Had I been a member of Congress, I would have pressed the “yes” lever for the health-reform bill when it came down to the vote for final passage. It was incredibly important that we start somewhere to make health care accessible and affordable to all Americans. And we can celebrate, as Ms. magazine recounts in “What the Health Care Bill Means for Women,” that contraceptives will be covered, gender rating that discriminates against women has been eliminated, and preventive services such as pap smears will be covered without co-pay under the new plan.
Check out this new video from new Women’s Media Center website notunderthebus.com. You can also follow @notunderthebus (or check out hashmark #underthebus) on Twitter, and please become a fan on Facebook. It’s going to be a long drive, but together …
Just because every generation has to speak in its own tongues doesn’t mean any generation will find that elusive common ground between pro-and anti-choice points of view when they frame the questions poorly.
One of those conversations is going on now over at RHRealityCheck, a website I respect and love, but that I think has allowed itself to be led down the primrose path to nowhere on this issue. For example, check out this utterly ridiculous bloviation about the merits of paying women to carry pregnancies to term by–as they adorably acknowldege–”two men, no uteruses”: Will Saletan, who never misses a chance to pontificate about how pro-choice he is while capitulating to anti-choice arguments and Beliefnet’s Steven Waldman.
Remind me, how do you spell “c-o-e-r-c-i-o-n”? How much money would it take to make you carry a pregnancy to term against your will?
The Glass Wall: The People vs. Obama’s Supreme Court nomination
by Diane Walsh
Penetrating Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy is proving no easy task. Will we get the information we need to properly evaluate the merits of the US President’s ambiguous choice for the high court – before it’s too late? The media is in a frenzied state over this nominee – Judge Sonia Sotomayor. One would expect this, given the stakes that her nomination holds for the fate of abortion rights – which are currently hanging in the balance.
What is Sotomayor’s view about a woman’s right to make childbearing decisions? Oddly, there is nothing concrete that we know about her actual judicial philosophy. No one seems to know exactly – because there is no clear answer being laid bare.
This is creating much unease on both sides of the political spectrum. There is a fundamental lack of information flowing. This is unacceptable. I decided to seek out Gloria Feldt, former president of US Planned Parenthood, to get her take on the Sotomayor nomination. She’s the quintessential trailblazer of the pro-choice lobby.
Gloria initiated the Prevention First Act and reintroduction of a new, improved, Freedom of Choice Act. Her “fight forward” mission is further exemplified on her blogs and through her speeches and writings, all accessible through her website: www.gloriafeldt.com, including 30 years on the frontline. So, needless to say, she’s in a position to evaluate the ‘threats’ that Sotomayor presents, if any, should Sotomayor be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.
Diane Walsh: Have you managed to find out whether Judge Sotomayor believes that Roe vs. Wade is “settled law” (under the precept of stare decisis)?
Early this morning my daughter called to ask me what I thought about President Barack Obama’s comments about abortion yesterday in his commencement address at Notre Dame. She worried he’d been too soft and that by not stating his moral support for reproductive rights had instead signaled that he would not stand firm on policy related to abortion. Take a look at what he said and tell me what you think:
I replied to her that it was as good as we’d get from Obama, who clearly wants everyone to get along and doesn’t like confrontation. I wish he’d wax as eloquently about sexism and women’s human rights as he did about racism during his campaign. The controversy about race ignited by statements Obama’s minister made had threatened to be as divisive as the one he confronted at the Catholic university, and he used the first occasion to teach about race as well as to “tamp down the anger” as he has said he wants to do with regard to abortion. The disappointment for me was that he failed to elevate women’s reproductive self-determination to a similar moral high ground.
First, please read for yourself Rachel Laser’s “Conceiving Common Ground” over at the website RHRealityCheck (btw, if you don’t already have RHRC on your bookmarked blog list, do it now; they provide exellent information and provocative articles like this one every day. Dozens of times through the 30 years I worked for Planned Parenthood and in the several years since, there have been efforts to find the so-called “third way” or “common ground.” I’ve had the privilege to be involved in some profound conversations with people who come from a wide range of pro- and anti-choice perspectives. I learned a great deal from them and they helped me shape or sometimes deepen my own convictions by questioning them.
Somehow, though, these efforts fail on three points, and the quest for the third way becomes a fool’s errand.
2:52 AmieN: Welcome everyone to RH Reality Check’s second in our monthly series of live-chats on the reproductive health and rights issues facing the country today. Of course, today is the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and President Obama …
While I’m riveted like rest of the nation and indeed the world, watching the events leading up to Barack Obama’s inauguration tomorrow, a news item buried deep in the national news section of the New York Times today nearly caused me to fall, laughing wildly, off the treadmill where I was reading it.
Yes, multitasking three things at once always makes me feel like I am using my time wisely. But I digress.
The article, “Marriage Ban Donors Feel Exposed by list”, reports a lawsuit filed by supporters of California’s Proposition 8, passed last November, that made same sex marriage illegal by overturning the State Supreme Court’s May, 2008, ruling that same sex marriages are legal under the California constitution.
Frank Schubert, the campaign manager for Protect Marriage, the leading group behind the proposition, alleges that gay rights groups are checking out the names and addresses of donors to the Prop 8 campaign. “And giving these people a map to your home or office leaves supporters of Proposition 8 feeling especially vulnerable. Really, it is chilling,” Schubert said. So they’ve filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court seeking to prevent release of the names of donors who contributed late in the campaign and have not yet been revealed in campaign filings.
Well my, my. I do empathize even if I don’t sympathize, given that the same groups that supported Prop 8 also oppose reproductive rights for women. For the 30 years I was with Planned Parenthood, they dogged me personally, stalking, picketing me at home, and often sending threatening notes. Their harrassment of doctors who provide abortion services escalated over the years to violence; as a result 87% of U.S. counties have no abortion provider.
With a new Obama administration about to begin, timing couldn’t be more perfect for a fresh look at reproductive rights, health, and justice policies. I reviewed the book Our Bodies, Our Crimes, by Fordham sociology Professor Jeanne Flavin, for Democracy: …