August 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, SCOTUSblog and more.
PREVENTIVE SERVICES: "Contraception Without Co-Pays: Good for Women and the Planet," Amy Bursch, RH Reality Check: "It's not just the childless by choice who benefit from contraception," Bursch writes, noting that birth control allows women to have healthier pregnancies and infants and "allows families to have the number of children they're comfortable raising." She adds, "By expanding access both [in the U.S.] and abroad ... , we can reduce unintended births, slow down population growth and give people of 2100 a little more breathing room" (Bursch, RH Reality Check, 8/1).
What others are saying about preventive services:
~ "Co-Pay-Free Contraception Starts Tomorrow for Many Americans," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor."
~ "Religious Leaders Accuse Conservatives of Misleading Public on Contraception," Katie Toth, Religious Dispatches Magazine.
~ "MamaCare for Women of Color!" Rebecca Spence and Marissa Spalding, Raising Women's Voices' "Countdown to Coverage."
~ "August 1, 2012, a Day That Will Live in Infamy," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
~ "A Victory for Millennials in the Push for Access to Contraception," Debra Hauser, RH Reality Check.
~ "What Women Gain From the Affordable Care Act -- Starting Today!" Lauren Barbato, Ms. Magazine blog.
~ "The Poor College Girl's Guide to Accessing Preventive Health Care (With Money Left Over for Books and Food)," D'Laney Gielow, National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake."
~ "How Obamacare Preventive Health Coverage Protects Lesbian and Bisexual Women," Andrew Cray, ThinkProgress.
~ "Free Birth Control? Depends on the Brand." Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor."
PERSONHOOD: "'Life at Conception' Issue Reaches Court," Lyle Denniston, SCOTUSblog: There are three constitutional questions raised by the recent request from a "personhood" group for the Supreme Court to consider an Oklahoma court's rejection of a ballot proposal seeking to give constitutional rights beginning at fertilization. Two of the questions relate to the ballot initiative process and the right of a state to amend its constitution, while the third question "is the one that could raise the abortion issue anew," Denniston explains. "That question asked whether the state court decision was wrong in concluding that a state could not constitutionally define 'person' to include unborn fetuses," he writes (Denniston, SCOTUSblog, 7/31).
RECENT COURT DECISIONS: "Pro-Life Sentences," Scott Lemieux, American Prospect's "The Docket": Lemieux explains how two recent court rulings in South Dakota and Arizona "conspicuously refuse to take a woman's reproductive rights seriously" and violate the Supreme Court precedent of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In the South Dakota decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a statute requiring doctors to inform women seeking an abortion that the procedure can lead to increased risk of depression and suicide, while the Arizona decision by U.S. District Court Judge James Teilborg upheld a state law that bans most abortions after 20 weeks. Both cases rely on "antiabortion junk science," Lemieux writes, adding that they also "threaten the reproductive freedom of women and should be overturned by higher courts" (Lemieux, "The Docket," American Prospect, 7/31).
What others are saying about recent court decisions:
~ "Ninth Circuit Court Blocks Arizona's Extreme Abortion Ban," Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check.
~ "Perverting Informed Consent: The South Dakota Court Decision," Maya Manian, RH Reality Check.
~ "Goodbye, Trimesters: How the Arizona Court Ruling May Turn Roe on Its Head," Robin Marty and Jessica Pieklo, RH Reality Check.
PARENTAL LEAVE: "Women and Children First? Who Should Get Paid Sick Leave," Piper Hoffman, Care2: Only focusing on parents in the debate over whether the U.S. should mandate paid medical leave "weakens [the] argument" for paid leave, Hoffman writes. She notes that while about 60% of U.S. workers are eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, it only guarantees unpaid leave. Additionally, many workers who are ineligible for FMLA risk losing their jobs if they take off. "The only humane question is not whether paid leave should be mandatory; it is who should have the right to use it," Hoffman writes, arguing that workers with medical problems and caretakers need it just as much as parents (Hoffman, Care2, 8/2).
GLOBAL WOMEN'S HEALTH: "It Takes a Village: Getting Family Planning Where It's Needed," Sandra Krause, RH Reality Check: During a global family planning summit in July, donors committed $2.6 billion to provide contraception to 120 million women in the world's poorest countries, but Krause doesn't "think the hundreds of thousands of women and girls that are displaced by conflict living in South Sudan's villages heard the news." She writes that it is vital that the money and political commitments are "followed by swift action -- and change felt on the ground" because "family planning information and services should be a top concern from the very onset of a crisis" (Krause, RH Reality Check, 8/2).
What others are saying about global women's health:
~ "Dying To Give Life: The Paradox of Childbirth in the Motherland," Akoshia Yoba, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Rates of HIV and Teen Pregnancy Highlight Sexual Health Education Gap Among Jamaica's Youth," Gwen Emmons, RH Reality Check.
TITLE IX: "College Rape Survivors: Title IX Is Not Just About Sports," Dana Boldger, Ms. Magazine blog: Boldger, a rape survivor, writes that Title IX includes many requirements for schools to ensure that sexual assault survivors have a safe educational environment, including that they investigate sexual assault complaints, offer support services and provide alternative housing for survivors away from their attackers. However, "too many colleges aren't fulfilling their Title IX obligations," she writes, concluding, "It's been 40 years since Title IX became law. It is high time schools begin to take their legal obligations seriously and work to ensure that every student has a safe educational environment free from violence and harassment" (Boldger, Ms. Magazine blog, 8/2).
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