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January 10, 2014

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"Judge to Texas Women: Living 150 Miles From an Abortion Clinic is No Big Deal if You Drive Fast," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": During oral arguments in a lawsuit over a Texas antiabortion-rights law (HR 2), Judge Edith Jones' comment "suggesting that every woman who needs to get to an abortion clinic has access to a car that can zip along the highway at 75 miles an hour is a fundamental misunderstanding of the current landscape in Texas -- as well as in other states across the country," Culp-Ressler writes. She notes that 42% of U.S. women "who seek abortions have incomes that fall below the federal poverty line" and cites studies in Texas that show "the state's mandatory waiting period already puts an emotional and financial burden on women who can't afford to spend any extra time and money on their health care." She writes that while "[t]hese economically disadvantaged women don't exist in Jones' world ... [t]hey are the ones who will bear the brunt of Texas' ongoing push to restrict reproductive rights" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 1/7).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions: ~ "AFJ Releases Report on How Supreme Court Justices View Reproductive Rights," Alliance for Justice.

~ "3 Offensive Things Said by Texas Judges Who Will Rule on Abortion Access," Robin Marty, Care2.

~ "How Deeply Flawed Studies on Abortion and Breast Cancer Become Anti-Choice Fodder," Joyce Arthur, RH Reality Check.

~ "We're Finally Getting a Little Closer To Repealing the Hyde Amendment," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."

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"Salon's Guide To Convincing Free-Market Ideologues To Support Reproductive Rights," Katie McDonough, Salon: Proponents of free-market economics, such as the Club for Growth and "billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch," claim "not to care about" abortion rights and "other 'cultural' issues" because they "are too busy pushing the virtues of the free market," McDonough writes. However, she notes that a Capital Times investigation published Wednesday revealed that "the Club has been funding major players in the anti-choice movement in Wisconsin since at least 2011," while a recent Politico piece found "an expansive network of financial ties between Koch-monied Freedom Partners and groups that work exclusively on restricting abortion and access to contraception." McDonough argues that free-market groups should support reproductive rights, given how "robust support for women's ability to control their own fertility has been shown to have a close correlation with the kinds of economic benefits free market evangelists are obsessed with," such as expanded work force participation, increased disposable income and reduced reliance on public aid (McDonough, Salon, 1/9).

What others are saying about politics and elections:

~ "7 Pro-Choice State Lawmakers To Watch in 2014," Ali Tweedt, NARAL Pro-Choice America's "Blog for Choice."

~ "Republicans and Their Female Troubles," Ruth Rosen, Huffington Post blogs.

FEATURED BLOG

"REPORT: The United States Scores a Measly C- on Reproductive Health Care," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": A new report from the Population Institute found that the U.S. "barely earns a passing grade on several measures of reproductive health care," Culp-Ressler writes, noting that 13 states received failing grades that dragged "the average score for the entire nation down to an unimpressive 'C minus.'" The report found the U.S. at a "'historic crossroads' when it comes to reproductive health" because just as the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) stands to expand Medicaid eligibility and lower the cost of contraceptive coverage, "fierce state-level attacks on family planning programs and abortion clinics are putting health care out of reach for many women," Culp-Ressler explains. Although states have rapidly imposed new abortion restrictions in recent years, "[f]ortunately, in recent months, some state lawmakers have demonstrated an increased willingness to turn the tide on issues of reproductive health, arguing for access to abortion within the larger context of policies to advance gender equality," Culp-Ressler concludes (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 1/9).