other right-wing hosts including Michael Savage, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. According to the memo, the listed companies’ advertisements should be excluded from these programs because they have been “deemed to be offensive.”
The existance of the memo was first reported over the weekend by Radio-info.com, an industry newsletter. Radio-info did not publish the full list of companies. The memo was posted website of the Traffic Directors Guild of America, an association of professionals who distribute paid advertisements to radio stations. The memo was quickly deleted but ThinkProgress obtained a copy from a Google snapshot of the site taken on March 9. [MORE, including screen grab of the memo]
“DEAN HELLER just took the war against women to the next level,” declared Shelley Berkley on March 1st. Ms Berkley is a Democrat vying to oust Mr Heller, Nevada’s junior senator. Mr Heller had just voted to let employers refuse to pay for contraceptives and other services. Democrats defeated the bill, but the vote had its desired effect. Ms Berkley and other Democrats have a new weapon to fight Republicans. Conservatives can use the vote to bash Democrats with equal gusto.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at the third annual Women in the World Summit on Saturday that women must “reject any efforts to marginalize any one of us.” “We must be fearless,” said Clinton, who was the final speaker at the conference. Clinton was introduced by Meryl Streep, who held up her Oscar and said, “This is what you get for playing a world leader, but this is what you get when you are one,” as Clinton walked on stage. Clinton recapped the three-day summit, which included powerful panels led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, former secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and testimony read by actress Angelina Jolie. Streep said that she felt the summit was like being “plugged into an energy source: it’s bigger than oil, coal—it’s girls!”
The battle of the sexes, waged this election season with fulsome fury in the public space, is being fought in a much more painful, private sphere as well. In churches (and synagogues and mosques) across the land, women are still treated as second-class citizens. And because women of faith are increasingly breadwinners, single moms and heads of households, that diminished status is beginning to rankle.
In an economically free world, all that is necessary is that the advertisers fear that irate customers might stop buying their products. In a free economy, you can’t force people to buy your product and you can’t force people to invest in your company, so you are subject to the wrath of consumers who don’t appreciate your gender bias and will take their business and investment dollars elsewhere. But in a crony-capitalist economy, a good old boy network can remain in power because it can co-opt the government to force people to buy its products, to invest in its stock and to bail it out. [MORE]
"Then, Clinton told the audience, ”I told her that, in America, in Tunisia, anywhere in the world, women should have the right to make their own choices about what they wear…how they worship…the causes that they support.
Posted by Jennifer Dalven, Reproductive Freedom Project
It's what every pregnant woman I know dreads. Going into that big ultrasound, having the ultrasound tech, who had been so chatty, suddenly go silent. Having her do sweep after sweep across your belly without saying another word, until finally, she gets up and solemnly says, "I am going to get the doctor."
As far as pregnancy nightmares go, I thought that was one of the worst. But now politicians in Kansas are giving pregnant women and their partners something new to worry about. Buried in a sweeping anti-abortion bill is a provision that would immunize a doctor who discovers that a baby will be born with a devastating condition and deliberately withholds that information from his patient. That's right. If the bill passes, a doctor who opposes abortion could decide to lie about the results of your blood tests, your ultrasound, your cvs or your amnio. Lie to you so that you won't have information that might lead you to decide to end your pregnancy or that might lead you to learn more about your child's condition so that you are prepared to be the best parent you can be to your child.
That [ultrasound] law is part of a war over women’s health being fought around the country — and in much of the country, women are losing. State by state, legislatures are creating new obstacles to abortions and are treating women in ways that are patronizing and humiliating.
“It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. “It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced.”
"The right to choose an abortion [a legal act] is meaningless without access to abortion services," states the Lilith Fund website. "Restrictions on abortion access and funding are discriminatory because they especially burden low-income women. We oppose all efforts to restrict abortion rights and are committed to fighting for access to abortion for all women." [MORE]
The fragile gains Republicans had been making among female voters have been erased, a shift that has coincided with what has become a national shouting match over reproductive issues, potentially handing President Obama and the Democrats an enormous advantage this fall.
In the 2010 congressional midterm elections, Republican candidates ran evenly with Democrats among women, a break with long-established trends. That was a major reason the GOP regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Now, female voters appear to be swinging back to Democrats.
A number of polls show that Obama’s approval among women has risen significantly since December, even as it has remained flat among men. The same trend, which began before the controversy in recent weeks, is also showing up further down the ballot.
When a Wall Street Journal-NBC News survey asked in the summer which party should control Congress, 46 percent of women favored Democrats and 42 percent preferred Republican control.
But in a survey released Monday, compiling data since the beginning of the year, that figure had widened considerably to a 15-point advantage for the Democrats, according to polling by the team of Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff. Fifty-one percent favored Democratic control; only 36 percent wanted to see the Republicans in charge. [MORE]
Last month, students from several Catholic universities gathered to send a message to the nation that contraception is basic health care. I was among them, and I was proud to share the stories of my friends at Georgetown Law who have suffered dire medical consequences because our student insurance does not cover contraception for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.
I joined these students in speaking at a media event because I believe that stories of how real women are affected are the most powerful argument for access to affordable, quality reproductive health care services. I also joined these students because now is a critical time to raise this issue in our public consciousness.
Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, preventive care services, including contraception, will be covered by private insurance plans without co-pays or deductibles. If appropriately implemented, this important law will finally guarantee women access to contraception, regardless of the religious affiliation of their workplace or school. [MORE]
There are a few things that make my blood boil; one being the stupidity of narrow-minded buffoons. Many such people also go by the title Senator, Representative, Governor or Presidential Candidate and associate themselves with the Republican Party. In this instance, I am specifically referring to the stupidity of such buffoons who hail from the Great State of Texas; my home state, I'm sorry to say.
Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage is a parody music video paying homage to Alice Paul and the generations of brave women who joined together in the fight to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in 1920.
COLUMBUS – Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way.
The Cleveland Democrat introduced Senate Bill 307 this week.
A critic of efforts to restrict abortion and contraception for women, Turner says she is concerned about men’s reproductive health. Turner’s bill joins a trend of female lawmakers submitting bills regulating men’s health. [MORE]
I’ve always assumed that women are fully autonomous human citizens—who vote, even!—but now I’m not so certain.
by JESSICA WINTER, Time Magazine
All my adult life, I’ve been pretty sure I’m a sentient, even semi-competent human being. I have a job and an apartment; I know how to read and vote; I make regular, mostly autonomous decisions about what to eat for lunch and which cat videos I will watch whilst eating my lunch. But in the past couple of months, certain powerful figures in media and politics have cracked open that certitude.
You see, like most women, I was born with the chromosome abnormality known as “XX,” a deviation of the normative “XY” pattern. Symptoms of XX, which affects slightly more than half of the American population, include breasts, ovaries, a uterus, a menstrual cycle, and the potential to bear and nurse children. Now, many would argue even today that the lack of a Y chromosome should not affect my ability to make informed choices about what health care options and lunchtime cat videos are right for me. But others have posited, with increasing volume and intensity, that XX is a disability, even a roadblock on the evolutionary highway. This debate has reached critical mass, and leaves me uncertain of my legal and moral status. Am I a person? An object? A ward of the state? A “prostitute”? (And if I’m the last of these, where do I drop off my W-2?) [MORE]
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