Quick Hit: Day of Action for Birth Control

While President Obama stood strong for women last week by requiring all insurers to cover birth control, the onslaught against contraception is far from over. Several conservative members of Congress want to eliminate coverage for birth control entirely.  As Think Progress reports, anti-choice Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) is at the helm, introducing an extremist bill that would grant insurers the right to deny you coverage for ANY health service it deems immoral.

In response, NOW-NYC has called for a Day of Action for birth control on Valentine’s Day (February 14). Here’s what you can (and should!) do:

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Is President Obama Pro-Choice?

President Obama is enjoying a recent surge in popularity because of the death of Osama bin Laden. But many Progressives aren’t feeling a renewed surge of love for President Obama (myself included), primarily because they feel like President Obama sold them a bill of goods during the election, and he has now reneged on all those campaign promises.

Reproductive rights is one of the areas where President Obama fails to meet my expectations. In the latest issue of Conscience Magazine, Jodi Jacobson raises similar feelings of disapproval.

“As a candidate, Obama said all the right things. As a president, his actions suggest that then-presidential contender and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was right—he will not fight for us.… The president has presided over the greatest erosion to women’s reproductive health and rights in the past 30 years, and a continuing degradation of our rights at the state level. Yet still he remains silent. Is Obama pro-choice? Not by my definition.”

I’m with Jacobson on this one. President Obama’s advisers have recommended that he veto HR3 when it lands on his desk, but I want to hear the president speak up for himself on this issue. The president never stood up during the health care reform debate to speak out against the Stupak amendment, and HR3 is just the latest version of President Obama’s lack of leadership in reproductive rights. [Read more...]

HR3 May Come Up for Vote This Week; Obama Pledges to Veto

The date for a final vote on HR3, which would strip Title X funding from health care providers who perform abortions, has been set for Wednesday, May 4th. Although HR3 is likely to pass the House, the National Journal is reporting that the White House has pledged to veto HR3 if it passes in the House.

Here’s a quick reminder about why HR3 is ten pounds of monkey crap in a five pound bag. Federal law already prohibits federal money from being used to pay for abortions, no thanks to the Hyde Amendment, which was passed in 1976. However, HR3 goes much further than the Hyde Amendment by completely eliminating health care providers to receive any federal funding if they provide abortion, even if the money is to be used for other services, such as breast exams or pap smears.

Planned Parenthood isn’t the only health care provider that will be affected by HR3, but they have received the most media attention on this issue. The overwhelming majority of Planned Parenthood’s services – 97% to be precise – are preventative care, like birth control prescriptions, well woman exams, and STI testing. (You can read more info over on Planned Parenthood’s website). This means that low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood for affordable health care are going to be the most impacted by the passage of HR3.

Take Action! Tell your representative to vote no on HR3 by clicking over to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

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?

A Look at China’s Family Planning Policy

obama-chinaPresident Obama spoke with groups and leaders in China this week about a host of topics. One issue that some people would like Obama to address is the country’s controversial One-Child Policy. This is China’s attempt to curb population growth by limiting the number of children per family among the ethnic majority.

This policy is not a black and white issue; rather there are so many shades of gray. I asked a few people about their opinions on the one child policy and most answered by saying it isn’t a great policy, but they see the motivation and benefit from it.   [Read more...]

Happy Friday! News Roundup

dogs in costumesOMG – I love dogs in costumes. I think more people should hand out little dog biscuits with the trick-or-treat candy, because little dogs like Halloween, too, you know.

On the pro-choice front, here’s your Friday click list to kick off the weekend!

When it Rains, it Pours . . . And Then There’s Health Care Reform – San Francisco Gate
Thanks, Abstinence-Only! Teen Pregnancies on the Rise – Feministing
Need a Halloween Costume? Dress Up as the Octomom – Womanist Musings
Justice Ginsburg Hospitalized Again – Voice of America
A Party to the Abortion Wars – Newsweek
Hillary Clinton Tops Obama in Popularity – Newsday

Live Blogging: Obama Speaks at the HRC Dinner

LGBT rightsIf anyone is interested in joining the excitement of the HRC dinner, I suggest you check out the live feed at Bilerico. Bil Browning is at the dinner and taking questions live. Some highlights from Obama’s speech thus far (all provided via twitter)

“Do not doubt the direction we are headed and the destination we will reach.”
“Together we will move closer 2 where no 1 in American has 2 fear being gay or walk down the street holding the hand of their loved 1.”
“I will end ‘Don’t ask, Don’t Tell’, that’s my commitment to you.”

President Obama is addressing a large number of his constituents tonight to underscore their legitimate criticism of his failure to follow through on several campaign promises. Tonight is an olive branch opportunity for Obama to confirm his commitment to the cause of equal rights and convince a community of people that he does not intend to leave them behind. One can only hope that his well articulated speech tonight will translate into political action tomorrow. Too often LGBT rights are promised and then placed on the back burner when shit gets tough.

Obama stated, “I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I’ve made, but by the promises that my administration keeps.” When will it be the right time? Even the idea of a “right time” for equal rights says wonders about our political system.

Wednesday News Roundup

mouse_click_270x270Phyllis Schlafy on the ERA: Feminism is Scary, Ya’ll! – Think Progress
Obama Won’t Protect Reproductive Rights – Feministing
Senate Votes to Restore Abstinence-Only Funding – AP
Michael Moore Tells Obama “Don’t Desert the Liberals” – ABC News

Missing the Point: Racisim and Health Care Reform

There are a lot of discussions going on right now–on tv, on the net, all over–about racism and the health care debate. Most of what I have heard goes something like this:

Commentator: Some people say that the people who object to health care reform are racist. Is this true?
Guest: Of course its not true. The liberals always cry racism whenever conservatives object to things Obama wants to do.
Guest II: Of course it is true. The people showing up at town halls are waiving Confederate flags–that’s racist.

There are two major problems here: one, some people who object to health care reform are racist and two, not everyone who opposes health care reform is racist or is doing so because they are racist. Both sides are presenting arguments that are faulty–largely because they are both using an all or nothing sort of model.
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Saturday News Roundup

weekendWe had some technical difficulties yesterday, and the click list didn’t run. So, here it is . . . the first Saturday click list (and hopefully the last). Have a great weekend!

First They Were Broke, Now Operation Rescue Says Everything’s A-OK – The Pitch
Health Insurance Companies Consider C-Sections a “Pre-Existing Condition” – Think Progress
Interview with Cecile Richards: “Women Shouldn’t Be Left Worse Off Under Health Care Reform Than They Are Now” – Jezebel
Randall Terry is Terrorizing Kids Now – Spare Candy
Anti-Abortion Group Targets 12 Democratic Seats in Next Election – RH Reality Check
Anti-Abortion Provocateur Takes Aim at Obama – Women’s e-News