April 3, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from RH Reality Check, Huffington Post and more.
HPV: "Opening STD Awareness Month With a Success Story: HPV and Cervical Cancer," William Smith, RH Reality Check: Smith of the National Coalition of STD Directors stresses the importance of state and local programs in enabling access to the human papillomavirus vaccine and testing for sexually transmitted infections. "[C]ervical cancer is one fight we can win," Smith writes, noting that with "consistent and correct care, you will likely never [be] one of those 4,000 U.S. women who die each year of this preventable and treatable disease" (Smith, RH Reality Check, 4/3).
What others are saying about HPV:
~ "Let's Immunize Boys Against HPV and Educate Them About Sexual Responsibility at the Same Time," Glenn Braunstein, Huffington Post blogs.
BREAST CANCER: "Komen Goes to Congress for Cash," Jessica Pieklo, Care2: "Perhaps Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, has realized the errors of her way," Pielko writes, "Or maybe Komen is just running out of money." Pieklo notes that Brinker recently sent a letter to Congress "apologiz[ing] for the organization's 'mistakes' during its recent handling of the decision to defund Planned Parenthood" and asking for funding for the Center for Disease Control's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Detection Program. Pieklo writes that the lesson for Komen is "[w]hen an organization that is purportedly about supporting women's health politicizes women's health, that organization is doomed to fail" (Pieklo, Care2, 4/1).
What others are saying about breast cancer:
~ "SCOTUS Invalidates Breast Cancer Gene Patents," Pieklo, Care2.
ABORTION BANS: "Arizona Legislators Trying To Declare Pregnancy Two Weeks Prior To Conception," Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check: Aside from "forced ultrasounds and numerous attacks on access to basic contraception, ... one of the other favorite anti-choice approaches to maximizing the pain and suffering of women as punishment for sex has largely gone unnoticed by many outside of the pro-choice activist community: bans on abortions after 20 weeks," Marcotte writes. She notes that the bans are "based on the false, unscientific claim that fetuses at 20 weeks can feel pain," adding that "we need to pay attention to and resist post-20 week bans on abortion" because "if they're allowed to stand, it opens the door for more laws based on straight-up lies to be passed" (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 4/1).
What others are saying about abortion bans:
~ "At 11th Hour, Georgia Passes 'Women as Livestock' Bill," Lauren Barbato, Ms. Magazine blog.
~ "Georgia Legislator: 'We are Going to Save a Thousand Babies,'" Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
~ "New Hampshire House Passes 20-Week Ban, 24-Hour Wait and 'Informed Consent' Bills," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
ULTRASOUND BILLS: "Ultrasound Bill Won't Fly, Even in the 'Reddest' of States," Monica Hopkins, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights": An ultrasound bill recently failed in Idaho, "the second-reddest state in the nation," because "Idahoans got engaged" and "demanded the government stop shaming women and treating them like they are stupid," ACLU of Idaho's Hopkins writes. Although similar legislation could be introduced again in the state, Hopkins writes that "this moment in time should be savored ... as an example of what we can accomplish when we stand up and make our voices heard" (Hopkins, "Blog of Rights," ACLU, 4/2).
What others are saying about ultrasound bills:
~ "Doctor: Ultrasound Laws Turn Ultrasounds Into 'Torture Machines,'" Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
MEDICAID: "Delivering the Bad News to Texas Women: Your Trusted Provider Can't See You Anymore," Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check: Medicaid beneficiaries who previously received health services at the Downtown Planned Parenthood Clinic in Austin, Texas, are being turned away after the state removed the clinic from the Medicaid Women's Health Program. "[W]omen have been getting that news from Planned Parenthood itself, which has been announcing its own demise, patient by patient," since the state health department has not yet notified beneficiaries of the change, Grimes writes (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 4/3).
What others are saying about Medicaid:
~ "HHS vs. Texas: The Spending Clause in Action," Jessica Arons, Think Progress.
CHILDBIRTH: "Babies Take Longer To Come Out Than They Did in Grandma's Day," Richard Knox, NPR's "Shots": "The typical first-time mother takes 6.5 hours to give birth these days," compared with about four hours 50 years ago, Knox writes, citing a new federal study. The findings suggest that obstetricians need to update the "labor curve" they use to determine when it's time to intervene with a caesarean delivery, according to one of the study's authors (Knox, "Shots," NPR, 3/31).
What others are saying about childbirth:
~ "South Carolina Backs Off Forced C-Sections," Pieklo, Care2.
CONTRACEPTION: "EC=BC: Emergency Contraception is Birth Control, Not Abortion," Lindsay Rosenthal, ThinkProgress: "The need for an educational campaign on [emergency contraception] stems in part from the confusion created by the anti-choice movement's strategy of intentionally mischaracterizing EC, and increasingly all forms of hormonal birth control, as abortion," Rosenthal writes. She adds, "To set the record straight: EC works just like any other form of hormonal pregnancy prevention," and "[n]ew evidence shows that not only does EC not interrupt an established pregnancy, it also does not prevent implantation" (Rosenthal, ThinkProgress, 3/30).
Violence Against Women: "GOP: Preventing Violence Against Women in Detention Centers is a 'Luxury,'" Eesha Pandit, Feministing: Pandit responds to comments by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and other lawmakers at a House Judiciary Committee hearing that Smith titled "Holiday on ICE." Pandit notes that the hearing responded to rules released by the Obama administration to address reports of inhumane, violent conditions at immigration detention centers. "[N]ot only are these not 'holidays,' they are human rights violations," Pandit writes of the reports of sexual assaults and mistreatment at the centers (Pandit, Feministing, 3/30).
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