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Blogs Comment on 'Bad Medicine' of State Abortion Restrictions, Paid Leave, More

Blogs Comment on 'Bad Medicine' of State Abortion Restrictions, Paid Leave, More

July 15, 2014 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from "ThinkProgress," MSNBC and more.

PROTECTING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: "How Bad Medicine is Sweeping the Country, One State at a Time," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": "[A] wave of anti-choice legislation has completely reoriented the women's health landscape, ensuring that medical professionals are forced to ignore their best judgment in order to remain compliant with the law, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families," Culp-Ressler writes. The report focuses on four types of laws that have no scientific justification, including "unnecessary ultrasound requirements, biased counseling sessions, mandatory waiting periods, and regulations on the abortion pill," Culp-Ressler explains. According to the report, 33 states have adopted at least one of these laws, while 16 have passed all four types (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/14).

What others are saying about protecting reproductive rights:

~ "An Opportunity for Congress To Stand Up for Women," Nancy Northup, MSNBC.

~ "Map of the Day: 'Bad Medicine' Laws Undermine Reproductive Health Care Across the Country," Maya Dusenbery, Feministing.

~ "Should Abortion Be 'Rare'?'" Fran Moreland Johns, Huffington Post blogs.

SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES: "Why Does the U.S. Rank Dead Last in Paid Time Off for New Parents?" Judy Molland, Care2: The "U.S. is the last remaining industrialized nation to offer only unpaid parental leave to workers," Molland writes, citing a chart on the parental leave policies of 38 industrialized nations that was compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The U.S., along with Mexico, offers certain workers 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave, "which is the smallest amount of leave protection related to the birth of a child among these 38 countries," Molland adds. However, 63% of U.S. residents support the idea of parental leave, according to a 2012 report. Molland writes, "The U.S. needs to get in line with the rest of the industrialized world" (Molland, Care2, 7/14).

What others are saying about supporting working families:

~ "EEOC to Employers: Stop Discriminating Against Pregnant Workers," Brigid Schulte/Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post's "She The People."

CRIMINALIZING PREGNANCY: "Tennessee Arrests First Mother Under Its New Pregnancy Criminalization Law," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": Culp-Ressler discusses the case of 26-year-old Mallory Loyola who is "the first woman to be arrested under a new law [SB 1391] in Tennessee that allows the state to criminally charge mothers for potentially causing harm to their fetuses by using drugs." The measure took effect this month and "stipulates that 'a woman may be prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if her child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug.'" However, Culp-Ressler explains that "this may not actually apply to Loyola's case" because there is no evidence that Loyola "either used a narcotic drug or caused harm to her newborn child" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/11).

What others are saying about criminalizing pregnancy:

~ "Rick Perry’s 'Pro-Life' Hypocrisy: How Texas Puts Pregnant Women at Risk," Katie McDonough, Salon.

~ "Pregnant Texas Woman Denied Methadone Treatment in Jail Released to Home Monitoring," Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check.

ANTIABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "Repro Wrap: Anti-Abortion Activists Lose Eugenics Talking Point and Other News," Robin Marty, Care2: While antiabortion-rights activists claim that "[a]bortion providers prey on communities of color" and use "birth control and abortion as a eugenics plot," new research from the Guttmacher Institute shows that "abortion clinics actually aren't more prevalent in minority communities," Marty writes. The report found that fewer than one in 10 abortion providers are located in areas where the majority of residents are black, while about 13% are located in areas with mostly Hispanic residents (Marty, Care2, 7/11).

SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: "Ronald Lee Haskell Has a History of Domestic Violence. How Did He Get a Gun?" Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor": Marcotte discusses the case of Ronald Lee Haskell, who "allegedly broke into his former sister-in-law's home in Spring, Texas and killed her, her husband, and four of her five children." She notes that media coverage of the event suggests that "the spree appears to have been Haskell's attempt to get revenge on his ex-wife's family." Marcotte continues, "To no one's great surprise, Haskell had been arrested for domestic violence in 2008, and his ex-wife filed a protective order against him in 2013." According to Marcotte, the events "lea[d] to the question: Considering the laws put in place, both on federal and state levels, to prevent domestic abusers from getting guns, how did Haskell get one?" (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 7/11).

What others are saying about sexual and gender-based violence:

~ "There is No Such Thing as a 'Classic Rapist,'" Ximena Ramirez, Care2.

~ "People are Awful: #JusticeForJada Leads to More Cyberbullying and Hobart and William Smith Colleges' Football Priorities," Viv Smythe, Feministe.