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Blogs Comment on 'Extreme' Mo. Bill, Pregnant Workers' Rights, More

Blogs Comment on 'Extreme' Mo. Bill, Pregnant Workers' Rights, More

June 3, 2014 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from Salon, the American Prospect and more.

ABORTION PROVIDERS: "It's OK To Like an Abortion Clinic," Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon: Williams writes about an antiabortion-rights group's "outrage" over the upbeat, "approachable" social media presence of a New York abortion clinic, called Bronx Abortion, adding that some people "would prefer women and girls have their constitutional rights served up with a side of mortification." The clinic features a "distinctively friendly Facebook presence," Twitter account and Web page, which detail the services offered at the facility, including abortion care for teenage patients, Williams writes. She adds that while "it may be a handy tool of abortion opponents to perpetuate the idea that women who have abortions are filled with regret and shame and feel that God is punishing them, in a community [such as the Bronx] that's actually affected by issues of poverty and pregnancy, it's encouraging to see abortion instead treated as something that doesn't have to be scary or traumatic" (Williams, Salon, 5/30).

What others are saying about abortion providers:

~ "5 Years After Dr. Tiller's Death, It's Still Dangerous To Be an Abortion Doctor," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."

~ "Legal Wrap: Targeting Abortion Providers, and the Legacy of Dr. Tiller's Murder," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check.

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Why You Should Be Worried About Missouri's Extreme Abortion Bill," Andy Kopsa, American Prospect: "Missouri is poised to join Utah and South Dakota to become [the] third state to implement a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion," Kopsa writes, adding that the bill (HB 1307) "could effectively end access to safe, legal abortion in the state." Kopsa notes that bill was passed after floor debates in both chambers that "have followed the norm in the ongoing war on women," including arguments from state House Speaker Tim Jones (R) about the "coming 'demographic winter' -- the dwindling of humankind to zero." Kopsa says although Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has might veto it, the bill will likely become law because "anti-choice forces in the legislature are believed to have the votes to overturn a veto" (Kopsa, American Prospect, 6/2).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "Anti-Abortion Protesters are Coming to a Hospital Near You," Robin Marty, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."

~ "Repro Wrap: Lies, Damned Lies and Abortion Trials," Marty, Care2.

WORKPLACE POLICIES: "5 Ways To Deal With a Pregnant Employee Without Getting Sued," Tom Spiggle, Huffington Post blogs: Spiggle, whose law firm focuses on workplace law, and discrimination cases related to pregnancy or family-care, shares "five steps an employer can take to make the company operate more efficiently, put a pregnant employee at ease, and avoid a lawsuit." Spiggle recommends that employers "[k]now which laws apply to" their companies and have written policies on "what type of benefits, if any, [they] will offer" to pregnant employees. However, they should "[d]isregard" their policies if a "pregnant employee" has pregnancy complications that a doctor says require special workplace accommodations. In addition, employers should talk to pregnant employees and treat them normally, while being mindful that they do not "patronize" pregnant workers (Spiggle, Huffington Post blogs, 6/2).

What others are saying about workplace policies:

~ "Pregnant and Job-Hunting: How To Land Your Next Dream Job," Leah Yomtovian Roush, Huffington Post blogs.

TRANSGENDER HEALTH: "Medicare Can Now Cover Surgical Procedures for Transgender People," Emily Crockett, RH Reality Check: "Transgender people seeking surgery as a part of their transition-related health care can no longer automatically be rejected by Medicare" according to an HHS appeals board ruling issued on Friday, Crockett writes. She continues, "The board ruled that Medicare's 33-year-old ban on covering sex-reassignment surgery is unreasonable, based on outdated and biased science, and contrary to contemporary medical care standards." Crockett notes that because "private insurers and state-run Medicaid programs often take their cue from the federal government on which services to cover, transgender people may eventually see their options for coverage increase" (Crockett, RH Reality Check, 6/2).

What others are saying about transgender health:

~ "Medicare Ban on Transgender Healthcare Overturned!" Jos Truitt, Feministing.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: "It's Time for Men To Stand Up and Fight Domestic Violence," Dean Obeidallah, Daily Beast: After Obeidallah tweeted "3 women are killed every day in the US by domestic violence. Who is killing them? It is us men. #YesAllWomen," in response to "the Santa Barbara killer's misogynistic manifesto," he was "immediately bombarded with angry tweets from outraged men," he writes. Obeidallah continues, "Here's my plea to my fellow men regardless of your political leanings: Please don't be defensive when the issue of domestic violence is raised," adding that men "must accept that it is us, men, who abuse one woman every 15 seconds" and "truly have no idea the extent of domestic violence that women endure on a daily basis." He concludes, "Collectively, [men's] actions will not only change cultural norms but they could save the lives of women across our nation -- including the life of your own wife, girlfriend or daughter" (Obeidallah, Daily Beast, 6/1).

What others are saying about violence against women:

~ "Somaly Mam, This is What a Real Trafficking Victim Says," Michael Daly, Daily Beast.

~ "Why Aren't We Doing More To Keep Women Safe From Gun Violence?" Shannon Watts, Huffington Post blogs.

~ "12 Reasons We Need #YesAllWomen," Nile Cappello, Huffington Post blogs.

GLOBAL: "Iran's Focus on Increasing Population Could Damage Women's Rights," Callie Beusman, Jezebel: Critics of Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's "14-point plan dedicated to combating the country's declining birth rate" are concerned that it "could restrict access to contraception and harm women's rights," Beusman writes, noting that the government has already cut funding for contraception and replaced birth control education with classes that emphasize marriage and having more children. According to the London Guardian, "reformists fear this move away from family planning policies could 'undermine the position of women in a country where 60% of university students are female but only 12.4% of the workforce is,'" Beusman continues. She quotes Farzaneh Roudi of the Population Reference Bureau, who said a better way to improve the Iranian economy would be to increase women's participation in the workforce (Beusman, Jezebel, 5/30).

What others are saying about global issues:

~ "5 Must-See Updates on the Mother Sentenced to Death in the Sudan," Steve Williams, Care2.