September 28, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from Huffington Post, RH Reality Check and more.
RESPONSES TO ATTACKS ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: "It's Open Season on Women's Reproductive Health Care," Marcia Greenberger, Huffington Post blogs: "Women's reproductive health care is under unprecedented attack" across the country, and as "women learn more, they are insisting that enough is enough," writes Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center. She highlights the This Is Personal campaign, which educates young women about threats to reproductive health and how to get involved. Greenberger concludes, "Decisions about women's reproductive health are personal. And they need to stay that way" (Greenberger, Huffington Post blogs, 9/26).
What others are saying about responses to attacks on reproductive health:
~ "Fighting for Women: Become a Super-Shero," Charlotte Taft, RH Reality Check.
BARRIERS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE: "Evidence-Based Advocacy: What do Low-Income Women Think About Public Funding for Abortion?" Steph Herold, RH Reality Check: In a study of 71 low-income women who had abortions, 82% supported Medicaid coverage of the procedure, Herold writes. However, many did not support abortion coverage in certain specific situations, such as when a woman could not afford another child or was not in a relationship with the father. The study "uncovers just how pervasive abortion stigma is, so much so that even women who need Medicaid to cover abortion because they can't afford another child don't believe women like them deserve to have this coverage," Herold writes. She stresses the need to not only end the Hyde Amendment -- which bars Medicaid coverage of abortion -- but to also "challenge the multiple stigmas and stereotypes associated with those who need Medicaid coverage of abortion" (Herold, RH Reality Check, 9/27).
What others are saying about barriers to reproductive health care:
~ "Abortion Rights Group Buys Dr. Tiller's Clinic," Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones' "Political Mojo."
~ "The Future of Texas Women's Health? For Rick Perry, It's CPCs," Andrea Grimes, Ms. Magazine blog.
~ "Indiana Right to Life Seeks To Eliminate Access to Safe, Early Medication Abortion," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
~ "As 40 Days for Life Launches, Red River Clinic Prepares To Fight Back," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
~ "Why Don't More American Women Use IUDs?" Maddie Oatman, Mother Jones' "Blue Marble."
~ "A Closer Look at the Contraceptive Coverage Lawsuits: The Radical Agenda Behind the Fight Over Religious Exemptions," Bridgette Dunlap, RH Reality Check.
~ "The Potential of Tele-Medicine To Increase Access to Mifepristone for Early Abortion Care," Morgan Meneses-Sheets, RH Reality Check.
~ "Insurance Company Fined Over $1 Million for Covering Missourians' Abortions and Contraceptives," Katie J.M. Baker, Jezebel.
GUTTMACHER STUDY ON REASONS WOMEN USE BIRTH CONTROL: "STUDY: Contraception Is 'Critical' For Ensuring Women Achieve Their Life Goals," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": A new study from the Guttmacher Institute shows that "being able to use contraception has had a significant impact on the quality of [women's] lives, particularly by giving them the economic autonomy to pursue goals like becoming financially independent or getting a college degree," Culp-Ressler writes. Study author Laura Lindberg noted that the findings underscore how "the ability to have control over childbearing is an important value for women, since -- unlike men -- women's reproductive systems are inextricably linked to their ability to achieve their economic goals," Culp-Ressler adds (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 9/25).
What others are saying about the Guttmacher study on reasons women use birth control:
~ "Why Do Women Use Birth Control? It's the Economy, Stupid." Amanda Hess, Slate's "XX Factor."
~ "Majority of Women say Birth Control Keeps Them Financially Solvent," Anna North, BuzzFeed's "Shift."
~ "Newsflash: Women Really Benefit From Contraception," Katie J.M. Baker, Jezebel.
WORLD CONTRACEPTION DAY: "World's Future Depends on Women's Equality," John Seager, Huffington Post blogs: "There's no such thing as partial human equality," but "in so many ways, half of us -- the female half -- are not equal," Seager writes in a post marking this week's World Contraception Day. "Access to family planning certainly isn't the entire answer," he says, adding, "But the power it gives women over their own lives just might get us halfway there" (Seager, Huffington Post blogs, 9/25).
What others are saying about world contraception day:
~ "World Contraception Day Highlights How Obamacare Is Helping U.S. Women Access Birth Control," Amanda Peterson Beadle/Adam Peck, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "Crazy About Contraception (one way or Another)," International Planned Parenthood Federation, RH Reality Check.
~ "Bill Clinton Helps Women in Developing Countries get Kinda Shitty Birth Control," Erin Gloria Ryan, Jezebel.
CONSENT TO MEDICAL EXAMS: "Conversations We Shouldn't Still Be Having: Pelvic Exams Under Anesthesia," Rachel Walden, Our Bodies, Our Blog: Walden highlights an article in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology in which medical student Shawn Barnes describes his discomfort at being required to perform pelvic exams on women under anesthesia without their consent, "purely for teaching purposes -- not for the women's medical benefit." While this is "not a new practice" at medical schools, "many may have assumed it had largely stopped" after a 2003 study on the issue led many schools to revise their policies, Walden writes. Noting that Hawaii -- where Barnes attends school -- recently joined California, Illinois and Virginia in outlawing the practice, Walden concludes, "This may be an opportunity for advocacy in other states, where it may be possible to get similar laws passed" (Walden, Our Bodies, Our Blog, 9/26).
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND POLITICS: "Forget What You've Heard. Abortion Does Not Hurt the Democrats," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor": Marcotte points out a recent article in the American Prospect that states, "The consistent two-for-one public support for Roe v. Wade certainly puts the burden of proof on those who argue that abortion is a net loser for the Democrats in presidential politics." She writes that the article "points out that women's rights actually helped bring about the new Democratic coalition by turning certain swing states like Washington into Democratic strongholds." She concludes that reproductive rights are "a good short-term issue for Democrats and one that will also likely pay out in the long run, bringing more college-educated voters into the field (as it did in Washington), while the white working-class voters start to come back" (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 9/27).
What others are saying about reproductive health and politics:
~ "Birth Control Extremism Bites GOP," Irin Carmon, Salon.
ADOLESCENT HEALTH: "The Argument You Don't Hear About Birth Control in Schools," Erika Christakis, Time's "Ideas": On first glance, a New York City program that offers high school students confidential, no-cost birth control, including emergency contraception, seems to have "all the ingredients for controversy and moral judgment-flinging: parental rights denied, unnecessary intrusion into the sanctity of the family; [and] medical concerns (some factually incorrect) about the risks and mechanisms of hormonal contraception," Christakis writes. She notes, "Of course, we rarely hear the reverse arguments: that pregnancy poses a huge burden on government resources; that teenagers have legal rights and protections, too; [and] that the health risk of using birth control pills is surely outweighed by the much greater medical risks of adolescent pregnancy and childbirth" (Christakis, "Ideas," Times, 9/26).
What others are saying about adolescent health:
~ "Illinois' Hope Clinic Challenge: Does Abortion Law Exist Under its Own Kind of Federalism?" Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check.
~ "Judicial Bypass in Arkansas? 'We Don't Give ANYONE Permission for Abortions Here!'" Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
~ "Red States = Teen Moms," Chris Kirk, Slate's "Map of the Week."
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