June 26, 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, Care2 and more.
CONTRACEPTION: "On Contraceptive Coverage, the Government Is Right, the Bishops Are Wrong, and This Is Why," Harry Knox, RH Reality Check: Knox, president and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, writes that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' "Fortnight for Freedom" was created as a "public relations opportunity to press their disingenuous claim that the contraceptive coverage rule violates their religious freedom to discriminate against a women's health measure they don't like." He adds that "the bishops are demanding that the government become their tool in forcing their views on the American people" and urges the Obama administration to "defend the freedom of American women to exercise self-determination in the most critical area of their lives -- their precious health" (Knox, RH Reality Check, 6/22).
What others are saying about contraception:
~ "'Fortnight for Freedom' Distorts True Religious Liberty," Laura Murphy, Washington Post's "Guest Voices."
~ "Demand Native American Women Get Access to Emergency Contraception," Jessica Pieklo, Care2.
RIO+20: "Hillary Clinton Defends Reproductive Rights in Rio," Jessica Pieklo, Care2: Pieklo commends Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for emphasizing during the United Nations' Rio+20 conference that women's ability to control when and whether they have children is essential to sustainable development. Noting that the Vatican led opposition to including a reference to reproductive rights in the summit's final document, Pieklo adds that "Clinton's actions should be applauded and the remaining countries should find the fortitude to stand up to Rome and for the rights of women across the globe" (Pieklo, Care2, 6/22).
What others are saying about Rio+20:
~ "Rio Disappoints on Women's Rights," Elisha Dunn-Georgiou, Ms. Magazine blogs.
FAMILY PLANNING: "Texas Slashes Family Planning Services So It Can Underfund Women's Health Program," Ben Sherman, ThinkProgress: Texas is offsetting the loss of federal contributions to its Women's Health Program by cutting $40.1 million from the Health and Human Services Department's budget, including dental services and programs for the elderly, according to Sherman. The federal government cut off funding for the Women's Health Program because the state chose to bar affiliates of abortion providers from participating, in violation of federal law. "Even with this money freed up, the Women's Health Program will not be nearly as strong as it was with federal funding," Sherman writes (Sherman, ThinkProgress, 6/22).
TITLE IX: "What Do Sports and Reproductive Rights Have in Common?" Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check: With the summer Olympics approaching, Marcotte notes, "As with reproductive rights, female athleticism brings forth social anxieties about women exerting mastery over their own bodies." Recognizing female Olympic athletes "for their strength, their athleticism, and above all, for their autonomy," is an important step, she says, adding, "If we can get used to talking about women's relationships to their bodies in this way, then talking about sex and women will just become that much easier" (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 6/25).
ATTACKS ON PHYSICIANS: "Kansas Doctor Loses License for Protecting Privacy of Abortion Patients," Andrea Peterson, ThinkProgress: "[T]he Kansas Board of Healing Arts refused to reinstate the medical license of Dr. Ann Neuhaus" based on allegations from an antiabortion-rights group that "she did not take the safety of teenage patients seriously in 2003 because of the short length of patient record files for her cases," Peterson writes. She adds, "But the sparseness of [Neuhaus'] patient notes was an attempt to protect their privacy from the anti-choice crusade" of former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline (R), who was subpoenaing medical records and discussing "those cases on right-wing television shows" (Peterson, ThinkProgress, 6/25).
What others are saying about attacks on physicians:
~ "Doctor Speaks Out Against Abortion Laws That Require Lying to Patients," Rachel Walden, Our Bodies, Our Blog.