June 12, 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, Mother Jones and more.
MICHIGAN ANTIABORTION BILL: "Jenni Lane: One Among Many Women Whose Stories Michigan Lawmakers Don't Want Us to Hear," Angi Becker Stevens, RH Reality Check: Stevens tells the story of a Michigan woman, Jenni Lane, who had an abortion at 21 weeks of pregnancy after learning that the fetus had a severe brain malformation. Stevens notes that Lane would have been forced to continue the pregnancy or travel to another state to obtain an abortion under proposed legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks in Michigan. Stevens criticizes state legislators for blocking testimony from women like Lane, adding that many "later abortions are performed for similar medical reasons, because so many serious conditions are impossible to detect until near or after the 20-week point" (Becker Stevens, RH Reality Check, 6/8).
What others are saying about the Michigan antiabortion bill:
~ "Michigan Looks To Pass Nation's Most Anti-Abortion Law," Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones' "Political Mojo."
MILITARY ABORTION POLICY: "The U.S. Military's Abortion Policy: Neither Fair Nor Equitable," Darlene Iskra, Time's "Battleland": The Senate Armed Services Committee's recent approval of an amendment that would permit abortion coverage for servicewomen in cases of rape or incest "is the first step in improving the rights of military women," but "[t]here are many more hoops yet to jump through," writes Iskra, treasurer of the Alliance for National Defense. She notes that "U.S. servicewomen remain the only federal workers denied coverage in cases of rape" and urges supporters of the amendment to sign a Stand With Servicewomen petition to support the amendment (Iskra, "Battleland," Time, 6/11).
CONN. ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS PACKAGE: "Connecticut Lawmakers: Abortion is Essential Health Benefit," Jessica Pieklo, Care2: This week, Connecticut "took a promising step forward and declared abortion to be an 'essential health benefit' for purposes of insurance coverage, meaning the procedure will be provided for in the health exchange the state is creating under the" federal health reform law (PL 111-148), Pieklo writes. She adds that "it makes good public health and good economic sense to make sure [abortion is] safely available and completely affordable" (Pieklo, Care2, 6/11).
What others are saying about the Conn. essential health benefits package:
~ "Connecticut State Insurance Will Cover Abortion as 'Essential' Health Benefit," Annie-Rose Strasser,ThinkProgress.
ATTACKS ON CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE: "Whose Religious Freedom is Under Attack?" Arthur Waskow, Huffington Post blogs: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops claims that the federal contraceptive coverage requirement "violates religious freedom -- even though it is NOT applied to fully religious institutions" -- and is "set up so that insurance companies ... foot the bill," Rabbi Waskow, founder and director of the Shalom Center, writes. He adds that he "vigorously object[s] to this attempt to deny millions of women -- Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, atheist -- their own religious freedom to make choices informed by their own consciences." The claim that the contraceptive coverage rules violate religious freedom is "an Orwellian perversion of thought -- attacking religious freedom in the guise of defending it" (Waskow, Huffington Post blogs, 6/11).
What others are saying about attacks on contraceptive coverage:
~ "As Cries of 'Religious Freedom' Grow Louder, it is Clear Anti-Choicers are Targeting Contraception," Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check.
~ "Psst, Anti-Choicers! Your Real Agenda is Showing!" Chloe Angyal, Feministing.
GLOBAL HEALTH: "Protecting Mothers and Children From HIV: A Call to Action," Eric Goosby, Huffington Post blogs: U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Goosby writes about the Child Survival Call to Action event being held this week in Washington, D.C., which "bring[s] together public and private partners to focus on one ambitious, yet simple, goal -- to end preventable child deaths." One "essential piece of the puzzle of ending preventable child deaths" is providing women with antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Goosby adds. The strategy also is cost-effective because "[b]y saving mothers' lives and allowing babies to be born HIV-free we are foregoing future health care costs, stabilizing families and communities, and positively impacting economies and nations," he writes (Goosby, Huffington Post blogs, 6/12).
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