January 18, 2013 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from Feministing, Huffington Post and more.
FUTURE OF ABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "New Planned Parenthood Campaign 'Not in Her Shoes' Seeks To Go Beyond 'Pro-Life' and 'Pro-Choice' Labels," Lori Adelman, Feministing: In an effort to move beyond "'pro-life' and 'pro-choice'" labels, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund "released a new video today 'Not in Her Shoes' that utilizes this new 'post-label' strategy and better mimics the ways in which the organization believes that Americans -- especially young people -- think and talk about abortion today," Adelman writes. She adds that bloggers at Feministing have mixed opinions on the idea of dropping the labels, with some "more convinced than others that this is a strong and feminist framing for one of the movement's flagship issues." Adelman adds, "I for one am excited to see a bit of nuance and creativity in the national conversation around abortion and reproductive justice, but I'm not convinced that this latest campaign amounts to more than a pretty and polished way of skirting the issue" (Adelman, Feministing, 1/15).
What others are saying about the future of the abortion-rights movement:
~ "The Fight for Women's Reproductive Rights Can't Just Be About Winning or Losing the Abortion War," Nancy Northup, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Reframing Pro-Choice: Will it Work?" Laura Carroll, Huffington Post blogs.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: "Americans Cannot Afford Another Day of Delay: Congress Must Pass VAWA," Christine Pelosi, Huffington Post blogs: Statistically, "in the first two weeks of 2013 -- the first two weeks without a federal Violence Against Women Act -- over 480,000 acts of violence by an intimate partner have been committed, and over 10,000 Americans were sexually assaulted," writes Pelosi, an author and activist, adding that "major networks refused to report [on the] need for action before House Republicans let the VAWA expire." She urges advocates to call their congressional representatives to urge them to reauthorize VAWA, as well as contact "local news editors and tell [t]hem the next time they report on violence against women they should also report on the solutions" (Pelosi, Huffington Post blogs, 1/15).
What others are saying about violence against women:
~ "Gang Rape Cases Show Need for a New India for Women," Kavita Ramdya, Washington Post's "Guest Voices."
~ "Rape of Women Used as a 'Strategy' in Syrian War," Kristina Chew, Care2.
ROE V. WADE: "Roe v Huh? Most Under 30 Don't Know Roe v. Wade was About Abortion," Katie Halper, Jezebel: It is "a little scary" that 44% of U.S. residents under age 30 are unaware that Roe v. Wade is related to abortion, according to findings from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Poll, Halper writes. The "good news" is that 63% of respondents in the Pew poll opposed overturning Roe once they were told what it is about, compared with 29% who believe it should be overturned. However, "we can't exactly sit on our laurels yet," Halper writes, noting another "scary statistic" that 74% of the respondents who want to overturn Roe consider abortion a "crucial issue" or "one of many crucial issues," while only 31% of those who support Roe felt the same (Halper, Jezebel, 1/16).
What others are saying about Roe:
~ "This Is 'Roe' at 40," The Nation.
HPV AND CERVICAL CANCER: "Is Your HPV Test FDA Approved?" Margaret Polaneczky, The Blog That Ate Manhattan: The fact that Becton Dickinson's SurePath Pap test is not approved by FDA to screen for the human papillomavirus "has not stopped some of the nation['s] largest labs ... from using [it]off label for HPV co-testing, based on studies each lab has done to confirm the validity of the test in their hands," writes Polaneczsky, an ob-gyn in New York City. She adds that doctors and patients were unaware that the test has a high rate of producing false negatives until it was brought to light by a recent news article. Polaneczsky writes that there is some support in the pathology community for using SurePath for HPV testing, and some labs claim to have conducted internal validations of the test. However, "I myself would not be satisfied with a lab's internal validation of a non-FDA approved test when an FDA-approved alternative exists," she concludes (Polaneczsky, TBTAM, 1/16).
PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION: "UPS Pushed Me Out of the Workplace When I Got Pregnant," Julie Desantis-Mayer, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights": "I was forced to leave work altogether for the duration of my pregnancy, even though I was willing and able to keep working," writes Desantis-Mayer, a former UPS employee who is suing the company for pregnancy discrimination. She adds that she "requested a light duty position on numerous occasions," but "UPS repeatedly claimed they had no work" she could do. Desantis-Mayer outlines repeated instances in which her co-workers received light work during the same time period, including one case in which UPS "created a position for a driver who lost his license for driving under the influence." At one point, her boss refused to let her temporarily take an open secretarial position -- for which she "was already trained" -- "saying he didn't want to set a precedent of making accommodations for pregnant workers." Desantis-Mayer concludes, "It's time for UPS to respect both the law and its pregnant workers" (Desantis-Mayer, "Blog of Rights," ACLU, 1/16).
What others are saying about pregnancy discrimination:
~ "Dear Schools, Please Stop Discriminating Based on Pregnancy. Thanks, Title IX," Lara Kaufmann, RH Reality Check.
ABORTION STORIES: "One In Three: These Are Our Abortion Stories," Debra Hauser, RH Reality Check: Hauser discusses ending a 15-year silence about an abortion she had "at age 35 ... alone, pregnant and caring for my six-month old son." Her story is included in "One in Three: These Are Our Abortion Stories," a book published by Advocates for Youth to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Hauser writes that the book came from a need "to create a new cultural narrative around abortion -- one steeped in empathy, cognizant of the complexities of women's lives and supportive of safe abortion access for all women" -- in order to fight the "politicized debate that continued to threaten abortion access." She says that many people have responded to her story by sharing their own abortion stories, creating "a bond [that is] stronger than the anti-choice rhetoric or the fear of retaliation or violence that too often finds its way into the political debate" (Hauser, RH Reality Check, 1/17).
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