October 11, 2013 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from the ANSIRH, the Center for American Progress and more.
ABORTION DISPARITIES AND RESTRICTIONS: "Abortion Disparities in Context," Christine Dehlendorf, ANSIRH Blog: Dehlendorf -- a faculty member in family and community medicine at the University of California-San Francisco -- responds to the "cynical" and "politicized" claim that abortion rates are higher among minority communities than white and more affluent women because abortion providers target minorities and "profit from their need for abortion." She cites a recently published analysis by herself and colleagues that refutes "this argument and its corollary -- that increased regulations are needed on abortion providers in order to protect these vulnerable communities." She writes, "Strategies to address disparities in abortion" should include "interventions that function on the individual level ... as well as those approaches that work on the societal level to enhance access to resources and to eliminate chronic stress associated with living in disadvantaged groups." Dehlendorf concludes, "Only with this comprehensive approach can disparities in abortion be addressed in a manner in which women's ability to lead healthy and productive lives are prioritized over any particular political perspective" (Dehlendorf, ANSIRH Blog, 10/8).
What others are saying about abortion disparities and restrictions:
~ "Ohio Lands in Court After Using its Budget To Push Through Totally Unrelated Abortion Restrictions," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "Michigan is About To Enact New Abortion Restrictions Without the Governor's Approval," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "California Just Passed America's First Law Expanding Abortion Access Since 2006," Sarah Kliff, Washington Post's "Wonkblog."
RAPE CULTURE AND INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: "Five Creative Ways That Students Are Fighting Rape Culture on College Campuses," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "Think Progress": "The headlines related to college campuses and sexual assault are typically negative," but "[a]cross the country, there are also a network of college activists working to fight back" and "change the culture that fuels these types of attitudes toward rape in the first place," Culp-Ressler writes. She lists examples several colleges and universities where student groups are combating rape culture with "creative consent-driven campaigns." In addition to distributing temporary tattoos, coasters and other items with consent-based messages, campuses are "[g]etting men involved in the 'Vagina Monologues,'" forming sexual wellness advocacy groups and hosting weeklong "consent events" for students (Culp-Ressler, "Think Progress," Center for American Progress, 10/9).
What others are saying about rape culture and intimate partner violence:
~ "Now is the Time for Attention to Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ Communities of Color," Irene Monroe, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Seeking Transformative Justice in the Aftermath of the New Delhi Rape Case," Ruth Messinger/Javid Syed, Feministing.
ADOLESCENT HEALTH: "Can a Teen Get an Abortion if She Doesn't Have Parents To Give Consent? That's Up to the Judge," Robin Marty, Care2: A judge who recently ruled that a 16-year old girl in foster care was not mature enough to have an abortion "chose to enforce his own set of personal beliefs upon the girl" and "overstepped his bounds ... based on his own desire to end abortion than on her own best interests," Marty writes. She calls the incident "a situation that is far too likely to be repeated," as 34 states have laws requiring parental involvement in teens' abortion decision. Marty adds that it is a "double standard" that states assume "that ending a pregnancy is not a decision that a girl can make without a parent's input, but that giving birth is" (Marty, Care2, 10/8).
What others are saying about adolescent health:
~ "One in 10 Young Americans Has Committed Sexual Violence," Amanda Hess, Slate's "XX Factor."
SEXISM: "Hey Politicians, It's the 21st Century. Time to Stop Being Sexist Idiots," Todd Van Luling, Huffington Post blogs: "We're more than a decade into the 21st century, and politicians are apparently still having a hard time understanding that sexism just doesn't fly," Van Luling writes, adding that "members of both parties have been responsible for ... gross soundbites." He offers several examples, noting, "It's not appropriate to make creepy remarks about the appearance of female colleagues, or to air terribly false theories about the science of the female anatomy" (Van Luling, Huffington Post, 10/8).
CONTRACEPTION AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: "By Withholding the Medicaid Expansion, Republicans Will Keep the Unintended Pregnancy Rate High," Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check: "While unintended and teen pregnancy rates -- and therefore abortion rates -- are declining around the world, the United States notoriously falls behind countries that have similar levels of wealth and industrialization," Marcotte writes. She continues, "What makes all [of] this particularly frustrating is that the United States has the capability right now to reverse the trend," and "[t]he only reason that's not happening is because some Republicans have decided it's politically profitable to grandstand about health care and female sexuality." Marcotte notes that the "battle over the Affordable Care Act and, specifically, the Medicaid expansion is a classic example" of such showboating, adding that conservatives' refusal to expand Medicaid in many states will leave a hole in the system for a "cohort of women who already struggle to pay" for contraceptive services and supplies (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 10/8).
What others are saying about contraception and the ACA:
~ "Better Access to Contraceptives for Parents Means Better Outcomes for Children," KJ Dell'Antonia, New York Times' "Motherlode."
~ "Most U.S. Women Don't Know Which Types Of Birth Control are the Best at Preventing Pregnancy," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."