June 29, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from Ms. Magazine, Feminists for Choice and more.
SUPREME COURT RULING ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: "Supreme Court Health-Care Decision is Historical Advance for Women," Eleanor Smeal, Ms. Magazine blog: Smeal writes that under the Affordable Care Act, "some 32 million people (a majority of them women) will gain access to health insurance coverage." Further, "insurers will be banned from 'gender rating'" and denying coverage because of "'pre-existing conditions' such as pregnancy, prior injuries caused by domestic violence, second or subsequent [caesarean] deliveries, [or] recurrence of breast and other cancers," she adds. New policies will be required to cover "pap smears, mammograms, birth control, STI/STD testing, well-woman checkups, immunizations and other preventive care" without copayments or deductibles, while individual and small employer plans will be required to cover certain "essential health benefits," such as prenatal and maternity care (Smeal, Ms. Magazine blog, 6/28).
What others are saying about the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act:
~ "Yes, We Did! The Affordable Care Act (Mostly) Stands," Amy McCarthy, Feminists for Choice.
~ "Eye on the Prize: The Benefits of the Affordable Care Act for LGBTQ Youth," Abbe Land, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Why the Obamacare Decision is Very Good News for Women," Bryce Covert, Forbes' "Forbeswoman."
~ "Why Women Stand To Gain the Most From the Health Care Decision," Sharon Lerner, Slate's "XX Factor."
~ "The Supreme Court's Ruling Upholding the ACA is Especially Important for LGBT People and Those Living With HIV/AIDS," Sean Cahill, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "At Last -- A Health Care Victory for Women," Martha Burk, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "How Health Reform is Already Helping Tracy, Julie, Nan, Cindy & Other Moms Like Me," Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Huffington Post blogs.
ADOLESCENT HEALTH: "Tennessee's Idiotic Campaign Against 'Gateway Sex,'" Susan Milligan, U.S. News & World Report blogs: "Do Tennessee lawmakers really think that if young people don't touch each other at all, they will never know about sex, never be curious about it, and never experience a natural human drive to engage in it?" Milligan asks in response to a Tennessee sex education law that aims to discourage teens from engaging in "gateway" sexual behaviors. Applying the "just say no" mantra to address teen sexuality will only "drive sexuality into a dark, shameful place" and leave young people uniformed about contraception when they do have sex, she writes (Milligan, U.S. News & World Report blogs, 6/28).
What others are saying about adolescent health:
~ "South Carolina Won't Give Parents Info on Life-Saving, Cancer-Preventing HPV Vaccine," Maya Dusenbery, Feministing.
GLOBAL ACCESS TO FAMILY PLANNING: "What Intervention Can Save the Lives of Women, Babies and Adolescent Girls?" Jennie Wetter, Care2: If the 222 million women in the developing world with an unmet need for family planning had that need fulfilled, it could save the lives of 570,000 infants and 79,000 women annually, writes Wetter. She urges the U.S. to boost its funding commitment to global family planning at an international summit in London next month -- an event that has the goal of expanding family planning services to 120 million more women by 2020 (Wetter, Care2, 6/28).
What others are saying about global access to family planning:
~ "Looking Beyond Rio to London," Robert Walker, Huffington Post blogs.
ACCESS TO ABORTION: "Merger With Catholic Hospital Means Other Hospital Will No Longer Perform Abortions," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check: In "one of the most alarming trends," many secular hospitals and clinics are merging with Catholic health systems, which means they "are no longer allowed to provide abortions," Marty writes, noting a recent announcement that Abington Health and Holy Redeemer Health System in Pennsylvania will merge. As part of the agreement, Abington will no longer provide abortion care, which is "made even more problematic by the fact that Abington is the largest hospital in its area" (Marty, RH Reality Check, 6/28).
What others are saying about access to abortion:
~ "Planned Parenthood in Columbia, Missouri, Will No Longer Provide Abortions Starting July 1st," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
RAND PAUL'S ATTACKS ON WOMEN'S HEALTH: "Fetal Personhood: Why Stop There," Jeff Schweitzer, Huffington Post blogs: Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) amendment to a flood insurance bill that attempts to define life as beginning at conception "ignores the fact that the majority of fertilized eggs are naturally aborted," Schweitzer writes. "He has only arbitrarily selected fertilization as the magic moment when life begins and he has chosen badly," Schweitzer states, adding that based on Paul's logic that "potential [humans] should be treated with all the rights of a person," one would "actually need to reach further back into the cycle of life to define personhood" to "when the testes produce a sperm and ovaries produce an egg" (Schweitzer, Huffington Post blogs, 6/28).
What others are saying about Rand Paul's attacks on women's health:
~ "Top 5 Ways Republicans Have Turned Washington DC Into Their Legislative Playground," Annie Rose-Strasser, ThinkProgress.
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