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Posts tagged "War On Women"

H/T: Paul J. Weber at HuffPost Politics

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

h/t: Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress Health

h/t: Sarah Jones at PoliticusUSA

thepoliticalfreakshow:

These restrictions are part of a continuing effort by the anti-choice movement to make abortion so difficult to access that, for millions of women, it is legal in name only. Neither requiring admitting privileges or mandating medically unnecessary building requirements will make abortion care any safer. The clinics that can’t afford to undertake costly structural renovations or retrofitting close down; those that are able to meet the requirements often afford to do so by raising the fees that patients must pay.

Likewise, insisting that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals willfully ignores a number of realities. Licensed abortion providers have excellent safety records. Hospitals can also refuse to grant admitting privileges for reasons that have nothing to do with a physician’s record — not that a woman experiencing complications would be turned away from a hospital in the first place. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) observed, “Emergency room physicians, hospital-based physicians, and on-call specialists already provide prompt and effective treatment to all patients with urgent medical needs, including women with abortion-related complications.” For that reason and others, ACOG, along with the American Medical Association and other medical organizations, opposes the admitting privileges requirements and other parts of the Texas bill.

Not that the supporters of HB2 or similar measures have been swayed by the expert opinions of medical authorities. Nor have they appeared to take into account the real-world consequences of such requirements — for example, that forcing clinics to close for reasons that have nothing to do with patient safety will not make abortion safer for women. Rather, it will force women that can’t afford the higher fees or are unable to travel to another area of the state for health care to turn to risky methods to terminate their pregnancies.

Because that’s something else HB2 proponents want to ignore: that making abortion more difficult to access doesn’t automatically remove all the reasons a woman may want or need to end her pregnancy. Contraception will still fail, and women will still become pregnant as a result of rape. Women will still know best when to increase the size of their family; they, very often along with their partner or spouse, will still be the best equipped to decide if they have the economic security or social support or simple desire to be parents.

While the final verdict on HB2 has yet to be reached, other states that have attempted to restrict abortion access through similar measures have suffered significant setbacks lately. In early August, a federal judge rejected an Alabama law that would have mandated admitting privileges for abortion clinics. The law, which could have closed three of the state’s five remaining clinics, would have severely restricted access, according to U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In his decision, Judge Thompson stated that “If this requirement would not, in the face of all the evidence in the record, constitute an impermissible undue burden then almost no regulation, short of those imposing an outright prohibition on abortion, would.” Judge Thompson’s decision comes on the heels of a 2-1 ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that Mississippi’s attempt to enact its own admitting privileges law is unconstitutional.

And in Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe has promised to “undo” structural building regulations that were passed by his predecessor, Robert McDonnell. The regulations are currently under review after McAuliffe asked for an expedited review process.

While the news out of these three states is encouraging, the real-world effects of HB2 remain troubling. Just days before this most recent trial began, Whole Woman’s Health was forced to close its flagship clinic in Austin, leaving women with one less place to receive safe and comprehensive health care.

h/t: Daniel Strauss at TPM

h/t: Lara Huffman at HuffPost Healthy Living

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The ad oversimplifies McConnell’s complicated history with VAWA, one in which he has voted against final passage and reauthorization of the act, as TPM reported last year during a less high-profile dustup in the Kentucky Senate race.

Chao’s assertion that McConnell cosponsored the original VAWA is accurate — he did so in 1991. But when the act came up for a vote in 1993, McConnell was no longer a cosponsor, and hevoted against the final legislation.

In 2005, the legislation was reauthorized by a voice vote in the Senate. Then in 2012, McConnellvoted against a Senate-approved bipartisan version of VAWA which stalled in the House. In 2013, a similar bill to renew and expand VAWA passed the Senate with 78 votes; McConnell was one of 22 senators to vote against it. That version was eventually taken up and passed by the Republican-controlled House and signed into law.

That’s the basis for which Grimes’ recent attack ad claims McConnell voted “two times against the Violence Against Women Act.”

Chao asserts that McConnell has “always supported [VAWA’s] purpose” and “voted for even stronger protections.”

The latter claim is debatable. In 2012, McConnell supported a scaled-back VAWA alternativepushed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). It largely renewed the expiring programs but omitted protections for LGBT women, Native Americans and undocumented immigrants who suffered from domestic abuse. At the time, Republicans hardly sought to argue that their bill included “stronger protections” for women — they instead said the tribal jurisdiction provisions in the bipartisan VAWA proposal were unconstitutional.

The Grimes campaign blasted the new ad in a statement on Tuesday. “Simply saying, ‘I’m married to a woman’ doesn’t speak loud enough. Your actions and record over 30 years in Washington indicate where and how you will stand up for women,” said Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton.

The new McConnell ad is an attempt to defend against relentless attacks by Grimes, the U.S. Senate nominee from Kentucky, portraying the longtime incumbent as anti-woman. A large part of the Grimes assault involves the Violence Against Women Act, a federal law to fund programs to combat domestic abuse. It isn’t the first time the McConnell campaign has been defensive over VAWA.

"Alison, supporting the Obama agenda isn’t pro-woman," Chao says in the ad. "It’s anti-Kentucky."

The Kentucky Senate race is neck and neck. McConnell is ahead by just 1 percentage point, according to the TPM PollTracker average.

Source: Sahil Kapur for Talking Points Memo

ppaction:

A federal judge just blocked a medically unnecessary “Texas-style” law in Alabama that would have severely restricted access to safe, legal abortion by forcing all but 2 health centers to stop providing abortions. 

Laws like these place onerous restrictions on doctors and health centers, are politically motivated, and do nothing to advance patients’ health — instead, they put women in danger.

h/t: Caitlin MacNeal at TPM

Today’s verdict is a victory for the people of Mississippi and for the supporters of reproductive choice. 

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress Health

h/t: Zoe Greenburg at RH Reality Check

h/t: Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress Health

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Hundreds of anti-choice activists are currently congregating in New Orleansto stage protests against abortion around the city, an event that’s expected to last all week long. So far, tensions have come to a head in an unexpected place: the sanctuary of a church, where abortion opponents interrupted a service to tell congregants that they don’t have a “true faith” because their denomination supports reproductive rights.

This week’s protests are being spearheaded by the national anti-abortion group Operation Save America, which used to go by the name Operation Rescue National. That far-right organization, frequently criticized for its “militant” tactics, is perhaps best known for being tied to Dr. George Tiller’s assassination. And on Sunday, as part of its week long protest in Louisiana, group members decided to take their message straight to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans.

As the Uptown Messenger reports, anti-abortion activists interrupted worship at the church — specifically, disrupting a moment of silence for a church member who recently passed away — to declare that this particular church isn’t a “true faith” and tell the service attendees to “repent.” Operation Save America’s opinion about the First Unitarian Universalist Church is made clear on its website, which refers to the “church” and its “pastor” in scare quotes and calls it a “synagogue of Satan.”

Rev. Deanna Vandiver, a guest speaker at the service, invited the protesters to either join the service respectfully or hold their protest outside of the building. As the congregation sang, church leaders led the loudest anti-abortion activists out of the sanctuary.

Vandiver told the Uptown Messenger that she wasn’t entirely sure why the church was targeted — but it’s likely because of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s progressive stance on reproductive rights. Even before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion throughout the country, UU churches officially affirmed the right to choose. Since then, the religious body has passed several resolutions related to reproductive justice and continues to be very involved in efforts to support abortion rights. The Unitarian Universalist Association’s official policy states an explicit opposition to “any attempt to enact a position on private morality into public law.”

“Beloved, we have a lot of different opinions in this country about family planning. I believe, however, that there is a moral consensus about religious terrorism. NO ONE should invade the sanctuary of another’s faith to terrorize people as they worship,” Vandiver wrote on Facebook following the incident. “I call on everyone of every faith tradition and no faith tradition to stand with on the side of love and resist the evil of the week of hate being visited upon the city of New Orleans.”

Holding protests in church is certainly not unheard of, although it often walks a fine line. In 2012, members of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot were infamously arrested after performing a “punk prayer” in Russia’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, criticizing corruption within the Orthodox Church and calling for Putin’s removal. And in the 1980s, thousands of LGBT activists protested at Catholic churches to call for more inclusive policies on abortion, homosexuality, and AIDS; although most of those protesters gathered outside of church buildings, several dozen were criticized forentering a sanctuary and disrupting Mass.

Local law enforcement is on alert as they anticipate more potentially disruptive protests from Operation Save America activists this week. Anti-abortion activists have already held an open-casket wake for a fetus in a public square. And outraged residents of one New Orleans neighborhood complained that their privacy was violated on Saturday when protesters picketed the private home of a doctor who lives there.

Nonetheless, over the weekend, the mayor of New Orleans issued an official proclamation of welcome to the protesters, signing a certificate thanking the anti-choice group for its “service” to the city. That prompted more than 500 New Orleans residents to sign a petition asking the mayor to reconsider. “Regardless of personal ideologies, most Americans agree that harassing women and threatening doctors is extreme behavior that should not be welcomed by the mayor’s office. The certificates signed by you gives them a legitimacy that they do not deserve,” the petition reads.

The members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans appear to feel similarly. “Whatever your faith tradition, I invite you to stand with Unitarian Universalists and other liberal religions besieged by hate-filled rhetoric that can trip so easily from violent words to violent deeds,” Rev. Deanna Vandiver wrote in a blog post about the incident.

Source: Tara Culp-Ressler for ThinkProgress