Birth Control Subsidies Are Back, Baby!

birth controlDuring the Bush administration, women’s rights were on the chopping block. Access to abortion was restricted, funding for birth control and other family planning services was eliminated, and fehttp://feministsforchoice.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=1940&message=1deral tax dollars where pumped into religiously-based abstinence-only programs. Thankfully, some of that is starting to change under the Obama administration. According to the Chicago Tribune:

A 2005 federal law, designed to save taxpayers money on Medicaid reimbursements for drugs, financially dissuaded pharmaceutical companies from selling their products to these pharmacies at slashed prices. College women were particularly affected. Many saw their favorite contraceptive brands’ cost rise from $5 to $10 a month to $30 to $50 a month. The new provision, allows drug companies to once again offer the discounts, at no cost to taxpayers.

“It’s a tremendous victory for women’s health,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards tells me. “It’s an indication we have a government now that’s really focused on prevention and expanding access to women’s health care.” During the Bush years, her nonprofit had organized a large petition drive among college students, as well as meetings with congressional leaders, in a futile attempt to change the policy. [Read more...]

Tuesday News Roundup

mouse2Tips For Taking Care of Your Sex Toys – Lesbian Lush
Obama Administration Files Papers to Repeal DOMA – NPR
Why Don’t More People Use the Female Condom? – Splice
Personhood Bills A Big Money Maker for the Anti-Choice Movement – Air America
Dr. Carhart Gearing Up For Anti-Choicers – Omaha World Herald
Aborting Health Care Reform – RH Reality Check
If Obama Discards the Public Option, What’s Left of Reform? – The Nation
Mexico Strengthens Abortion Restrictions – IPS News

Better Know a Judicial Nominee: Dawn Johnsen

profile.dawn_johnsenLast week’s confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court wasn’t the end of the judicial watch for pro-choice advocates. A president’s nominations to the lower federal courts is just as important as the president’s nominees to SCOTUS. Federal judges are appointed for life, and their influence can be felt long after a president has left the White House. So far, most of Obama’s judicial nominees have been stonewalled in the Senate. The Republicans may have been cooperative on approving Sotomayor, but they’re not playing ball with other judicial appointments.

This week’s “Better Know a Judicial Nominee” is Down E. Johnsen. Johnsen is Obama’s pick to head the Justice Department’s influential Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Johnsen is a constitutional law professor at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. She served as an assistant attorney general under the Clinton administration. He nomination is opposed by Republicans because she is a very staunch pro-choice advocate. She also opposes the Bush administration’s War on Terror policies and would support a return to civil liberties protections if she is confirmed to the Office of Legal Counsel. She has served as a lawyer for the ACLU and NARAL, where she directed their legal and policy campaigns.

Despite Johnsen’s impressive resume and undeniable qualification for the OLC job, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not been pushing to get her nomination confirmed. Let’s get the ball rolling on this, folks. Send Harry Reid an e-mail and let him know that you support Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to the Office of Legal Counsel.

Photo credit: WhoRunsGov.com

Tuesday News Roundup

mouse2What a Girl Wants: A Comprehensive Health Care Package – RH Reality Check
The Big Picture: Abortion, Health, and Justice –
Daily Kos
George Bush’s Sex Education Failure – The Guardian
Equal Rights Amendment Will Be Reintroduced in Congress Today – Feminist Campus
Obama’s Public Approval on Health Care Slipping – Washington Post

After the jump it’s a video of Alanis Morrisette covering “My Humps.” I know . . . it’s an oldie, but it’s a goodie! [Read more...]

Irony or Hypocracy? You Decide

I know, I know, not everything is about language (that, of course, is debatable) but it is a subject dear to my heart. And since I have been thinking about it a lot lately, I have another little tid bit to put forward.

I have been watching cable news and paying fairly close attention to the current Washington wrangling over health care reform. As such, I have heard COUNTLESS Republicans tell COUNTLESS pundits that the “Democrat” plan, particularly that part about a public option, will mean that Government Bureaucrats (something akin to rampaging Godzillas, from the way they tell it) will be making health care decisions for Americans, not doctors!

In just the latest net news story on the subject, Republicans pull out the oft repeated tired Socialist card while continuing to complain that Obama-Pelosi team (in this version of the narrative, they are Socialist Thugs rather than Rampaging Godzillas) is determined to burden the taxpayers with the cost of terrible health care *as though that isn’t what is happening now!* It is clear that they have memorized their talking points, since they repeat the idea that the Obama plan will mean that health care decisions are made by the government rather than by patients and doctors.
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Monday News Roundup

Oh, boy! Talk about over-indulging on hot dogs and popsicles over the weekend. Hope ya’ll had a nice holiday. Here are some hawt links to get your day started off right.

Top 10 Reasons Why the BMI is Bogus – NPR
Catholic Cardinals Praise Obama’s “Measured Approach” on Abortion – Catholic News
Some Doctors Are Opposing the Appeal of Bush-Era Anti-Abortion Regulations – NPR
Scott Roeder Advocates Anti-Abortion Tactics From His Jail Cell – New York Times
HHS Proposes to Lift HIV Travel & Immigration Ban – Feminist Daily News
Bailout, Sarah Palin Style – Washington Post
Sarah Palin’s Lawyer Threatens to Sue Bloggers & Media For Character Defamation – Tennessee Guerrilla Women

Speaking of Sarah Palin, there’s a video after the jump of her telling Hillary Clinton to stop whining about media attacks. [Read more...]

Is it just me or is it homophobic in here?!

Photo0141My posting intentions this week were seriously sidetracked late last night when I received a startling text message from a friend. The text message included an attached photo [inset] with the simple words: “I don’t know what to do. Should I call the police? I’m scared.”

I was floored. There seems to be a blatant increase of gay-bashing/LGBT-based hate crime incidents as of late and it is, in my opinion, not surprising considering the overall atmosphere that we are living in now. Hell I was the victim of a verbal assault twice over the past 2 weeks and I have heard others citing similar accounts all over this “great nation.” [Read more...]

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Scripting Hegemonic Masculinity

It has been sixteen years since the conception of the Don’t Ask Don’t tell policy, initially implemented by Clinton in 1993. Now, more then ever, this policy is under extreme scrutiny as people are contesting the policy as outdated, discriminatory and in dire need of change.

As a quick background for those who may not be familiar with the policy, it basically states that the military will not investigate homosexual behavior of individual servicemen and servicewomen unless there is credible suspicion. Gay and lesbian members of the military are reduced to a life of secrecy as they are faced with two options: stay in the closet, or be discharged from the military.

There have been numerous discharges from the military due to the DADT policy, including scores of translators of various Middle Eastern languages who were proficient at their jobs and in high demand considering our current military operations throughout the Middle East. The justifications for such a policy from the words of the pentagon, “The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”
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Tips for Talkin’ Choice

 5 simple ways to be an effective advocate for reproductive freedom:

1.  Be audience appropriate:  Be conscious of where you are and whom you are addressing.  Words that pack a punch on the picket line might not be the right words for a coffee shop or class discussion.  Matching the tone and tenor of the environment in which you find yourself is the best way to leave an impression on your listeners that will prime them to seriously consider what you have to say.

2.  Be a great listener:  Seriously.  Teaching political science in the Heart of the Heartland may have tested my patience and jeopardized my mental health, but it has also educated me about opinions and policy positions that I could not wrap my head around before.  So take a cue from our Moderate-in-Chief Barack Obama, tilt your head back, and listen for awhile.  You (probably) won’t regret it. [Read more...]

The New Idea Surrounding Choice

Dr. Tiller’s murder was appalling.  But one of the things that has irked me in the aftermath of the killing is the response from the President. First of all, there wasn’t much of one, just a simple and very brief statement that the White House released. Since that first statement, President Obama has said nothing else on the subject.

I am as big of a fan of Obama as the next progressive liberal but this response is quite subdued, especially when some of his biggest supporters, pro-choice organizations, have decried this an act of domestic terrorism. I understand that he is trying to be a centrist and a moderate but when something like this happens, we need his support more than ever. And we deserve some payback for all the hard work we put in to getting him elected.

His centrist view has been leaking into his speeches on choice as well. What he has been requesting is that both sides of the abortion debate watch the harsh rhetoric they use. To my knowledge, only one side of the debate uses dehumanizing and harsh words when framing their argument. Obama, however, does not ever point this out and I find that quite a shame.
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