April 6, 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, Huffington Post and more.
CONTRACEPTION: "For Muslims, Birth Control is a Moral Issue," Pamela Taylor, Washington Post's "Guest Voices": Contraception is a "moral issue because it is a necessity for continued human existence." That is because it is the "easiest, and perhaps the only, way to prevent the ills of overpopulation," Taylor, co-founder of Muslims for Progressive Values, writes. She also views affordable birth control coverage as an issue of "personal" and "societal responsibility," writing that it "would be the height of callousness to deny the many other personal benefits of birth control, especially the ability to get one's family out of poverty and to provide for what children you do have in a decent manner, simply due to greed" (Taylor, "Guest Voices," Washington Post, 4/4).
What others are saying about contraception:
~ "Hey, Gov. Nikki Haley, Wanna Bet?" Maya Dusenbery, Feministing.
~ "Nikki Haley Is Right -- Women Don't Care About 'Women's Issues' Any More Than Men Do," Libby Copeland, Slate's "XX Factor."
~ "Olympia Snowe Says Birth Control Fight is 'A Retro-Debate,'" Jacqueline M., Planned Parenthood Action Fund's "Women Are Watching."
~ "Haley's Comment," Robert Walker, Huffington Post blogs.
MISSISSIPPI TRAP LAW: "NEWSFLASH: Mississippi's Sole Abortion Provider in Danger," Lauren Barbato, Ms. Magazine blog: A Mississippi bill (HB 1390) that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, as well as have board certification in obstetrics and gynecology, has placed "both the health of abortion-seeking women and the state's sole provider, Jackson Women's Health Organization, in jeopardy," Barbato writes. She notes that although the bill "sounds reasonable, HB 1390 is another affront to women's reproductive rights when you factor in the already meager resources available to the women of Mississippi" (Barbato, Ms. Magazine blog, 4/3).
What others are saying about Mississippi:
~ "Mississippi Lawmakers Approve Abortion Regulations To Stop 'Coat-Hanger Abortions,'" Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress.
~ "Mississippi Abortion Bill May Force State's Only Clinic To Close," Laura Bassett, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Mississippi Clinic Considers Suing Over TRAP Law," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
WAR ON WOMEN: "New Study Links Traditional Marriage to War on Women," Jason Stanford, Huffington Post blogs: "When Gallup came out with a new poll showing the president opening up an 18-point lead with women, pundits blamed the war on women," Stanford writes, noting that a new study might give Republicans "someone entirely different to blame: Ann Romney." The study found that men in traditional marriages with wives who do not work outside the home -- such as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann -- had "negative attitudes about working women and organizations led by women, and they were more likely to deny opportunities to women," Stanford writes. Further, the researchers found that men in traditional marriages also were against providing birth control access to teenagers, Stanford notes (Stanford, Huffington Post blogs, 4/3).
What others are saying about the war on women:
~ "How Republicans Attack Women's Economic Security With Ryan Budget In One Chart," Amanda Peterson Beadle, ThinkProgress.
~ "'The War On Women': A Teen's Perspective," Laela Zaidi, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Does the GOP Think Every Woman Is Just A Caterpillar Waiting To Transform … Into A Mother?" Robin Marty, Care2.
PREGNANCY: "Prosecutors, Judges Increasingly Indict Pregnant Women Using 'Personhood' Status Rejected By Voters," Lynn Paltrow, RH Reality Check: Even though Mississippi and Colorado voters have rejected so-called "personhood" amendments, prosecutors and courts have been considering legal cases that depending on their outcomes could mean that states "might not need a personhood measure to treat embryos and fetuses as separate persons and the pregnant women who carry them as criminals," Paltrow writes. In Mississippi, for instance, the state Supreme Court was voting on the same day voters defeated the personhood amendment to decide whether the state's "fetal homicide law" could be applied in a case where a teenager experienced a stillbirth allegedly because she used an illegal drug. According to Paltrow, "the case isn't about a teenager or using drugs -- it is about the same thing as a personhood measure: redefining eggs, embryos, and fetuses in such a way as to give the state power to investigate, control, and punish women in relationship to their pregnancy outcomes" (Paltrow, RH Reality Check, 4/5).
REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "How to Change the Dialogue on Women's Reproductive Rights," Hahrie Han, Huffington Post blogs: "As women, we are at the center of these culture wars, and it's easy to feel as though we are powerless," but "the power to change the conversation lies with us," Han writes. She adds, "Instead of letting the extremists dictate the dialogue, we can reverse the backlash against women by talking to our friends and our neighbors," and through "every day conversations, we can begin to change the dialogue about women's issues" (Han, Huffington Post blogs, 4/5).
ABORTION PROVIDERS: "Passionate Engagement: Two Doctors Speak About Their Abortion Activism," Carole Joffe, ANSIRH blog: Pippa Abston -- an Alabama pediatrician involved in the recent fight against the state's ultrasound law -- and Jane Hodgson -- a St. Paul ob-gyn who fought for access to abortion services in the 1950s and 1960s and became the only U.S. physician convicted of illegally performing an abortion in a hospital -- both "cited as a benefit of their abortion-related activity the connections made with those they otherwise would not have encountered," Joffe writes. The "reflections align with what I have heard from so many other physicians over the years: that whether abortion provider or supporter, engagement with this issue introduces these clinicians to a diverse group of allies, with a shared sense of mission, that is rare elsewhere in medicine," Joffe concludes (Joffe, ANSIRH blog, 4/5).
ADOLESCENT HEALTH: "Teen Moms Can't Vote On Abortion Bill That Targets Them," Jessica Pieklo, Care 2: Pieklo writes about an initiative that could appear on Montana's November ballot that would require the parents of a girl younger than 17 to meet with a doctor before the girl could receive abortion care. She writes, "The main problem with all of these consent and notification bills is they presume teen girls live in a safe, loving and supportive home environment," that "the pregnancy is not a product of abuse from within the family" and that "a teenage girl has no right to decide if she is ready to be a parent on her own terms" (Pieklo, Care2, 4/4).
What others are saying about adolescent health:
~ "CIANA: Closing the Door on the Support and Care that Teens Need," Leila Abolfazli, National Women's Law Center blog.