December 8, 2015 — Read the week's best commentary from bloggers at Huffington Post blogs, Bustle and more.
CLINIC VIOLENCE: "What the Planned Parenthood Shooting Means for Medicine," Tehreem Rehman, Huffington Post blogs: "The horrific shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs that left three dead serves as a stark reminder of the grave consequences of inflammatory politic rhetoric and poor legislation," writes Rehman, a medical student at Yale University and Johns Hopkins University. Rehman puts the shooting in the context of a recent report that analyzes how laws that interfere with the patient-provider relationship "prevent doctors from executing their professional and ethical duty to provide evidence-based care to patients, cripple their ability to protect the safety of their patients, and undermine the necessary trust in patient-provider relationships." According to Rehman, the report "focus[es] on three issue areas: the clinical management of toxic exposures, reproductive health, and gun safety." She cites the portion related to reproductive health, which found "that states have enacted more than 280 restrictions on abortion," including laws that "undermine true informed consent" and "coerce providers to go against their medical judgment." Rehman writes, "Ultimately, these laws hinder physicians' ethical and professional duty to care for their patients in a manner that is based on mutual trust and is reflective of the most recent clinical evidence." She adds that such laws undermine her efforts as a medical student to learn "how to conduct effective, patient-centered interviews," and bring to light the need for all medical students to learn "the tenets of advocacy." According to Rehman, "There is much work that needs to be done but as medical students we can start pushing for necessary change right now through methods such as curricular reform, writing to inform and influence public opinion, and participating in local and national advocacy days" (Rehman, Huffington Post blogs, 12/4).
What others are saying about clinic violence:
~ "Domestic Terror Against Healthcare Providers," Aurea Bolaños Perea, National Organization for Women's "Say It Sister!"
~ "Why the Planned Parenthood Shooting Was Always About Black Lives," Sesali B., Feministing.
~ "When Did We Have To Start Praying for Access To Healthcare?" Lori Bertman, Huffington Post blogs.
ABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "Amelia Bonow, Founder of #ShoutYourAbortion, on Taking Talking About Abortion Beyond the Internet," Danielle Campoamor, Bustle: Campoamor writes about her interview with Amelia Bonow, who co-founded #ShoutYourAbortion, "a viral social media campaign and subsequent reproductive rights movement that encouraged women to discuss their experiences of abortion online -- without the shame or guilt that women are often expected to express when discussing the procedure." During the interview, Bonow discussed how the tweet in which she disclosed that she had an abortion "was perceived by culture at large as a revolutionary way for someone to talk" because, for her, the abortion experience "was 'no big deal' -- both in terms of the circumstances surrounding it and [her] emotional reaction to it." Bonow also discussed her plans for the growth of the movement. According to Campoamor, "Bonow has put grad school on hold and quit her bartending job to devote all of her time, energy, and resources to developing #ShoutYourAbortion into a full-fledged movement, 'dedicated to destigmatizing abortion through dialogue and storytelling.'" As part of the campaign, Bonow has launched a website featuring "videos of women telling their abortion stories" and is working with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands "to orchestrate a major national event, called 'It's Our Right: Roe v. Wade at 43.'" The event, which is scheduled to take place on Jan. 22, 2016, "will gather women from around the country, in all fifty states, to talk about abortion," Campoamor writes (Campoamor, Bustle, 12/4).
What others are saying about the abortion-rights movement:
~ "Want To Make Buying Guns Hard? Make It as Tough as Getting an Abortion," Abby Haglage, Daily Beast.
ANTIABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "Six Months of Fury: Attacks on Planned Parenthood See Sharp Increase After Misinformation Campaign," Kanya D'Almeida, RH Reality Check: D'Almeida writes about how "anti-choice crusaders" have capitalized on a series of misleading videos from the Center for Medical Progress targeting Planned Parenthood, in order "to drum up opposition towards the health-care provider." D'Almeida outlines "many recent violent attacks" against clinics "that culminated last [month] in the carnage at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs." According to D'Almeida, the financial costs associated with these instances of clinic violence "come at a time when [conservative] lawmakers are doing their utmost to break the spine of Planned Parenthood" by pushing to defund the organization at state and national levels. She cites a timeline tracking the escalation of anti-choice rhetoric from the release of the CMP videos, until last week's Senate decision to defund Planned Parenthood. D'Almedia writes, "Reproductive health-care providers across the country are united in their belief that CMP's smear campaign, and the subsequent legislative and political attacks on Planned Parenthood -- from the federal level down to the local level -- are responsible for the surge in violence." Nonetheless, she notes that "patients and providers say the incidents have only strengthened their determination to keep clinics open, and continue to access necessary care" (D'Almeida, RH Reality Check, 12/7).