Monday, June 21, 2010

Choice News June 21st 2010


The U.S. Senate voted down an amendment that would have extended Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding, $480 million of which state legislators depended on when they passed the budget last session. This could force the legislature to go into another special session to figure out a way to close that hole in the budget.

The Governor's budget office released a forecast showing that state lawmakers will face a $3 billion budget deficit when they return to Olympia in January to write the next two-year budget. The budget forecast also shows the state will take in $200 million less than anticipated through June 2011.

Marcy Bloom, of El Grupo de Informacion en Reproduccion Elegida/The Information Group on Reproductive Choice, has a post on RH Reality Check on our vigil for Dr. George Tiller and a reflection on his life and work.

Last week Florida Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a bill that would have required women to undergo an ultrasound - and pay for it out of pocket - before having an abortion.

Other News of Note

An FDA panel of reproductive health experts has recommended for approval a new emergency contraceptive, Ella, that is effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.

Politico reports that women's heath advocates see signs of momentum in improving the military's policies on reproductive health care. In February, military hospitals began stocking emergency contraception, and a Senate amendment under consideration would allow women to have abortions at military hospitals.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced the group of Catholic nuns who broke ranks with the bishops in support of health care reform, and said that the nuns are responsible for the passage of the legislation. The Conference of Catholic Bishops had advocated for more draconian restrictions on abortion access.

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson notes that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who may be a contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, is inclined to be less strident on issues like abortion rights, a characteristic that alarms social conservatives within the Republican Party.

Friday, June 11, 2010

NARAL Pro-Choice America Applauds Pro-Choice Victory for Florida Women

June 11, 2010
NARAL Pro-Choice America Applauds Pro-Choice Victory for Florida WomenBowing to pressure from pro-choice state lawmakers and voters,
Crist vetoes divisive legislation
Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called Gov. Charlie Crist’s veto of an anti-choice bill a victory for Florida women.
In late April, extremist anti-choice Florida legislators amended H.B.1143, which previously had no relevance to reproductive rights, to insert dangerous attacks on women’s right to privacy. The bill contains an abortion-coverage ban and a mandatory-ultrasound requirement. Crist vetoed the bill today.
"Gov. Charlie Crist did the right thing by listening to the pro-choice majority in Florida and vetoing this anti-choice bill that the state legislature rammed through at the last minute," Keenan said. "Floridians, like most Americans, are tired of lawmakers using women’s reproductive health as a bargaining chip. It’s time for politicians to stop interfering in the doctor-patient relationship."
NARAL Pro-Choice America mobilized activists in Florida, sending more than 1,200 messages to Gov. Crist urging him to veto this unprecedented anti-choice legislation.
Keenan offered a special word of thanks to Rep. Kendrick Meek, who called on Crist to reject the anti-choice bill and organized his supporters to pressure the governor to veto the bill. "We need more elected officials like Rep. Meek, who consistently do the right thing when it comes to women’s health. We know he’ll take that commitment to the Senate."
If enacted, the Florida bill would have undermined women’s health and privacy in the following ways:
It would have prohibited insurers from offering comprehensive coverage that includes abortion to most customers in the new health-insurance exchange. It would not have even had an adequate exception for cases in which the woman’s health is endangered.
It would have forced women to undergo an ultrasound before receiving abortion care, even when it is not medically necessary.
It would have required the provider to describe the ultrasound images to the woman even if she asked not to view them.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Protect and Elect Pro-Choice Brunch!

The 2010 election cycle is underway, and NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota is ready to protect our pro-choice incumbents and elect a pro-choice governor!
This kind of work takes money and expertise, and we need your help to do it. I invite you to a pro-choice brunch on Saturday, June 12 to hear more about the state of choice in Minnesota and how we are going to win a true pro-choice majority and take back the governor’s office!
Please join us to support NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota’s election fund work to protect and elect a pro-choice majority in Minnesota!
Pro-Choice BrunchSaturday, June 1210:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Contribution Levels: $1,000 * $500 * $300 * $150 * $73 * $35
Please RSVP to, and we’ll forward you directions.
Thank you,
Linnea HouseExecutive DirectorNARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota

Choice News June 8th 2010

2010 Elections

The Washington Times reports that anti-choice conservatives are eager to play a role in winning back seats in the 2010 midterm elections.

Anti-Choice Legislation

The New York Times looks at the anti-choice state laws that have passed this year and anti-choice bills currently working their way through state legislatures. Both pro-choice and anti-choice activists agree that the volume of anti-choice legislation passed this year is unusually high.

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled to allow a ballot initiative requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortion care to go on the August ballot.

Supreme Court Watch

The New York Times reports that the lead-up to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings has been unusually quiet.

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. lauds former Supreme Court Justice David Souter for pointing out the problems with the idea of "originalism" as employed by the conservative justices on the bench.

Other News of Note

Writing for RH Reality Check, Amanda Marcotte reports on the annual anti-choice campaign, "The Pill Kills." The emphasis this year is on the exaggerated claims that birth control pills that make their way into the sea are contaminating fish with too much estrogen.

Time Magazine reports that illegal abortions are widespread in Brazil, which has a ban on the procedure except under limited circumstances.

A CDC survey finds that U.S. teenagers are more accepting of teen pregnancy and pregnancy outside of marriage.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CHoice News June 3rd 2010


Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, currently running for Senate as an Independent, is considering vetoing legislation that would require women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. However, the issue has the potential to be a "political landmine" for his Senate campaign.

The Oklahoma legislature failed to override a veto of a bill that would have banned health insurance coverage for abortion care. However, seven other anti-choice bills were passed into law this year, including the strictest ultrasound requirement in the country and a law that protects doctors who withhold information about a pregnancy that they think might cause women to decide to have an abortion.

Other News of Note

A CDC study found an increase in the percentage of teenage girls who report using the rhythm method for birth control, which may help explain the uptick in teen pregnancy rates in recent years.

ABC's "World News" reports on the excommunication of a Catholic nun who approved a woman's life-saving abortion.

The Nation's Katha Pollitt responds to an LA Times op-ed that argues that the pro-choice movement needs a conceptual makeover.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Choice News June 2nd 2010

Abortion Care

Monday marked one year since Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was killed by an anti-choice extremist. RH Reality Check features TrustWomenPAC's Julie Burkhart's reflections on Dr. Tiller's life and work.

Access to Reproductive Health Care

AlterNet features a story on limited service pregnancy centers (also known as "crisis pregnancy centers" or fake clinics) and their dangerous and deceitful practices.

Politico reports on Planned Parenthood's efforts to have birth control included in the list of free preventive services that health insurers must cover as federal regulators make decisions about the implementation of the health care reform law.

The LA Times reports that more women are being denied reproductive health care due to hospital policies based on ideological beliefs.

Mexico's Supreme Court has upheld a law requiring hospitals to offer rape victims emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill.

Supreme Court Watch

The Senate Judiciary Committee is awaiting more than 160,000 pages of documents from Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's tenure in the Clinton White House.

Other News of Note

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Jessica Valenti argues that contrary to her recent rhetoric, Sarah Palin is no feminist.

An opinion piece in the LA Times delves more deeply into recent public opinion polls on voter attitudes about the right to choose.