April 27, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from Raising Women's Voice, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and more.
HEALTH EQUITY: "Raising our Voices for Health Equity," Keely Monroe, Raising Women's Voices: Monroe marks National Minority Health Month by noting "how far we still have to go in achieving health equity." She writes that "[c]ommunities of color have long suffered from [a] lack of access to basic health services and this has resulted in dangerous and deadly health disparities." The federal health reform law "includes important provisions that are helping us get on the right track toward health equity" (Monroe, Raising Women's Voices, 4/26).
More thoughts on health equity:
~ "Health Equity Can't Wait: Why? Because Health Care is a Basic Human Right!" Monroe, Raising Women's Voices.
U.N. COMMISSION ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT: "Women are Watching at the United Nations This Week," Leila D., Planned Parenthood Action Fund's "Women are Watching": The United Nations Commission on Population and Development's annual meeting this week will focus on "adolescents, which means those opposed to comprehensive sex education will be out in full force promoting conservative messages and trying to limit definitions of 'traditional' family, gender and sexuality to exclude anyone who falls outside of the heterosexual box," Leila D. writes. She adds, "The same people who are attacking women's health at the state and national levels in the U.S. are the ones advancing harmful agendas around the world" (Leila D., "Women are Watching," Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 4/24).
What others are saying about the U.N. Commission on Population and Development:
~ "Dispatches From CPD 2012: Let's Talk About Sex!" Dave, RH Reality Check.
RESPONDING TO ATTACKS ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: "The Story of how the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates Protected Planned Parenthood Health Centers and Patients," Emily Caponetti/Emily Gordon, Planned Parenthood Action Fund's "Women are Watching": The nine "anti-choice bills introduced in the 2012 [Florida] legislative session represented an outrageous level of government overreach into the private, medical decisions best left to a woman and her doctor," write Caponetti -- state legislative director for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates -- and Gordon -- senior public affairs coordinator for the organization. FAPPA and its supporters "were able to successfully defeat all nine of these dangerous and intrusive bills" by "working with moderate senators from both parties in coordination with a strong grassroots campaigns," they add, concluding that Florida residents "will be able to continue accessing the comprehensive range of reproductive and preventive health care services our health centers proudly provide" (Caponetti/Gordon, "Women are Watching," PPAF, 4/25).
SEXUAL HEALTH: "Beyond Condoms: A Broader Choice for an AIDS-Free Generation," Suzanne Ehlers, Huffington Post blogs: Noting that "[v]oluntary contraception has been called 'the best kept secret in HIV prevention,'" Ehlers proposes that PEPFAR, the federal government's international HIV/AIDS program, uses an excess $1.5 billion in funding it has to broaden the focus from condoms to other forms of contraception for women. Voluntary contraception for women "is critical in the fight against HIV/AIDS and for the health and well-being of women and girls," Ehlers writes, adding that allowing countries "to use PEPFAR funds for contraceptives beyond condoms" would "align with the Global Health Initiative's aim of a more integrated, women-centered and country driven global health program" (Ehlers, Huffington Post blogs, 4/24).
What others are saying about sexual health:
~ "Sexual Health as a Framework for Addressing Holistic Prevention Efforts: Connecting the Dots Between Movements," Jonathan Yglesias, RH Reality Check.
~ "Moving Away From 'Silos' and Toward an Integrated Model of Sexual Health," Burke Hays, RH Reality Check.
WAR ON WOMEN: "The Bishops' War on Women, Nuns and ... Paul Ryan?" Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones' "Political MoJo": "Republicans seemed a little taken aback, when, in the midst of the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops'] showdown with the Obama administration (and women, including nuns), the group took aim at the GOP for backing draconian cuts to government programs for the poor," in House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, Mencimer writes. She notes that "GOP lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), have suddenly decided that the USCCB doesn't really represent the church or all its bishops, and thus, they are free to ignore it" (Mencimer, "Political MoJo," Mother Jones, 4/24).
What others are saying about the war on women:
~ "From the Frontlines of the War on Women," Dave Helfert, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "An Upside to the 'War on Women'?" Karin Kamp, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "A Catholic 'War on Women,'" Sally Quinn, Washington Post's "On Faith."
ACCESS TO ABORTION: "Denying Women Their Rights, Criminalizing Doctors," Anu Kumar, Huffington Post blogs: "We've seen in the past year a growth in efforts to specifically restrict [medication] abortion and target abortion providers," Kumar, executive vice president of Ipas, writes. She notes that the "first step to banning the drugs in this country is to ban clinicians from prescribing them according to established protocol or by doing exactly what Wisconsin lawmakers have done: making it so hard for them that they stop on their own" (Kumar, Huffington Post blogs, 4/25).
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: "Group Opposes VAWA Because Act Helps Lesbians," Ben Atherton-Zeman, Ms. Magazine blog: Atherton-Zeman writes that the conservative group Concerned Women for America opposes the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because it claims the bill promotes "the homosexual agenda." He cites statistics that between 25% and 33% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals "are abused by a partner," adding that the "fear of being outed in a homophobic, heterosexist society leads victims to underreport the crime. Now Concerned Women for America wants to contribute to that silencing" (Atherton-Zeman, Ms. Magazine blog, 4/24).
What others are saying about violence against women:
~ "Men Don 4-inch Heels To Battle Violence Against Women," Michael Rosenwald, Washington Post's "Rosenwald, Md."
~ "Today: Violence Against Women Act on Senate Floor," Eesha Pandit, Feministing.
~ "Florida Gov. Rick Scott Slashes Rape Counseling During Sexual Assault Awareness Month," Adam Weinstein, Mother Jones' "Political Mojo."
~ "31 GOP Men Don't Think Domestic Abuse Victims Deserve Protection," Jessica Pieklo, Care2.
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, 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