March 6, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from the Huffington Post, Time and more.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: "Limbaugh and the Right-Wing Nervous Breakdown," Eric Boehlert, Huffington Post blogs: Boehlert writes that conservatives suffered a "nervous breakdown" this week after Rush Limbaugh spent "three days smearing, by name, a Georgetown University Law School student as [a] greedy nymphomaniac having so much sex 'it's amazing she can still walk.'" He adds that the "conservative movement in America has become a media-based one, delegating an absurd amount of influence to bloggers, cable channels and talk show hosts." Boehlert writes, "Republicans know this 'slut' controversy has been a disaster for them politically, yet they were powerless to do anything about it," which shows that "even in cases of emergency, the GOP Noise Machine has no off switch" (Boehlert, Huffington Post blogs, 3/5).
What others are saying about Rush Limbaugh:
~ "Limbaugh Lost and Other Notes on the Contraception Controversy," Joe Klein, Time's "Swampland."
~ "Not Just a Fluke, Rush's Remarks Sting," Marjorie Gilberg, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "What a Real Apology From Rush Limbaugh Would Look Like," Jesse Berney, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Slut Limbaugh and the Virgin Queen," Elizabeth Gregory, RH Reality Check.
~ "Female Veterans Demand Rush Limbaugh's Show Be Pulled From American Forces Network," Faiz Shakir, ThinkProgress.
~ "FLASHBACK: GOP Accused Media of Sexism Against Conservative Women, Demanded Apologies," Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress.
~ "Rush Limbaugh's Attack on Sandra Fluke was Hate Speech," Jamila Bey, Washington Post's "She the People."
~ "Rush Limbaugh's Decades of Sexism and Misogyny," Simon Maloy/Eric Hananoki, Media Matters' "County Fair."
~ "The Bigger They are the Harder They Fall? Will Advertisers 'Commit To Quit' Rush?" Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check.
STATE NEWS: "Winning the Battle, Losing the War," Scott Lemieux, American Prospect: Lemieux writes that although many abortion-rights advocates "were inclined to celebrate when Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell backtracked on a bill that would have required women to obtain transvaginal ultrasounds before obtaining an abortion," some observers have noted that "the victory is proving to be largely hollow." He notes that the revised bill is "still terrible legislation" for several reasons, including that it would increase the cost of abortion care by requiring women to undergo an ultrasound (Lemieux, American Prospect, 3/5).
What others are saying about state news:
~ "Mandatory Transvaginal Ultrasounds: Coming Soon to a State Near You," Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones' "Political Mojo."
~ "Your Body Under Arrest: Police in Riot Gear Remove Peaceful Women's Rights Protesters in Virginia," Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check.
~ "Delaware Councilwoman Wants Personhood for Sperm," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
~ "Could Nebraska's Extended Conscience Clause Let Women Die in the Name of Religious Freedom?" Robin Marty, Care2.
~ "Massachusetts Men Join Effort To End Violence Against Women," Christine Cupaiuolo, Our Bodies, Our Blog.
~ "Alabama Co-Sponsor of Forced Ultrasound Bill Denies Selling Equipment to Abortion Clinics, But Providers Tell a Different Story," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE: "The GOP Rush To Deny Coverage of Birth Control," Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Huffington Post blogs: Maloney writes that she would "like to suggest to our Republican friends that they drop the pretense that the subject is religious freedom," when the contraceptive coverage debate really is an issue of women's health. She adds that "despite misleading Republican talking points about not wanting to subsidize birth control, studies have shown that it may be less expensive in the long run for employers to provide employees with no co-pay coverage of birth control than to deny such coverage altogether" (Maloney, Huffington Post blogs, 3/4).
What others are saying about contraceptive coverage:
~ "The Contraception Debate: Where my Ladies at?" Shaunacy Ferro, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Health Insurance Coverage a Courtesy? No, it's Your -- and my -- Wages," Vyckie Garrison, RH Reality Check.
~ "Every Sperm is Sacred? Jewish Perspectives on Contraception," Daniel Brenner, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "I Favor an all Male Panel of Witnesses on Contraception," Lee Sarokin, Huffington Post blogs.
PREGNANCY PREVENTION: "Pregnancy Prevention and the Taxpayer," Motoko Rich, New York Times' "Economix": A recent paper "makes the economic case for government-financed birth control, along with other pregnancy prevention programs: they save taxpayers money," Rich writes, noting that such programs can save taxpayers $2 to $6 for every $1 spent. The paper -- written by Adam Thomas, a visiting associate professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute -- concludes that "the relevant evidence suggests that state and federal lawmakers would be wise to maintain or even increase their investments in proven pregnancy prevention strategies rather than reduce their efforts in this area" (Rich, "Economix," New York Times, 3/5).
BREASTFEEDING: "How Beyoncé's Public Breastfeeding Changes the Nursing-in-Public Debate," Bonnie Rochman, Time's "Healthland": Beyoncé's recent decision to breastfeed her daughter in public "gave a huge boost to the cause of nursing in public, particularly for black women, who have significantly lower breastfeeding rates than white mothers," Rochman writes. She quotes Alison Stuebe, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who said, "By bringing breastfeeding into the mainstream, Beyoncé can help break down barriers so that mothers and babies can breastfeed in peace" (Rochman, "Healthland," Time, 3/5).
HPV: "The HPV Vaccine: It's About Cancer, Not Sex," Claire McCarthy, Boston Globe's "MD Mama": McCarthy, a physician, writes that although many parents are uncomfortable discussing the human papillomavirus vaccine, it's important to remember that the decision "isn't about giving up and essentially encouraging kids to have sex." She adds, "Whether your child has sex at 12 or waits until 30, this vaccine can help prevent him or her from getting cancer or causing cancer in some else" (McCarthy, "MD Mama," Boston Globe, 3/1).
MIDWIFERY: "Women's History Month: A Short History of How Obstetricians Replaced Midwives," Maria Pawlowska, Feminists for Choice: Pawlowska writes about the rise and fall of the use of midwives in childbirth. She writes that until the mid-18th century, midwives were the norm but that the "(all-male) medical establishment actively lobbied and campaigned against the (all-female) midwives," who "were portrayed as dirty, illiterate and ignorant, and women were made to think that by birthing in their presence they were endangering their own, as well as their child's, lives." Maria concludes that today midwifery is coming full circle, with the help of institutions like the American College of Nurse-Midwives and women's health advocates (Pawlowska, Feminists for Choice, 3/5).