October 26, 2012
"The Sinister Motives Behind Challenges to Medicaid Funding of Planned Parenthood," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check: Recent court rulings in Arizona and Indiana that blocked states' efforts to ban Medicaid funding to facilities affiliated with abortion providers are "victories for women, but also hit fault-lines in the culture wars that will undoubtedly pique the interest" of the Supreme Court, Pieklo writes. The cases give the court "the perfect chance to reach the issue" of how a civil rights statute (42 USC 1983) -- "which provides individuals a right of action for an infringement of a specific constitutional right" -- relates to Medicaid rights, according to Pieklo. The justices "could answer that question without necessarily determining the larger issue of whether or not states should be free to exclude a provider from Medicaid funding generally if they provide abortions," she writes, adding, "Instead, they'd just cut-off any ability to challenge those determinations by those actually affected by them all under the guise of curtailing federal power. And that may be the true victory anti-choice activists are after" (Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 10/24).
What others are saying about Planned Parenthood:
~ "Stabbing Results From Anti-Abortion Harassment Outside of Planned Parenthood Clinic That Doesn't Perform Abortions," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "Think Progress."
"New York City Launches Clinic Escort Program, Anti-Choicers Offended by 'Government Interference,'" Robin Marty, RH Reality Check: Marty discusses a New York City proposal that would recruit and train escorts to "assist women safely past the protesters and self-proclaimed sidewalk counselors attempting to block them from entering reproductive health care facilities" and how it has left antiabortion-rights activists "aghast" at what they see as the government's "invasion into health care and personal lives." In the eyes of the activists, government interference is "totally fine to push your own viewpoint when it comes to blocking abortion," but "not so welcome when it comes to enforcing a woman's legal rights," Marty adds (Marty, RH Reality Check, 10/24).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.