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Entries in Planned Parenthood Texas (7)


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.


Obama Equals Clinton in Executive Women Appointments | Perot Foundation Gives $1 Million To Planned Parenthood Texas

1. The NYTimes this week took a look at high-level female executive appointments in the Obama Administration, concluding that the Obama Administration has named no more women than the Clinton administration did nearly two decades ago.

Women hold about 35% of Cabinet-level posts, compared with 41% for Clinton and 24% for George W. Bush at parallel points in their presidencies, writes the Times.

The topic of Obama and female appointments is on the front burner as discussions percolate that President Obama might make Janet L. Yellen the first female leader of the Federal Reserve. The Obama Administration has put a record number of women in judicial appointments, with about 42 percent of confirmed judges being female, compared with 22 percent appointed by George W. Bush and 29 percent by Bill Clinton.

2. The Perot Foundation donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood Texas this week, saying:

“For nearly 100 years Planned Parenthood has helped to educate men and women regarding family planning and general family health,” Margot Perot said in a written statement through Planned Parenthood. “Our family has supported this nonprofit for many years because we are impressed with the work they do — providing birth control, scientifically-based education, breast health exams, and basic life-saving healthcare for women who cannot afford services otherwise.”

The state-funded Texas Women’s Health Program, designed to preclude Texas women from receiving any health services from Planned Parenthood, has as of June 1, served just 71% — based on total claims posted for the six months — of women as in 2012.

3. Activists will protest Judge G. Todd Baugh, 71, for his suspension of all but 31 days sentence of former high school teacher Stacey Dean Rambold, who pleaded guilty to having sex with a 14-year-old student who subsequently killed herself. The judge said that after reviewing all the girl’s statements, it was clear she was troubled. Baugh continued, saying that the girls was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher was.

Under Montana law, minors under age 16 cannot consent to sex, a minor detail irrelevant to the wise Judge Baugh.

“This is really the kind of stuff that’s been propagating rape cultures for a long time,” said Sheena Rice, who is organizing today’s Thursday protest, to be held at a park adjacent to the courthouse. The demonstration will include a moment of silence for the victim.

4. On Wednesday, Aug. 28, a man named Aniruddha Sherbow was arrested in Mexico over allegations that he vowed to cut off the head of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi), a freshman congresswoman.

Sherbow detailed in a series of emails with the Hawaii Reporter that Gabbard is a ‘Prima Donna’ who caused him to feel ‘insignificant’ when he offered to volunteer for her as a member of the Honolulu City Council.

In March 2011, a district court issued a three-year injunction against Sherbow, barring him from contacting or threatening Gabbard. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Gabbard said Sherbow contacted her more than 35 times over a less-than-three-week period, including communications that were “extremely inappropriate, profane, vulgar and sexual in nature.” Gabbard said Sherbow first contacted her asking to rent office space from her.

5. Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC is said to be quietly positioning itself to become “the main independent group funding a media campaign for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016 presidential race”, writes The Washington Post.

Priorities USA would not duplicate the mission of Ready for Hillary, a grass-roots group of ardent Hillary supporters.

Started by Sean Sweeney with former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton, Priorities has strong ties to both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Sweeney worked as a legislative assistant for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and is considered a ‘trusted loyalist’.


Reported Sexual Assaults in Military Skyrocket As Air Force Chief of Ending Assault Charged With Sexual Battery

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Esmeralda Garcia, a health care assistant at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Edinburg, speaks with a client, Adriana Olvera. Eddie Seal for The New York Times

Great news for the poor women of Texas! The New York Times reports that legislators on both sides of the aisle are quietly working to restore financing for women’s health services in the state.The story reports that Dems aren’t falling on their sword for Planned Parenthood — a statement we find misleading, because the PP issue is already taken care of through the recent funding of a Texas women’s health coalition, of which Planned Parenthood is a key member.

“The major difference is we’re not fighting about it. We’re just doing what’s right for women and the state,” State Representative Sarah Davis, Republican of West University Place, said last month at a Texas Tribune symposium on health care.

While Davis is opposed to abortion, she is even more opposed to politicians interfering with the doctor/patient relationship. The Republican woman has emerged as the chief architect of a plan to restore the devastating cuts to poor women’s health services, including access to contraception.

As poor women in particular have suffered at the hands of the Republican War on Women in Texas, the tide may be turning. Further denying women abortion rights is in a holding pattern, with NONE of the 24 abortion-related bills filed reaching the House or Senate floor.

Military Assault Skyrocket

Responding angrily Tuesday to a new report on the steep rise of sexual assault in the military, New York Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand cold barely contain her anger at Air Force Secretary Michael Conley. The Pentagon says that in 2012 alone, 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted, a 35 percent rise since 2011.

Next week Gillibrand will introduce a bill that removes decision-making on sexual assault cases from the chain of command, says Glen Caplin, the senator’s communications director.

“You have an enormous gap between the number of sex assaults that are occurring and the number of sex assaults that are being reported,” Caplin said. According to the Department of Defense, 47 percent of servicemembers said they didn’t report sexual assaults and harassment for fear of retaliation.

Presently, the military operates under a code called “convening authority”, giving military commanders the power to overturn court-martial decisions, including those dealing with rape.

Gillibrand’s bill would apply Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel’s recent suggestion that “convening authority” be eliminated, by amending the Uniform Military Code of Justice’s Article 60 so so that “convening authorities” cannot set aside convictions or change guilty ones. Her bill would also add independent prosecutors who decide whether a case warrants a court-martial, but reserve commanders’ convening authority for the cases that aren’t moved forward in this new process.

Sens. Patty Murray D-Wash and Kelly Ayotte R-NH introduced legislation to amend Pentagon policies while creating new laws to help victims.

“Murray and Ayotte’s bill, the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act, would guarantee victims access to an advocacy lawyer to guide them through the reporting, investigation and criminal law process following an allegation,” writes the Air Force Times.

Air Force Chief Charged

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, charged with sexual battery.The Air Force officer in charge of the the branch’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit was charged with a misdemeanor offence of groping a woman in a parking lot on May 6, 2013. The misdemeanor sexual battery charge alleges that Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was drunk and grabbed a woman’s breast and buttocks. The woman fought back before calling police.

Responding to the news, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said “We’re all outraged and disgusted over these very troubling allegations.”

Hagel said he would hold military commanders accountable “at every level,” improve the treatment of assault victims and conduct regular inspections of military workplaces to guard against “materials that create a degrading and offensive work environment,” writes Bloomberg.

The Air Force is “still reeling” from the convictions of at least five military instructors in sexual assault or unprofessional relationships with trainees or students at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base.

Krusinski, who has served in his post since February, posted a $5,000 bond and was removed from his job pending an investigation.