August 24, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from the Huffington Post, ThinkProgress and more.
TODD AKIN'S 'LEGITIMATE RAPE' COMMENTS: "Akin in Context: Medieval Medicine," Jennifer Wheeler, Huffington Post blogs: Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) statement that "[i]f it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to" prevent conception was "absolutely informed ... by a discredited and dangerous tradition of appropriating a woman's choice by suggesting that she asked for it, and he is not alone," Wheeler writes. She notes that Akin's comments have origins in 13th century jurisprudence and 18th century medical beliefs, but they are still held by politicians "with -- quite literally -- medieval mindsets, sharing opinions that reflect a systemic crisis for human rights." Wheeler concludes, "If we really put Akin's remarks in context, we can see the depth of their meaning and the terrifying implications for women in the 21st century" (Wheeler, Huffington Post blogs, 8/21).
What others are saying about Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comments:
~ "Todd Akin, There's a Christian Seminary That Wants its Diploma Back," Rose Marie Berger, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Rape, Forced Pregnancy, Personhood, and Crimes Against Humanity," Lynn Paltrow, RH Reality Check.
~ "There is Something Wrong With This Picture," Clarence Jones, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "On Abortion, Rape and Speaking for God," Joanna Harader, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Todd Akin's Brain: It's Not Just a War on Women. It's a War on Critical Thinking and Democracy," Soraya Chemaly, RH Reality Check.
~ Romney, the GOP Platform and why This Isn't About Todd Akin," Vanessa Valenti, Feministing.
~ "GOP Actions Speak Louder Than Todd Akin's Words," Robert Elisberg, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Paul Ryan is way More Anti-Abortion Than you Thought," Jamelle Bouie, American Prospect.
~ "When Rape Brings Babies," Judith Warner, Time's "Ideas."
~ "Abortion is the Battle, but Women's Health is the War," Emilie Openchowski, Center for American Progress.
~ "Akin's Rape Remark Reminiscent of Messages in Abstinence Education," Lisa Miller, Washington Post's "On Faith."
~ "The Rape Skeptic," William Saletan, Slate.
~ "State Legislatures Full of Akins," Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights."
~ "Medical Experts Heartily Dismiss Todd Akin's Idea of 'Legitimate Rape'," Doug Barry, Jezebel.
~ "Forgiving Todd Akin," Brad Hirschfield, Washington Post's "For God's Sake."
~ "Todd Akin, The Bible and Rape," Eliza Wood, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Let's Be Honest: Akin's Not Alone in His Ignorance," Leah McElrath, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Rape Is Rape," Christine Pelosi, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Let's Not Block Akin's Bid, Let's Fix the System," Matthew Dowd, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "How Surprising Are Congressman Akin's Remarks? Women, Rape, and Political Culture," Malika Saada Saar, Huffington Post blogs.
TEXAS' WOMEN'S HEALTH PROGRAM: "Court Allows Texas To Cut Off Women's Health Funding, Leaving Doctors and Low-Income Women in a Lurch," Annie-Rose Strasser, ThinkProgress: Strasser lists "some of the ways Texans will suffer" from an appeals court's decision to lift a temporary injunction against a Texas law that bars affiliates of abortion providers from participating in the state's Women's Health Program. For instance, she notes that "[d]octors won't be able to tell patients all of their options," because they could be labeled as "promoting" abortion and lose funding (Strasser, ThinkProgress, 8/22).
What others are saying about Texas' Women's Health Program:
~ "Circuit Court Messes with Texas Women," Lauren Barbato, Ms. Magazine blog.
~ "Court Rules That Texas can Totally Act Like a Greedy Dragon and Withhold Planned Parenthood Funding," Doug Barry, Jezebel.
~ "Texas Says 'No Thanks' to Women's Health Care," Abby Rapoport, American Prospect.
ADOLESCENT HEALTH: "Clovis School District: Sex Education That Gets an 'F,'" Phyllida Burlingame, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights": Although California law mandates "comprehensive, medically accurate, science-based, and bias-free" sex education curricula in public schools, "Clovis Unified High Schools [are] teaching teens from a book that makes no mention of condoms, even in chapters about HIV/AIDS and on preventing STDs and unintended pregnancy," Burlingame writes. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the California school district over its curriculum. "The brand of sex ed that Clovis high schools are peddling is putting teens' health at risk -- it's dangerous, unlawful, and could have serious consequences if it is not stopped," Burlingame adds (Burlingame, "Blog of Rights," ACLU, 8/23).
What others are saying about adolescent health:
~ "California School District Teaches Students To Prevent STDs With 'Plenty Of Rest,'" Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress.
~ "Why Missouri's Students Might Believe Todd Akin's Junk Science," Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress.
~ "We Need an Attitude Change: Policies Must Support, not Stigmatize Young Mothers," Jessica Gonzalez Rojas, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Abstinence-Only Leader is Also a Huge Fan of the Pastor Behind the 'Kill the Gays' Bill," Katie J.M. Baker, Jezebel.
~ "California School District Tells Students To Sleep Away Those STDs," Baker, Jezebel.
NEW HAMPSHIRE SHERIFF'S RACE: "Sheriff Candidate: Use Deadly Force on Abortion Doctors," Jessica Pieklo, Care2: "[T]he idea of a sheriff self-empowered with the authority to start raiding medical clinics and arresting doctors for performing a legal and necessary medical procedure in no way can be reconciled with any democratic principles this country has left," Pieklo writes in response to comments by Hillsborough County, N.H., sheriff candidate Frank Szabo about how he would stop abortion. Szabo contended that sheriffs have special constitutional powers "to arrest or even use deadly force against doctors for providing legal abortions for women," according to Pieklo (Pieklo, Care2, 8/22).
What others are saying about the New Hampshire sheriff's race:
~ "New Hampshire Sheriff Candidate Says he Would use Deadly Force To Stop Abortions," Annie-Rose Strasser, ThinkProgress.
~ "Sheriff Candidate No Longer Advocates Killing Abortion Doctors," Dennis DiClaudio, Comedy Central's "Indecision Forever."
~ "N.H. Sheriff Candidate Apologizes for Saying he Could use Deadly Force To Stop Abortion Doctors," Glen Johnson, Boston Globe's "Political Intelligence."
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