August 14, 2015
"Is Defunding Planned Parenthood Against The Law? These States Better Watch Out," Lauren Barbato, Bustle: The U.S. government on Wednesday warned several states working to eliminate Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood "that defunding Planned Parenthood may be a federal violation that comes some with some mighty consequences," Barbato writes. She notes that while New Hampshire's decision to strip state funding for Planned Parenthood "is excused from federal oversight," because its measure does not block Medicaid funding, HHS has "contacted officials in Alabama and Louisiana over the loss of Medicaid funding, noting that canceling their state contracts with Planned Parenthood is a major federal violation." According to Barbato, a CMS "spokesperson said these two states -- and others who are currently thinking about eliminating funding to the family-planning organization -- would be restricting access to much-needed health services provided under Medicaid." She notes, "While New Hampshire may be off the hook (for now), there are several other states ... that need to proceed with caution in the following weeks," including Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. "If states do go ahead and eliminate Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, they would need to hold a federal hearing, which may not bode well for Planned Parenthood foes," she writes, adding that "federal courts have sided with the Obama administration in the past in the cases of Arizona and Indiana, which both failed to strip total funding from Planned Parenthood centers" (Barbato, Bustle, 8/13).
What others are saying about the antiabortion-rights movement:
~ "Why Scientists Are Terrified Of Supporting A Valuable Medical Research Practice," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "Man Who Allegedly Stole Abortion Clinic Signs Charged with Hate Crime," Anna Merlan, Jezebel.
"Alabama, Jane Doe, and the Dangers of Fetus-First Laws," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check: "Every part of" an Alabama inmate's recent attempt to obtain an abortion, "from her initial arrest under Alabama's chemical endangerment statute for reportedly using drugs while pregnant, to the state's unrelenting and coercive campaign to force her to continue her pregnancy even while threatening to terminate Doe's parental rights, is illustrative of what happens when the law prioritizes the potential of fetal life over the actual life of the pregnant person," Mason Pieklo writes. According to Mason Pieklo, the chemical endangerment law under which Doe was arrested is "quickly establishing fetal 'personhood' rights in the state" and has been used to prosecute at least 180 pregnant women or new mothers since its enactment in 2006. In Doe's case, the prosecutors "argued that both Doe's pending charges for endangerment and her request in federal court for a furlough for an abortion was evidence enough that the state should step in and retain custody of Doe's developing pregnancy," Mason Pieklo writes, adding, "This takes the campaign for fetal rights to its most terrifying conclusion." Citing similar efforts in other states, as well a proposed fetal-rights measure (SB 26) in Alabama, Mason Pieklo writes that Doe's case shows how, "if given the opportunity, anti-abortion advocates will try and use the power of the state to strip all reproductive agency from pregnant or potentially pregnant people" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 8/12).