October 9, 2015 — Media outlets and key stakeholders in women's health denounce Planned Parenthood allegations, discuss the motivation behind #ShoutYourAbortion and more.
"Planned Parenthood policies not only comply with, but indeed go beyond the requirements of the law. The outrageous accusations leveled against Planned Parenthood, based on heavily doctored videos, are offensive and categorically untrue." -- Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in testimony before a House committee investigating her organization following a series of misleading videos (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/30).
"I set up #ShoutYourAbortion because I am not sorry and I will not whisper." -- Lindy West, on the #ShoutYourAbortion social media campaign she launched with two other women that encourages women to share their abortion stories (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/25). The campaign was launched to coincide with House votes on bills that would restrict abortion care and Planned Parenthood funding. Since the launch of the campaign, another founder, Amelia Bonow, has received online threats and has had to go into hiding (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/2).
"[W]e are carrying the message we will not tolerate further infringement of a constitutionally protected right to abortion care." -- Ohio Rep. Greta Johnson (D), on six bills she introduced with other state lawmakers that would reverse several antiabortion-rights measures and expand abortion access in the state. Johnson said while the bills are unlikely to pass the state's conservative Legislature, they were introduced to represent women in Ohio who support abortion rights (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/1).
"The men and women of Arkansas need to realize that there are a lot of people in this country who have made it their goal to overturn Roe v. Wade and take away the ability of a woman to make decisions about her own personal, private health care, and that it is a very real threat." -- Rita Sklar, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, on Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's (R) decision to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that part of a state law (Act 301) banning abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/24).
"We commend every senator who stood up to the extremists trying to pass a national 20-week abortion ban this morning -- the latest attack in an onslaught of legislation designed to put abortion care out of reach for women." -- Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, on a Senate vote blocking a bill (HR 36) that would have banned most abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/22).
"While the pope's announcement has been hailed as evidence of the church's new, softer approach, it's actually the latest example of the modern anti-abortion strategy: Portray women as victims who need to be protected from themselves with laws that restrict abortion rights." -- Columnist Jill Filipovic, in a New York Times opinion piece on Pope Francis' announcement that, "for a year, beginning in December, women who had terminated pregnancies could be granted forgiveness from Roman Catholic priests, instead of facing potential excommunication." She adds, "Rather than a step forward for women, it's a public relations move that covers for the real problems the church's anti-contraception and anti-abortion positions cause women around the world" (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/11).
"Every pregnant woman who enters an emergency room should be guaranteed that she will get the care she needs, and should not have to worry that she won't get appropriate care because of the hospital's religious affiliation." -- Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, on ACLU's lawsuit against a Catholic health system for denying appropriate emergency care to patients experiencing incomplete miscarriages. Catholic hospitals, under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, are prohibited from performing sterilizations, abortions and certain other procedures (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/2).
"Whether it happens here or abroad, denying a woman the right to choose what's best for her own body is a human rights violation." -- columnist Nathalie Baptiste in an opinion piece for Foreign Policy in Focus, marking Sept. 28, the day of action for abortion-rights supporters around the world. Citing the Helms amendment, Baptiste writes, "Even women who live in countries where abortion is legal often face obstacles to obtaining safe abortions -- thanks, in part, to the United States" (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/6).
"As all of the other seven courts of appeals to address this issue have held, the contraceptive accommodation process strikes the proper balance between ensuring women have equal access to health care and protecting religious beliefs." -- A spokesperson for the Obama administration, on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in favor of several not-for-profits that claimed the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) contraceptive coverage rules violated their religious rights. The 8th Circuit's decisions counter all other rulings issued by circuit courts on the contraceptive coverage rules and make it more likely that the Supreme Court will review the issue (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/21).