July 22, 2014 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from "ThinkProgress," "The XX Factor" and more.
ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Half of Texas' Abortion Clinics Are Gone," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": The number of abortion clinics in Texas "has been cut in half over the past year, dropping from 41 to just 20" under a "stringent package [HB 2] of abortion restrictions" that was approved in 2013, according to a report from Houston Public Media, Culp-Ressler writes. She writes that many of those clinics "were forced out of business because they can't comply with the new law, which requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges from local hospitals" and that just six clinics are expected to be able to comply with a provision of the law that takes effect in September, requiring clinics "to bring their facilities in line with the building codes for ambulatory surgical centers." The "crisis won't be contained within Texas' borders," Culp-Ressler writes, noting that "[o]ther anti-choice lawmakers have followed in Texas' footsteps and proposed the exact same type of laws in their own states" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/18).
What others are saying about abortion restrictions:
~ "The People of Color Activists Whose Voices Are Too Often Missing From Stories Abortion Texas' 'Orange Army,'" Shailey Gupta-Brietzke, RH Reality Check.
~ "A New Abortion Rights Bill Could Help Decide the Midterms," Robin Marty, Care2.
~ "The Women's Health Protection Act: Protecting Women's Right to Choose," Ashley Bender, NWLC blog.
~ "What The Abortion Fight Unfolding in Tennessee Means for the Rest of the Country," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
PREGNANCY AND FERTILITY: "Hey Republicans, Here's How To Help Babies Who Haven't Been Born Yet," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": "Pro-life politicians talk a lot about unborn children," typically focusing on abortion policy and "efforts to dissuade women from ending their pregnancies," Culp-Ressler writes, noting that a new study shows there is a "different policy area that GOP lawmakers could be considering": Medicaid expansion. The study, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, tracked states' varying levels of Medicaid expansion during the 1980s, finding that infants born after their mothers gained Medicaid coverage became healthier adults, having lower rates of obesity and BMI and fewer preventable hospital visits. Culp-Ressler notes that "more than 20 GOP-controlled states continue to resist implementing" the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) Medicaid expansion, "leaving millions of low-income Americans without any access to affordable insurance whatsoever" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgess," Center for American Progress, 7/18).
What others are saying about pregnancy and fertility:
~ "My Fertility Envy," Susie Meserve, Salon.
~ "Why Are Poor Women Having Healthier Babies?" Jessica Grose, Slate's "The XX Factor."
'BUFFER ZONE' LEGISLATION: "Repro Wrap: Massachusetts Gets Harsh With Abortion Protesters and Other News," Marty, Care2: "Massachusetts may have lost its buffer zone law thanks to a 9-0 decision by the Supreme Court, but the state, its governor, and its attorney general aren't willing to let that loss go quietly," writes Marty. She adds that the governor has proposed a new bill "to combat harassment at clinics" by "allowing police to have more power to disperse groups impeding an entrance way and forcing protesters to stay away longer once they have been accused of blocking a patient or a vehicle." Marty writes that while abortion-rights opponents might try to bring the proposed law to court if enacted, doing so will "make it clear that their intention was never about 'counseling'" but instead "to block the entry way and harass patients and staff." Marty also touches on similar legislative efforts in New York and New Hampshire, among other measures related to abortion rights (Marty, Care2, 7/18).
SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES: "Finally, Better Protections for Pregnant Workers," Ms. Magazine blog: "Many women nationwide ... are forced to take unpaid leave or leave their jobs altogether during pregnancy," Ms. Magazine writes, adding that "[p]regnancy discrimination complaints in the U.S. increased by 71 percent between 1992 and 2011." In response, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week released new pregnancy discrimination guidelines. "[S]ome company managers claim that they're unsure how federal laws apply to their workers," the blog post notes, adding that the guidelines "make it clear that an employer cannot discriminate against a worker because she is pregnant or has recently given birth, and cannot force a pregnant woman to take early leave if she is still able to work." Overall, "[i]n updating its policies, the EEOC hopes to provide clarity" (Ms. Magazine blog, 7/18).
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: "Saying That a Killer 'Snapped' is not an Explanation for Domestic Violence," Libby Copeland, Washington Post's "She The People": Copeland writes that most "of the language the media uses to explain domestic homicides falls short -- or worse, makes the murders seem less shocking by rationalizing them," and she highlights various recent cases in which "reporters frame such murders in the language of romance." For example, it took only two days for an "Alaska TV station" to "gathe[r] the observations of childhood friends" of Ronald Lee Haskell, who was "accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family in Texas this month," describing him "as funny, compassionate and religiously devout" and saying he "'must have snapped.'" Copeland notes that the manner in which the media "frame[s] such crimes affects how" the public comprehends them. She concludes, "Reporters don't do readers a service by painting a portrait of a normal, even-tempered guy who was like any one of us, until he wasn't." Instead, they should highlight that domestic violence is "not a crime of passion, but in many ways the opposite" (Copeland, "She The People," Washington Post, 7/21).
What others are saying about gender-based violence:
~ "Most Female Scientists Are Sexually Harassed on the Job," Kevin Mathews, Care2.