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Entries in Planned Parenthood (40)

Thursday
Nov142013

Abortion Rights News: USSC Let's Stand Oklahoma State Court Ban On Mandatory Ultrasounds & Abortion Pills

1. After many years playing defense on abortion rights, advocates seeking to protect women’s health options launched a new offensive strategy on Capitol Hill. The first initiative is the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)  and in the House by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA).

WHPA is designed “to protect a woman’s right to determine whether and when to bear a child or end a pregnancy by limiting restrictions on the provision of abortion services.

If passed, the WHPA would pit the federal government against states rights advocates and new laws “that fail to protect women’s health and intrude upon personal decision-making,” according to its sponsors. Asserting that “a woman’s constitutional rights should not depend on her zip code,” the bill “promotes and protects a woman’s individual constitutional rights, no matter where she lives.”

2. In a second action, women’s reproductive health professionals around the country have launched All Above All, dedicated to educating members of Congress and their staff on the importance of public funding of abortion care for low-income women.

All Above All is supported by 28 organizations throughout America and intends to lift bans on public funding for abortion as blocked by the Hyde Amendment.

Organizers describe the campaign as a “bold, national, multi-year effort to bring together Millennials, people of color and groups from around the progressive universe to build the political power and will to lift these bans on coverage.”

WPHA does not address funding bans, writes RH Reality Check. The reality is that passing WHPA tomorrow would still leave the option unavailable to America’s poorest women. Removing the Hyde Amendment is a long-term goal that will take persistence and countless hours of dedicated efforts.

3. This week’s New York Magazine profiles the real life stories of 26 women — in honor of 26 Republican legislature states that have passed over 111 provisions that restrict abortion access. Of all the battles in our half-century culture war, “perhaps none seems further from being resolves, in our laws and in our consciences, than abortion” writes Meaghan Winter.

The article points out what we all know: the experience of abortion in America is increasingly based on one’s zip code. Not only does it vary by state but also by culture, race, income, age, family — and by the response of a boyfriend.

Also in NYM Why the Abortion Pill Didn’t Change Everything.

In 1993, Time magazine declared mifepristone — the abortion pill that’s often called RU-486 — “The Pill that Changes Everything.” In 1999, The New York Times Magazine called it a “little white bombshell” with “enormous political consequences.”  Think again.

4. The state of Oklahoma lost another round in its battle to restrict abortion access in the state when the US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in which a lower state court found HB 2789 requiring women to have an unnecessary and expensive ultrasound scan to be unconstitutional.

The new law mandated that the pregnant woman be given the chance to view the ultrasound image and be given a medical description, including “the dimensions of the embryo or fetus, the presence of cardiac activity, if present and viewable, and the presence of external members and internal organs, if present and viewable.”

Last week, the USSC dismissed an Oklahoma appeal on the permissibility of limiting abortions based on RU-486. The Oklahoma laws are important because they are among the earliest enacted after the Tea Party came to power in 2010, launching the Republican War on Women and women’s health as its top priority. via CNN

5. A major decision due any minute from the USSC will send the clearest signal yet of the court’s view on all the challenges to women’s abortion rights. The state of Texas filed a defense of the state’s new abortion restrictions, after Planned Parenthood and others appealed directly to the Supreme Court to reinstate an injunction blocking portions of the new law that introduce doctors’ hospital admitting privileges requirements.

The emergency appeal and Texas response was filed with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who can rule on the injunction himself, or present the case to the full court.

Access to contraception is also under assault in Texas. A new report confirms that more than a quarter of the family planning clinics are shuttered in the Rio Grande Valley, leaving Texas’ poorest women without access to cancer screening and birth control — previously provided by Planned Parenthood. 9 of 32 family planning clinics in the area — most not providing abortion services — have closed.

Wednesday
Nov062013

Koch Brothers Accused Of Bankrolling Republican War On Women, Based On Politico & RH Reality Check In-Depth Investigative Reporting

“The Koch brothers would have you believe that they have little interest in rolling back reproductive rights,” said Stan.  “But the proof is in their network’s spending patterns, which shows their willingness to deliberately harm women in pursuit of their goals.

In a close 48 to 46 election in Virginia, Kenneth Cuccinelli lost women voters 54-38!!!!! What does that say about the men voters???

As I predicted on Facebook yesterday morning, tens of thousands of Republican and Independent women in Virginia voted for Terry McAuliffe, creating a massive gender divide in Virginia  The Daily Beast reports: “The strategy helped McAuliffe rack up big numbers among women voters, winning them by a 54-38 margin even while narrowly losing among men. Linda Smith, an independent voter from Spotsylvania, told The Daily Beast that she voted for McAuliffe because she was turned off by Cuccinelli’s position on social issues. Jennifer Frederick, a Spotsylvania Democrat, put it more bluntly: “Cuccinelli scares the crap out of me,” she said.”

The gender-divide analysis needs clarification, however. It depends on whether voters are married or not.

Both female and male unmarried voters preferred McAuliffe by wide margins. He beat Cuccinelli by 25 points among unmarried men and 42 points among unmarried women, writes Huff Po. Polls indicated that unmarried voters made up about a third of Tuesday’s electorate.

Clearly some Cuccinelli voters didn’t share his views on limiting women’s abortion rights and access to birth control. Preliminary exit polls confirmed across a wide range of media that 60 percent of Virginia voters think abortion should be legal in all or almost every case where a woman seeks one.

In a late breaking story, The Raw Story reports that investigations by the website RH Reality Check and Politico found “that a network of organizations headed by billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch has spent tens of millions of dollars funding the anti-choice movement.”

Senior Washington correspondent Adele Stan wrote Tuesday that tax documents show Koch-directed “pro-business” groups threw their money and resources behind legislative initiatives designed to shut down women’s health clinics and deny women access to contraception, reproductive health services and abortions.

“There is little doubt that the rash of anti-choice measures that flooded the legislative dockets in state capitols in 2013 was a coordinated effort by anti-choice groups and major right-wing donors lurking anonymously behind the facades of the non-profit “social welfare” organizations unleashed to tear up the political landscape, thanks to the high court’s decision in Citizens United,” Stan wrote.

“Helping to drive the right-wing offensive in the states and in Congress is a network of deep-pocketed business titans convened by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, principals in Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States,” she continued.

While the Kochs and their satellite groups profess to be interested more in business policy and deregulation than social issues, their true agenda is an all-out “war on women,” said RH Reality Check.

Politico detailed how the Koch network uses the shell company Freedom Partners as a clearinghouse. A bloc of around 200 donors give an average of $100,000 per year to Freedom Partners.

RH Reality Check’s President and Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson weighed in, mincing no words:

Over the past ten years, so-called pro-life groups and legislators such as Congressman Paul Ryan have increasingly been involved in efforts to deny women their rights while simultaneously shredding the social safety net on which the most vulnerable in this society depend. It is a marriage of ‘church and commerce’ not previously seen in the United States. Now it is clear that the Koch brothers are pouring money into a policy agenda that recognizes both corporations and fertilized eggs as people, but not the personhood of women. Koch money is directly fueling anti-choice battles in states like Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Nebraska, and contributing significantly to a dangerous push for a national 20 week abortion ban at the federal level as well.”

Thursday
Aug152013

Texas Rep Wendy Davis's Vogue September Interview | San Diego Dems Advised In 2011 Of Filner's Women Problem

1.Vogue magazine hit the ground running, delivering a major interview with Texas’s Wendy Davis, who led the filibuster against the antiabortion legislation in Texas. Featured in the blockbuster September issue, Davis forced the legislature into a special session, where the bill did pass.

The big question now is whether Wendy Davis will run for governor. There’s a lot of meat in this story by Heidi Mitchell.

2. Planned Parenthood affiliates in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire received federal grants announced Thursday, a total of $655,000 for participating in Obamacare’s ‘navigator’ program. The purpose of the grants — awarded also to disease groups, universities and Catholic health agencies — is to educate the public about open enrollment in the upcoming insurance exchanges.

Earlier this week, the District of Columbia announced a $350,000 grant to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. to help educate the uninsured about the health exchanges.

3. Attorney Gloria Allred introduced the latest woman to accuse San Diego Democratic Mayor Bob Filner of sexual Harassment. City-hall worker Peggy Shannon says Mayor Filner kissed her on the lips, asked her out, and several months ago “took her hand without her permission and asked her, ‘Do you think I could go eight hours straight?’

The Atlantic writes that in 2011, at least three women warned San Diego Dems that then-Rep. Bob Filner had a very bad rep for making inappropriate advances towards women.

4. The president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association Mark Ficken resigned after the controversy concerning the clown imitating President Barack Obama at Missouri’s State Fair.

Ficken’s resignation from the rodeo group comes as he tries to hold on to his professional job in education. The Boonville School District announced Monday that it is hiring an investigator to look into whether Ficken was involved in any “inappropriate conduct” during Saturday’s bull riding event at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

5. “The truth is in terms of addressing the systemic problem, in terms of addressing the culture, most of these guidelines do very little,” Rep. Jackie Speier, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told USA Today after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued new initiatives to deal with the ‘stain’ of sexual assault in the military.

NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also says the plans don’t go far enough.”It is time for Congress to seize the opportunity, listen to the victims and create an independent, objective and non-biased military justice system worthy of our brave men and women’s service.”