October 3, 2014 — Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at RH Reality Check, the New Republic and more.
CONTRACEPTION: "Pediatric Academy Encourages IUDs and Implants for Sexually Active Teens," Martha Kempner, RH Reality Check: The American Academy of Pediatrics for the first time "has recommended that pediatricians consider long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs), including [intrauterine devices] and implants ... over other pregnancy prevention methods for sexually active teenage girls," Kemper writes. "IUDs were once thought to be safe only for older women or women who had already had children," but "research in the past decade has found they are safe for women of all ages, including adolescents," Kemper writes, noting that implants are similarly considered "safe for women of all ages." Kemper notes that recommendations also urge pediatricians to "encourage correct use of condoms for every sexual act, even for those adolescents using a LARC method," which "is particularly important because neither the IUD nor the implant prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV" (Kempner, RH Reality Check, 9/30).
What others are saying about contraception:
~ "New Study Shows Free Birth Control Reduces Abortions," Jonathan Cohn, New Republic's "QEDAILY."
ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Abortion Restrictions Can Make it Harder To Leave Violent Relationships: What the New Study Means for Our Current Policy Fights," Sharon Levin, National Women's Law Center: Levin, director of federal reproductive health policy for NWLC, urges readers to use a "first-of-its-kind study that documents the connection between denials of abortion and intimate partner violence" as a tool "in the fight to stop bad abortion laws at the state and federal level." She writes, "The crazy thing is that the anti-reproductive rights lawmakers passing these laws often claim that they are doing it to protect women’s health" while at the same time "taking away [women's] access to health care." The study provides "a unique opportunity to bring attention to the danger abortion restrictions pose to women's lives" because it shows that abortion restrictions not only "harm women's health, but that they are detrimental to all aspects of women's lives and equality," she writes (Levin, National Women's Law Center, 10/2).
HYDE AMENDMENT ANNIVERSARY: "The Growing Push To End a Decades-Old Policy That Denies Women Their Abortion Rights," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": Many people are "surprised to learn" of the existence of laws restricting abortion access for low-income women, Culp-Ressler writes, referring to the Hyde Amendment, which had a 38th anniversary this week. Culp-Ressler explains that Hyde "prevents low-income women from using their Medicaid plans to pay for the procedure, and has spawned similar restrictions banning abortion coverage for government employees, Peace Corps volunteers, federal inmates, military personnel, and Native American women." Abortion coverage bans like Hyde "ultimately prevent some women ... from being able to legally end their pregnancies," she writes, adding that URGE Executive Director Kierra Johnson, Pro-Choice Resources Executive Director Karen Law and the All* Above All campaign are "pressuring elected officials to finally take a stand." They have made inroads with many local elected officials and also gained the support of at least five members of Congress for "rolling back the Hyde Amendment," Culp-Ressler writes (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 9/30).
What others are saying about the Hyde Amendment anniversary:
~ "Another Year With the Hyde Amendment is Another Year Without Justice," Heidi Williamson, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "Hyde Amendment: 38 Year Legacy of Interference With Religious Liberty and Values," Kelli Clement, Huffington Post blogs.
SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: "We Heart: California's Adoption of Affirmative Consent," Kitty Lindsay, Ms. Magazine blog: "In California, yes means yes!" Lindsay writes, noting that Gov. Jerry Brown (D) recently signed "a landmark piece of legislation [SB 967]" that "requires individuals to receive 'an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement' from their partners before engaging in sexual activity." The law "reimagines consent by throwing out the ambiguous and ineffective 'no means no' and replacing it with an active and sex-positive 'yes means yes,'" Lindsay explains. Consequently, "silence or lack of resistance during a sexual encounter ... no longer is a legitimate excuse for unwanted sexual contact," Lindsay writes (Lindsay, Ms. Magazine blog, 9/30).
What others are saying about sexual and gender-based violence:
~ "NFL Meeting With Black Women's Groups on Domestic Violence a 'Productive' Beginning," Mary Curtis, Washington Post's "She The People."
~ "In Annual Statistics, Most Colleges Claim Zero Reported Sex Offenses," Adam Goldstein, Huffington Post blogs.