August 10, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from She The People, Care2 and more.
BREASTFEEDING: "Bloomberg's Breastfeeding Initiative: Let's Start With Paid Parental Leave..." Marianne Møllmann, RH Reality Check: "The key difference between Europe and the United States when it come to breastfeeding are legal protections of paid parental leave, paid sick leave, and, in some cases allowances for longer lunch hours to breastfeed," Møllmann writes. Noting that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's initiative to promote breastfeeding in hospitals by preventing the display and advertising of formula has been at the center of controversy, she adds, "There are more effective ways than blame and coercion to encourage healthy breastfeeding for women who want to lactate and are physically able to do so, starting with paid parental leave." Møllmann also highlights laws in other countries, including Denmark and Peru, that allow months of paid leave for new parents (Møllmann, RH Reality Check, 8/7).
What others are saying about breastfeeding:
~ "Breastfeeding Video Posted on Porn Sites: Mother Sues Company," Kristina Chew, Care2.
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH POLITICS: "Elizabeth Banks Defends Planned Parenthood & Obama," Ximena Ramirez, Care2: Ramirez highlights a recent video released by President Obama's re-election campaign that features actress Elizabeth Banks speaking in favor of Planned Parenthood. Ramirez praises Banks for making it clear that the organization provides women with basic health care and saying that Obama has not compromised on women's rights. However, Ramirez takes issue with Banks saying that she took birth control pills to alleviate her migraines and heavy menstruation. "Women shouldn't have to make up excuses for the reasons why they decide to go on birth control," she writes, adding, "Some women choose to go on birth control simply to avoid unplanned pregnancies and that's reason enough." She also criticizes the video for using the term "controversial" in place of mentioning abortion (Ramirez, Care2, 8/8).
What others are saying about reproductive health politics:
~ "The Radical Right-Wing Woman: The New Face of Anti-Choice Extremist Politicians," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
~ "Democratic Abortion Foes Push for Change in Platform," Melinda Henneberger, Washington Post's "She The People."
~ "Women's Issues Remain the Focus as Thousands Rally in Denver," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
~ "No Fluke: Obama Needs Colorado's Women Voters," Sandra Fish, Washington Post's "She The People."
SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE: "Does Nancy Brinker's Resignation Matter?" Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor": Nancy Brinker and Liz Thompson -- Susan G. Komen for the Cure's CEO and president, respectively -- resigned from their positions this week, "[m]any months after the blow-up" after the organization "caved to anti-choice pressure and cut off grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening," Marcotte notes. "So, will the resignations do much to fix Komen's woes?" she asks, answering, "Doubtful," considering that the resignations come eight months after the initial controversy. She notes that one reason why Komen "was such a behemoth" is that it seemed "largely apolitical," joining together women from all sides of the political spectrum -- but the "Planned Parenthood debacle" changed that, forcing Komen "supporters into a sluts vs. church ladies battle." She concludes, "Now the feminist side perceives the organization as swarming with prigs whose support for your health stops as soon as they know you've touched a penis, and a handful of prominent resignations can't really do much to change that" (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 8/9).
What others are saying about Susan G. Komen for the Cure:
~ "Medical Journal Blasts Komen for Overselling Mammograms," Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones.
~ "Nancy Brinker's Komen Shakeup Too Little and Way Too Late," Lori Stahl, Washington Post's "She The People."
~ "Nancy Brinker and Komen's Leadership Shakeup: Right Move at the Wrong Time," Jena McGregor, Washington Post's "Post Leadership."
~ "Komen's Leadership Changes are Met With Skepticism," Jennifer Preston, New York Times' "The Lede."
~ "Is Susan G. Komen Cleaning House?" Gayle Sulik, Ms. Magazine blog.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IMPLEMENTATION: "Let's Be Clear: Transgender Discrimination IS Sex Discrimination," Ian Thompson, American Civil Liberties Union's "Washington Markup": ACLU recently asked HHS to clarify that the Affordable Care Act's "prohibition on sex discrimination applies to discrimination based on gender identity and sex stereotypes," Thompson writes, adding, "The fact that someone is transgender or does not conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity should never be a barrier to accessing health care services." He commends HHS for confirming "that this was in fact [its] view," but notes that it "stopp[ed] short of issuing additional formal guidance at this time." He concludes, "[L]et's continue to push for passage of explicit bans on discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity" (Thompson, "Washington Markup," ACLU, 8/8).
What others are saying about Affordable Care Act implementation:
~ "Under Obamacare, Transgender Cancer Patient Will No Longer Be Denied Care," Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress.
~ "How Obamacare is Helping Vulnerable Pregnant Women Across the Country," Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress.
~ "We Are Healthy, We Are Powerful," Keely Monroe, Raising Women's Voices' Blog.
~ "Health Care Reform Leaves Out Young Pregnant Women," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor."
~ "Notre Dame Students Want Birth Control," Jessica Pieklo, Care2.
PREGNANT STUDENTS' RIGHTS:"The Pregnant and Parenting Students' Bill of Rights," Lara Kaufmann, National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake": Kaufmann responds to a Louisiana charter school's policy on pregnant students in "blatant" violation of Title IX, particularly a statement by a Louisiana Department of Education spokesperson that he did not know about state policies for pregnant students. She highlights 10 rights for pregnant and parenting students from NWLC's "A Pregnancy Test for Schools." According to the Kaufmann, it is "unacceptable that in the year 2012 so few lawmakers, school officials, teachers know that Title IX prohibits discrimination" against these students ("Womenstake," NWLC, 8/9).
What others are saying about the pregnant students' rights:
~ "Louisiana School Forcing Pregnancy Tests on Students," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor."
~ "Louisiana Department Of Education Orders School To Drop Ban On Pregnant Students," Tara Culp-Ressler, Think Progress' "Justice."
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