March 16, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from Care2, Slate and more.
STATE NEWS: "55% of U.S. Females Aged 15-44 Now Live in Antiabortion States," Judy Molland, Care2: A recent report from the Guttmacher Institute found that 55% of reproductive-age women in the U.S. in 2011 lived in a state considered "hostile" to abortion rights, up from 31% in 2000. The report shows that while states on the west coast and in the Northeast generally remain supportive of abortion rights, "in the middle of the country, a number of states have moved from being middle-ground states in 2000 to hostile in 2011," Molland writes (Molland, Care2, 3/15).
What others are saying about state news:
~ "The Legal Claims of Wrongful Births vs. the Right To Lie Over Abortion," Michelle Goldberg, Daily Beast.
~ "Texans Fight Back Against Cuts," Abby Rapoport, American Prospect.
~ "Project TMI: The Feminist Humor Defense Against the Assault on our Bodies," Ramey Connelly, RH Reality Check.
~ "Wisconsin's 'Mad as Hell' Rally a Call to Women Voters on Reproductive Rights," Andy Kopsa, RH Reality Check.
~ "Pa. GOP Governor Defends Ultrasounds Bill: Tells Concerned Women 'You Just Have To Close Your Eyes,'" Amanda Peterson Beadle, Think Progress.
~ "Doctor Brownback and his Unlicensed 'Medical Legislators' Push Through Mega Abortion Restriction Bill," Kari Ann Rinker, RH Reality Check.
~ "In Michigan, a Long List of Bills Attacking Reproductive Freedom," Angi Becker Stevens, RH Reality Check.
~ "N.C . Rejecting Funds for Family Planning: 'If Women Didn't Have the Sex to Begin With ..." Aaron Krager, Care2.
~ "Use Birth Control? You're Fired!" Jennifer Dalven, Ms. Magazine blog.
'DOONESBURY': "'You're a Good Friend to the Ladies, Dad,'" Emily Bazelon, Slate's "Double X": Bazelon recently interviewed "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau about the reaction to a series in the comic strip that satirizes a Texas ultrasound law. Trudeau said that such laws represent a "systematic dismantling of reproductive rights," adding that as "a father and a husband," he saw the issue as "about the health and rights of people [he] love[s]" (Bazelon, "Double X," Slate, 3/15).
What others are saying about 'Doonesbury':
~ "Reluctance To Print Doonesbury Will Only Make it More Visible," Brady Swenson, RH Reality Check.
CONTRACEPTION: "Beyond the Politics and Pandering: Birth Control in Your Own Words," Lori Adelman, Feministing: When asked to comment on their personal experiences with birth control, Feministing readers said that affordability is a top concern. Many expressed support for Planned Parenthood and noted that birth "isn't 'up for debate' in [their] lives," Adelman writes. Readers "created a picture of real women's experience with birth control, and that picture transcends the current political discourse and gets at some of the lived realities that relate to this issue," she adds (Adelman, Feministing, 3/15).
What others are saying about contraception:
~ "Change the Birth Control Conversation From Theocratic to Democratic," Marjorie Signer, RH Reality Check.
~ "Pro-Life or Just Pro-Sperm?" Care2 Causes Editors, Care2.
HIV/AIDS: "What Innovations are Helping HIV+ Women in the Dominican Republic?" Mandy Van Deven, RH Reality Check: "While awareness of HIV/AIDS has increased in the Dominican Republic in recent years, tackling the disease remains a daunting challenge," Van Deven writes, noting that a United Nations study released this week found that 60% of Dominicans who are HIV-positive are women. PROFAMILIA-Dominican Republic -- part of the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region -- has integrated HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and testing into its reproductive health services in the region, but "more effort is needed to end discrimination and stigma within the wider Dominican society," Van Deven states (Van Deven, RH Reality Check, 3/13).
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: "The Struggle To End Violence Against Women Encounters a Road Block," Nancy Kaufman, Against Women Act "because it explicitly strengthens protections for those experiencing violence at the hands of a same-sex partner, as well as for immigrants and Native American women." She adds, "In the highly charged atmosphere of today's Congress, it seems that nothing -- not even support for victims of crime -- is safe from controversy, and if the controversy involves women's rights, the rhetoric of opponents escalates" (Kaufman, Huffington Post blogs, 3/15).
What others are saying about VAWA:
~ "Grand, Old and Anti-Woman," Andrew Rosenthal, New York Times' "The Loyal Opposition."
RUSH LIMBAUGH: "How We're All Paying for Rush Limbaugh To Take Viagra (And Why it Costs a lot More Than Contraception)," June Carbone, Huffington Post blogs: Carbone writes that Limbaugh needs "to admit the taxpayer role in paying for his [Viagra] pills," adding that the current health care system "is a massive subsidy from the uninsured to the insured." She continues that "not only do taxpayers subsidize Rush's Viagra along with a host of other medical treatments, but the existence of health care plans that more heavily subsidize the wealthy and the employed increases the odds that less-subsidized medical treatments will be less effective or more expensive." Carbone points out that "we would not pay a dime for Georgetown's proprietary health insurance program to extend its health care coverage to offer the full range of preventative services to Sandra Fluke and her classmates" (Carbone, Huffington Post blogs, 3/15).
What others are saying about Rush Limbaugh:
~ "Limbaugh, Fluke and Feminism: Did We 'Rush' To Conclusions About Privilege, Sex, Race and Class?" Maria Charter, RH Reality Check.
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership