Pro-Choice News Roundup

Free Birth Control? Implausible. Well, maybe. Abortion Gang.

Ohio Abortion Ban Challenges Terms of Roe v. Wade. Huffington Post.

Tough Titty: On Feminist Mothering and the Breastfeeding Doll. Alternet.

Abortions via ‘telemedicine’ are safe, effective, Iowa study finds. MSNBC.

IOM recommends free birth control under health care reform law. Feministing.

Why the Repeal of Hyde is a Priority for Pro-Choice Advocates

I just got back from the 2011 National Network of Abortion Funds organizing summit in Denver, Colorado.  The weekend helped recharge my battery, and more importantly, gave me a lot of tangible tools that I can use to help get an abortion access fund started in Arizona.

The opening plenary session of the summit was about the Hyde Amendment and Health Care Reform. Stephanie Poggi of NNAF, Eesha Pandit of the New York Abortion Access Fund, and Marlene Gerber Fried from NNAF explained what the Hyde Amendment is, and why the repeal of Hyde needs to be a priority for the pro-choice movement.

What is the Hyde Amendment?
The Hyde Amendment was passed in 1976, and was only one of 200 anti-abortion bills that were passed in the backlash against Roe v. Wade. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. The anti-choice members of Congress never actually believed that they would get the law passed because the bill was a clear case of reaching too far. The Hyde Amendment initially had no exceptions, not even in cases of rape or incest, or to protect the life of the woman. The bill received 25 roll call votes, and exceptions for rape and the woman’s health had to be added to Hyde in order for the bill to pass.

During the Congressional testimony on the Hyde Amendment, Henry Hyde blatantly admitted that he didn’t want any women to have access to abortion, but he knew he couldn’t have everything he wanted so he focused on restricting abortion access for the women he knew he could effect: low-income women. [Read more...]

Top choice-related stories of 2010

Wow!

What a year it was for those engaged in the battle to protect a right we should all take for granted: a woman’s ability to choose. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty worn out, pretty frustrated at fighting for something I should not have to fight for, and ready to tackle 2011 with a lot of spunk, a lot of passion, and one very important friend on my side: the truth.

For those of you who missed it, here are some of the highs and lows that pro-choice warriors faced in 2010:

  • FDA approval of OTC Plan B for women under 18

http://www.medpagetoday.com/OBGYN/GeneralOBGYN/13867

  • Alaska votes in favor of parental notification

http://www.adn.com/2010/08/25/1423557/voters-approve-measure-requiring.html

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/08/25/alaskas-parental-notification-law/ [Read more...]

Quick Hit: President Obama Pledges to Look for Common Ground

President Obama held a press conference on Wednesday, where he responded to the election results. The president offered a lot of platitudes about his commitment to health care reform and America’s economic recovery. And he also pledged to find “common ground” and reach across the aisle to work with the Republicans.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu2X9lamprY[/youtube]

Where is the common ground on health care reform? And more specifically, where is the common ground on women’s health care? The quest for common ground resulted in the Stupak Amendment. Every time I hear the phrase common ground, I am reminded that politicians may pledge their support for women’s access to birth control and abortion, but when it comes right down to it, very few politicians have the follow through to make those promises a reality.

This is just a quick hit . . . I’ve got more to say about this. In the meantime, what are your thoughts regarding President Obama’s speech? Do you feel that Democrats should be working towards a compromise? Or is it time to stop courting an audience that doesn’t want to hear anything we have to say?

New Report Shows Hyde Amendment Hurts Poor Women

Last Fall, the debate about including abortion in the health care reform package became a lightening rod that threatened to derail the entire movement towards comprehensive health care coverage. The health care reform bill was passed with language that prevented health care dollars from being spent on abortion. But pro-choice advocates are well aware that the Stupak Amendment was just a recycled version of old news. The Hyde Amendment, which was passed in 1976, bars federal funding for abortion services.

A new report released from the Center for Reproductive Rights shows that the Hyde Amendment has had a disproportionate impact on poor women. According to the report:

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/15141054[/vimeo]

If Stupak wasn’t enough, there is a new piece of legislation pending in Congress called the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would make the Hyde Amendment permanent law, and extend bans on coverage for abortion to the private sector. But the bill doesn’t stop there. It reaches even further than Hyde and, amongst other things:

  • Permanently denies low-income women, federal employees, and military women abortion coverage
  • Effectively ends abortion coverage in private employer policies
  • Could undermine women’s access to life-saving emergency abortions at state and local public hospitals

The bill already has over 170 co-sponsors and is picking up traction in the House. Pissed off? Do something about it! Check out the Center for Reproductive Rights’ website for actions you can take today.

Thursday News Roundup

A Progressive Defense of Elena Kagan – RH Reality Check
Anti-Choicers Seeking to Capitalize on Health Care Reform – Washington Post
In Defense of The Pill – AlterNet
How Anti-Feminism Gets Spun as “Real Feminism” – Pandagon
LA Gay & Lesbian Center Joins Boycott of Arizona – KPCC

A Wave of State Leglislation Seeks to Counter Health Care Reform

State legislators in Arizona are unabashedly anti-health care and anti-choice. The state’s governor, Jan Brewer, joined with 26 other state attornies general to challenge the health care reform bill, arguing that the bill violates states’ rights to determine health care policies for their constituents. Nevermind the fact that the state of Arizona has no money, and the health care reform bill would provide much needed funding for the state.

In addition to the class action lawsuit, the state legislature decided to tack an amendment onto a bill currently working its way through the legislature that would eliminate abortion coverage for state employees. The new amendment to SB1305 would also eliminate abortion coverage in any of the insurance exhange programs created by federal health care reform, and would require women to purchse an abortion ryder if they wanted to have insurance coverage for abortion.

Hold the phone! If we’re going to talk about the constitutionality of health care reform, let’s not forget about the 14th amendment, which requires equal protection under the law. Requiring female patients to pay more money for their health care insurance seems like a clear violation of the constitution to me. But Arizona’s legislators seem more concerned about the 2nd amendment (they voted to allow guns in bars and on college campuses), or the 10th amendment (states’ rights). All the other amendments are extraneous in their eyes. [Read more...]

Senate Passes Health Care Reform on the Eve of Christmas

On a 60-39 vote, the U.S. Senate finally passed sweeping health care reform. Although it isn’t anywhere near the bill that I had envisioned myself, it is an enormous step in the right direction. With all negative aspects considered, the bill does expand insurance coverage to nearly 30 million Americans who currently don’t have access to health care. Jill, at Feministe, does a damn good job explaining the myriad of reasons why the advantages of this particular bill still outweigh the disadvantages. [Read more...]

Gross Hypocrisy: Laura Ingraham, the Code Red Rally & Holocaust Poetry

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Press ImageAs most of you know, I am a big fan of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It might even be the thing that keeps me sane as our Democratic congressional majority gets sucked into a quagmire of conservative politics over health care reform, world leaders struggle to come to any sort of agreement on Climate Change in Copenhagen and the U.S. announces plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan–one of which is likely to be my husband, many more friends of ours.

So like many of you, I watched the December 16 episode hoping for some comic relief. And I got it. For sure. He is so good at pointing out idiocies on the national political stage that, even when I am appalled, I laugh. That was true during this episode too. But there was one story…a bit he included in his coverage of a Tea Party rally…that floored me. Not his take on it (which I love), but that someone, anyone–even a right wing ass bag like Laura Ingraham–would dare. [Read more...]

Monday News Roundup

mouse_click_270x270An Open Letter to Congress – Momocrats
Send a Coat Hanger to Congress – Clinic Escort
The Cutest Menstrual Chart EVER! – I Heart Guts
The Evolution of Birth Control – Newsweek
Lesbian and Gay Parents Are Not Better, and That’s OK – Mombian