August 1, 2014 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from The Hill, RH Reality Check and more.
CONTRACEPTION: "The Real Way To Improve Contraceptive Access," Kelly Blanchard et al., The Hill's "Congress Blog": Some Republican lawmakers have "voice[d] support for moving the birth control pill over the counter," but "it's a political maneuver to circumvent the contraceptive coverage guarantee under the Affordable Care Act," according to Blanchard, Daniel Grossman and Britt Wahlin, all of Ibis Reproductive Health. Simply "removing the prescription barrier to birth control is a narrow fix," the authors argue, adding that "cost will continue to be an obstacle for many women" if the pill is not covered by their insurance. "The movement to bring an oral contraceptive over the counter" should be about "increasing access to contraception for all women, not taking contraception out of the political arena or excluding it from insurance coverage," they conclude (Blanchard et al., "Congress Blog," The Hill, 7/30).
What others are saying about contraception:
~ "Hobby Lobby Allegedly Fired Employee Due to Pregnancy," Sofia Resnick, RH Reality Check.
~ "Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Male Justices Don't Understand What Hobby Lobby Meant for Women," Nicole Flatow, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "New Legislation Would Cover Contraception for Military Servicewomen," Emily Crockett, RH Reality Check.
ABORTION RESTRICTIONS AND ACCESS: "Mass. Governor Signs Abortion Clinic Access Bill Into Law," Rachel Walden, Our Bodies Ourselves' "Our Bodies, Our Blog": Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) on Wednesday signed a bill (S 2281) into law "to protect access to health clinics where abortions are performed," Walden writes. The law, which "will be implemented immediately," was "passed quickly through the legislative process following" the Supreme Court decision striking down the state's "buffer zone" law, which the "[j]ustices said ... went too far in restricting free speech," Walden explains. "Under the new law, protesters may not block access to a clinic entrance or driveway," and it "prohibits the use of force, physical act or threat of force to injure or intimidate someone attempting to enter or leave a reproductive health care facility," she adds (Walden, "Our Bodies, Our Blog," OurBodies, Ourselves, 7/30).
What others are saying about abortion restrictions and access:
~ "Good News: Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic Can Remain Open," Callie Beusman, Jezebel.
~ "Putting More Restrictions on Abortions Doesn't Magically Inspire Women To Embrace Their Pregnancies," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor."
ABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "'It's Hard for Them To Accept That I Do Abortions Because I'm a Christian,'" Maya Dusenbery, Feministing: Willie Parker is "one of the two doctors who flies in from out-of-state to work at Mississippi's sole embattled abortion clinic," and his "decision to become an abortion provider is deeply rooted in his Christian faith," Dusenbery writes. She recommends and excerpts a recent Esquire profile that describes Parker as a practical physician who gave up a "'fancy career to become an abortion provider.'" The profile "captures Dr. Parker's motivation for doing this work and the great care and empathy he brings to it," Dusenbery writes (Dusenbery, Feministing, 7/31).
What others are saying about the abortion-rights movement:
~ "We're Fighting for Access, Not Choice," Dawn Laguens, Huffington Post blog.
SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: "Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Address Campus Sexual Assault," Crockett, RH Reality Check: "A bipartisan group of eight senators introduced legislation [S 2692] on Wednesday that aims to improve how college campuses respond to sexual assault," Crockett writes. According to the senators, "the bill is necessary because one in five college women experience sexual assault, and young women are more likely to be sexually assaulted if they are in college than if they are not," Crockett adds. She notes that too often, college sexual assault "survivors are re-traumatized ... because colleges fail to take their claims seriously or do enough to address them" (Crockett, RH Reality Check, 7/30).
What others are saying about sexual and gender-based violence:
~ "Why Do We Still Insist Women Share Responsibility for 'Provoking' Their Abuse?" Syreeta McFadden, Feministing.
~ "Gripping New Ad Shows What Happens When You Mix Guns With Domestic Violence," Flatow, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "Meet Carolina, Who Brought Her Daughters 1,500 Miles to the U.S. So They Wouldn't Be Raped," Jack Jenkins/Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES: "Moms Leave the Workforce Because They're Rational Actors, Not Maternal Softies," Jessica Grose, Slate's "XX Factor": "There's an insidious undercurrent of thought in the American corporate world" that "[m]others just don't make good workers" because "[t]heir brains get hormonally addled when they have children, and they take their eyes off the prize and onto their newborns," Grose writes, adding that similar thinking also "often lurks behind public discussions" about the issue. "But the truth is women are rational economic actors, just like men are," she continues, adding that new research shows "that women who get paid maternity leave are less likely to leave their jobs." Grose explains that "more American women are knocked out of the workforce when they have biological children: not because of some magical mind-meld between mother and child, but because having a baby is exhausting and requires a measure of physical recovery," meaning that women have "to take a break ... whether it's paid or not, while a male partner can get by without time off unless he's paid to take it" (Grose, "XX Factor," Slate, 7/29).
What others are saying about supporting working families:
~ "Congress Should Explore Greater Flexibility in the Workplace," Bradford Fitch, Roll Call.