The Economic Crisis and the New Witches

Historically, witches have been scapegoats, and witch-hunting has occurred during periods of crisis such as wars, and times of famine or disease. More recently, the consequences of the global economic crisis have been devastating: unemployment, poverty, and in some countries, an increasing number of suicides. But some politicians have more pressing concerns: in Spain, for example, the Conservatives target women who can already come under heavy fire when it comes to economic issues. This behavior can uphold patterns such as the economic and social marginalization of women.

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AZ Legislature Takes Anti-Choice to a New Level

In case the rest of the world has any doubt that Arizona is full of gun-slinging, ignorant assholes, one look at the state legislature’s agenda should clear up any confusion.  Several anti-choice bills have been introduced at the legislature in the past few weeks, and they make the already draconion abortion restrictions in our state look like a cake walk compared to what is potentially coming down the pike.  Let me summarize the worst offenders in the bunch.

HB2416 would introduce several new restrictions on abortion access, including:

  • Expands the definition of abortion clinic from those that perform surgical abortion to also include those that dispense medications which induce abortion without surgery.
  • Requires Arizona courts to appoint guardians ad litem for minors who are asking courts to waive the state parental consent requirement.
  • The bill expands required components of informed consent to include mandatory ultrasound and “auscultation” (using a stethoscope to listen to fetal organs, including the heart).
    - Both components must be provided at least one hour before medication is administered or the surgical procedure is provided.
    - Must offer the patient to view the ultrasound and to hear the heartbeat, etc.
    - Must offer to provide a detailed explanation of what the ultrasound depicts.
    - Must offer the patient a print version of the ultrasound.
    - Patient must certify in writing that the ultrasound and auscultation were offered, and whether she accepted or declined the offer.
  • Bans use of “telemedicine.”

There are so many problems with this bill it’s hard to know where to start the tirade. For starters, how many pills are considered a form of surgery? Can you imagine if a doctor had to have admitting rights at a hospital if they wanted to prescribe Viagra? The men of this state would be rioting in the streets! What if they needed to have admitting rights to prescribe allergy medicine, or insulin? I think you get my drift. Taking a pill is not the same as having surgery. It’s a total no brainer. [Read more...]

Quick Hit: birth control in a down economy

It is no secret that the current economic crisis in this country is causing an enormous strain on many families.

While some families may be willing, the last thing they need is to have another child in this economic climate. As this article shows, there are other, more practical options for birth control than the pill or condoms. While the pill may not be a large expense each month, the cost of an unplanned pregnancy due to failed birth control is very costly. This article has wonderful information for families who are struggling:

Birth Control Doesn’t Have to Mean the Pill

New Jersey Gov. Christie Vetoes Funding for Crucial Family Planning Services

As a result of naive short-term economic thinking, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has vetoed a bill that would allocate 7.5 million dollars for family planning clinics providing life saving reproductive and sexual health care services to thousands of uninsured women. According to Gov. Christie, his priority is to cut spending and decrease the burden on New Jersey taxpayers. Too bad for Christie, the cost of not having comprehensive reproductive health care services significantly increases the financial burden on both the state and the citizens of New Jersey. To little surprise, Gov. Christie is only thinking about short-term cost without taking into consideration the long-term benefits that family planning services provide the state and local communities. [Read more...]

Every Californian Should Make the Call to Protect Family PACT Funding

As many of you may already know, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed an updated budget earlier this month that includes drastic cuts in Family PACT funding. The logic being that in an economic crisis, it’s more important to cut short-term costs than protect long-term economic prosperity. Not only is that logic bankrupt on face, it also ignores the myriad of economic and health benefits that Californian’s reap due to a strong commitment to comprehensive and accessible family planning services. Decreasing support for the California Family PACT would have dire consequences for both public health and the economy. Moreover, it would be another step in the anti-choice effort to further marginalize low-income families from accessing reproductive health care services. [Read more...]

Increasing Rates of Abortion in Illinois Raise Questions about Social, Political and Economic Factors

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, abortion is at a ten year high in Illinois. There are a couple factors being credited for the 5% increase in abortion rates since 2007. The first of those reasons being the plummeting economy. Dave Mckinney reports,

The state’s main provider of abortion services has heard from its clients that the economy is a factor in their decisions, said Steve Trombley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Council’s Chicago area chapter. [Read more...]

When Will Men Do Their Fair Share of the Housework?

Last week I shared a clip from NBC’s “Today Show,” where California’s First Lady Maria Shriver discussed the changing roles of men and women. Shriver has co-authored a new report, called “A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything,” about the impact that the economic downturn has had on women in the US. Women have taken fewer job hits in the recession, and more men are becoming stay-at-home dads as a result of a contracted work force. However, despite these changes, women still do the majority of the housework and childcare – 86% of it, in fact.

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Shriver makes an accurate statement – that women’s lives will never be truly equal with men so long as they continue to remain the primary caregivers in our society. Although twice as many men are contributing to housework and childcare responsibilities as they were in the 1960′s, that number is still only at 30%. So my big question to you is this: when will men do their fair share of the housework? And why are we as women not demanding that the men in our lives become more self-sufficient? [Read more...]

Friday News Roundup

mouse2Dr. Susan Wicklund Blames Protesters For Dr. Tiller’s Death – West Virgina Public Broadcasting
Why I’m a Clinic Escort – Abortion Clinic Escort Blog
New AZ Law Could Limit Access to Plan B – Daily Wildcat
Coming Out in Middle School – New York Times
5 Ways to Save Money on Birth Control – US News & World Report
South Dakota Attorney General Appeals Abortion Ruling – Ms.
Glenn Beck Faces Backlash . . . From the Right – Alternet

Planned Parenthood Closes El Paso Clinic

19872882_240X135Patients in El Paso were greeted with somber news when they arrived at Planned Parenthood today. All 6 of the Planned Parenthood clinics in the city have closed due to financial problems. According to the El Paso Times:

The organization’s interim executive director, Analinda Moreno, announced the shutdown Friday.
“Advising the staff about the closing today was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” she said. “Our patients have always been our first priority, and we are still doing everything we can to provide transfer services. We made this decision with them in mind and in their best interest, and we hope they understand that.”
Moreno, who held back tears at times, said financial pressures necessitated the closing.

“There were many factors that came into the decision,” she said. “We knew eight days ago that there was just absolutely no other way other than to close. Now our concern is negotiating a smooth transfer for all our patients with their consent, but it has been a challenge trying to contact all of them.”

That’s going to be a large task. The clinic served more than 11,000 women, most of them low-income. The Planned Parenthood clinic had served El Paso for 72 years. This is such a disappointment. [Read more...]