July 6, 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, Huffington Post and more.
VIRGINIA ULTRASOUND LAW: "New Virginia Dept of Health Releases 'Free Forced Ultrasound' List Still Includes Unregulated and Unaccountable CPCs," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check: A controversial Virginia law requiring women to receive an ultrasound before an abortion went into effect on Sunday. The state recently updated a list of facilities that provide no-cost ultrasounds, but it still includes several antiabortion crisis pregnancy centers, Marty notes. "By releasing an updated list of available, no-cost ultrasounds, the Virginia Department of Health implies that the new set of providers will provide ultrasounds that can be used to meet the forced ultrasound required by the state prior to an abortion," Marty writes, adding, "In reality that is still not the case" (Marty, RH Reality Check, 7/5).
What others are saying about the Virginia ultrasound law:
~ "Mandatory Ultrasounds Not Enough in Virginia," Jessica Pieklo, Care2.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: "Women and Girls Win Big With Healthcare Ruling," Emily Moto Murase, Huffington Post blogs: "Thanks to last week's Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, more women than ever before have increased access to healthcare," writes Moto Murase, executive director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women. She explains how the ACA "ensures access to life-saving interventions for our daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers and the larger community" (Moto Murase, Huffington Post blogs, 7/3).
What others are saying about the Affordable Care Act:
~ "'Obamacare': Just What the Doctor Ordered," Barbara Reynolds, Washington Post's "The Root DC Live."
MISSISSIPPI ANTIABORTION LAW: "Mississippi 'Moral Values,'" Irin Carmon, Salon: Supporters of a new Mississippi law hope it will make the state "abortion-free," and while "[t]hat is transparently the intent, ... as any honest person in a country that has actually banned abortion will tell you -- it's rarely the effect," Carmon writes. Lawmakers who support the law, which was temporarily blocked on July 1, hope it will lead some women to choose to continue their pregnancies, a suggestion that "combines a farcical conception of 'choice' and an utter contempt for women's decision-making capabilities," Carmon states (Carmon, Salon, 7/2).
What others are saying about the Mississippi antiabortion law:
~ "Mississippi's Threat to Roe v. Wade," Scott Lemieux, American Prospect's "The Docket."
~ "Will the Courts Save Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic?" Sahil Kapur, TPMDC.
GLOBAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: "Making Motherhood a Choice, Not a Destination," Vera Cordeiro, Huffington Post blogs: "In developed countries motherhood is more commonly experienced as a choice, but in the favelas of Brazil the identity of motherhood is status -- a 'destination' sought by teenage girls who view the opportunity to have a baby as a validation of their esteem even though they are unprepared to raise a child," Cordeiro writes. The Aconchego Project has helped more than 200 teenager girls "understand the difficulties of motherhood" and "paved the way for a better communication and understanding with their parents," so they can "experience motherhood when they are ready to embrace the joys of having a child," Cordeiro adds (Cordeiro, Huffington Post blogs, 7/5).
What others are saying about global reproductive health:
~ "Africa's Abortion-Rights Breakthrough," Irin Carmon, Salon.
~ "Does she Really Support Reproductive Rights? Mixed Messages From Brazil’s First Female President," Beatriz Galli, RH Reality Check.
FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM: "Fortnight for Freedom is a Dangerous Sham. Let's Celebrate Real Religious Freedom for All People," Jon O'Brien, RH Reality Check: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Fortnight of Freedom event "fell flat" because "[t]here was no religious persecution to decry," the event was not a priority for Catholics and the health reform law -- which the bishops view as a threat to religious liberty -- was upheld by the Supreme Court, according to O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. The point that the bishops missed, he adds, is that "religious freedom deserves more than a fortnight -- and it's about protecting more than the interests of a small group of men whose demands don't reflect the needs and desires of the people they claim to represent" (O'Brien, RH Reality Check, 7/3).
What others are saying about the Fortnight for Freedom:
~ "'Fortnight for Freedom': The Result of Extremist Repressiveness and Intolerance," Dave Svetlik, RH Reality Check.
DEFENDING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: "Our Daughters, Moms, and Sisters: Republican Attacks on Women's Choice Should Also Mobilize Men," Hans Johnson, Huffington Post blogs: The recent silencing of female Democratic lawmakers during a debate on abortion legislation in Michigan "showcased the right-wing war on women," writes Johnson, who notes numerous other examples of attacks on reproductive rights at the state and federal levels. Incidents like these "should rally men to reverse the onslaught against health care access and human rights just as much as it is activating women," he says (Johnson, Huffington Post blogs, 7/5).
What others are saying about defending reproductive rights:
~ "Voice of Choice: Turning the Tables on Anti-Choice Bullies," Bria Murray, RH Reality Check.
~ "The Indomitable Spirit of the Reproductive Health Community: A Pathway to Justice, Liberty, and Freedom," Carole Joffe, RH Reality Check.
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