July 3, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from Daily Beast, National Women's Law Center and more.
SUPREME COURT RULING ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: "A Supreme Win for Women: The Crucial Benefits of Obamacare," Jessica Arons, Daily Beast: The ruling that the health reform law is constitutional "means an end to gender discrimination in the health-insurance market," writes the Center for American Progress' Arons, adding that "women will no longer have to pay up to 150% more than men for the exact same health benefits." She also notes that the law has many other benefits for women, including coverage for maternity and newborn care, access to preventive services without cost sharing, the ability to visit an ob-gyn without a referral, guaranteed breaks and private space for breastfeeding women to pump at work, and a home visit program for at-risk new mothers (Arons, Daily Beast, 6/28).
What others are saying about the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act:
~ "The Fight Over Contraceptive Coverage Continues," Robert Walker, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Republicans Slam Obamacare Using Pro-Choice Language," Laura Bassett, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "What the Supreme Court's Obamacare Decision Means for Birth Control Litigation," Sarah Lipton-Lubet, American Civil Liberties Union's "Washington Markup."
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: "Turning 'Ifs' into 'Whens': College Students Like Me Need Reauthorization of a Full VAWA," Dana Bolger, National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake": The House version (HR 4970) of the Violence Against Women Act, which is stalled in Congress, "has been widely criticized -- and rightly so," Bolger writes, noting that the bill fails "to provide important protections for [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender], Native American and immigrant victims." However, "many commenters have neglected to note the absence of vital protections for another group entirely: victims of abuse on college campuses," she continues, adding that the Senate version (S 1925) of the bill "recognizes the prevalence and destructiveness of sexual assault and dating violence on college campuses" and offers "substantial protections for survivors" (Bolger, "Womenstake," NWLC, 6/29).
What others are saying about violence against women:
~ "Air Force Sex Abuse Scandal Widens," Jeff Fecke, Care 2.
~ "Air Force Investigates Widespread Drill-Sergeant-on-Recruit Sex Abuse Scandal," Alex Brown, ThinkProgress.
REFUSAL: "'Conscience Clause' Gone AMOK -- Rape Victim Denied Morning After Pill By Prison Guard," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check: "[T]his is exactly what happens when 'conscience' is allowed to trump a woman's rights to avoid pregnancy," Marty writes after a Florida woman's emergency contraception was confiscated by a prison guard who said the medication was against her religious beliefs. "[T]his case also brings to light how those who are 'in charge' when it comes to dispensing are able to inflict their own moral beliefs onto someone else," Marty adds (Marty, RH Reality Check, 6/29).
MISSISSIPPI TRAP LAW: "Federal Judge Blocks Mississippi TRAP Law, Abortion Still Accessible for Now," Robin Marty, RHReality Check: If Mississippi is allowed to enforce a new antiabortion law that threatens to close the only abortion clinic in the state, "women will still get pregnant, and will still need abortions, whether or not [the clinic] is the one who provides them." She adds, "Without the clinic, [women] would have to travel an additional 3 hours out of state to obtain safe abortion care, or they find a way to do them by themselves, however dangerous it may be" (Marty, RHReality Check, 7/2).
What others are saying about the Mississippi TRAP law:
~ "Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic Can Stay Open, For Now," Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones' "Political MoJo."
FAMILY PLANNING: "NEWSFLASH: N.J. Gov. Christie Eliminates Family Planning ... Again," Lauren Barbato, Ms. Magazine blog: "Just days after the New Jersey state legislature approved a bill that would restore the state's family planning fund from oblivion, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took out his red pen and vetoed it last Friday" for the third time in three years, Barbato writes. The funding would not have covered abortion care but "would have provided cancer screenings, STI and HIV testing, routine gynecological exams, affordable contraception, prenatal care and overall increased access to preventive services" to more than 130,000 low-income women, according to Barbato (Barbato, Ms. Magazine blog, 7/2).
GLOBAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS: "What Does Morsi's Presidency Mean for Egyptian Women?" Nadia Mohammad, Washington Post's "On Faith": For Egyptian women, the election of Mohamed Morsi as the nation's president "means going through the shared struggles of women across the world -- establishing a true and gender equal democracy, fighting to end discriminatory and unjust laws and sometimes, fighting for their lives," Mohammed writes. She says the success of the revolution "will be demonstrated only through the extent of unification and harmony between Egyptian men and women," adding that the appointment of a woman as one of Morsi's two vice presidents "is being met with cautious optimism" by feminists (Mohammad, "On Faith," Washington Post, 7/2).
RIGHTS OF PREGNANT WOMEN: "Pregnant Prisoner Shackled During Labor," Sarah Sansbury, Care2: Sansbury discusses the case of Valerie Nabors, a Nevada woman serving a prison sentence for a non-violent crime who was shackled around her ankles while in labor, against objections from medical personnel. Nabors, who was injured in the incident and was later denied a breast pump that was medically prescribed, is now suing the state Department of Corrections for mistreatment. Sansbury notes that shackling during labor "is a common occurrence for pregnant prisoners" and that only 14 states ban the use of restraints during labor (Sansbury, Care2, 6/29).