April 10, 2014 — Our monthly quote round up compiles notable comments from key stakeholders in women's health. In this edition, we feature quotes on the contraceptive coverage lawsuits before the Supreme Court, dwindling abortion access in Texas and more.
"[O]ne religious group could opt out of this and another religious group could opt out of that and everything would be piecemeal and nothing would be uniform." -- Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, during oral arguments in two businesses' challenges to the federal contraceptive coverage rules (Washington Post, 3/25). Kagan and some other justices questioned whether allowing the businesses to deny contraceptive coverage for religious reasons would open the door to other organizations refusing various types of health coverage (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/26).
"Women may have the right to legal abortion in theory, but in practice, the right is vanishing for many women in Texas." -- Planned Parenthood South Texas spokesperson Mara Posada, noting that only about a half-dozen abortion clinics are expected to be able to comply with Texas' ambulatory surgical center requirements under HB 2 (Reuters, 3/27). However, Planned Parenthood is planning to open a $5 million facility in San Antonio that will comply with the ambulatory surgical center requirements when they take effect on Sept. 1 (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/31).
"Hobby Lobby's CEO wants to deny the company's 13,000 employees access to affordable birth control, while investing in pharmaceutical companies that make it." -- Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, commenting on recent reports that the arts-and-crafts retail chain offers employees a 401(k) retirement plan that invests in companies that manufacture birth control pills and devices, as well as medication abortion drugs (AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/2).
"[I]gnoring the culture in which rapists commit and get away with crimes won't stop rape." -- Feminist author Jessica Valenti in a Washington Post opinion piece, critiquing RAINN's recommendation that the White House avoid using the term "rape culture" (Washington Post, 3/28). Valenti argues, "Talking about rape culture isn't meant to shift focus away from rapists but to paint a fuller picture of how rapists operate and the best ways to stop them" (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/31).
"Now the effort is to simply adopt enough abortion restrictions so that clinics can't keep their doors open and women can't navigate all the legal barriers put in their way" -- Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, on legislation in Louisiana and other states that require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals (Reuters, 3/31). Last week, the Louisiana House passed the measure -- which contains several other abortion restrictions -- and the legislation now heads to the state Senate (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/2).
"Survivors of domestic violence should not have to depend on their abuser to gain access to affordable health care, and I'm glad the Treasury Department will ensure that no longer happens." -- Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), commenting on new guidance from the Treasury Department that allows domestic abuse survivors who live separately from their spouses to file their own tax returns to obtain government subsidies to offset health insurance costs. Slaughter and other lawmakers had raised concerns that a previous requirement for married people to file jointly would endanger spouses who were abused or force them to go without the subsidies (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/27).