Roundup: ‘Pro-lifer’ Endorses Obama, ‘Pro-life’ Pharmacies on the Rise

Brady Swenson

Pro-life Catholic denied communion for Obama endorsement, 'Pro-life' pharmacies don't carry contraception, PEPFAR could be stalled in Senate.

Pro-life Catholic Denied Communion for Endorsing Obama Last week Senator Obama held a meeting to discuss faith and related issues with leaders in the field.  At that meeting Steve Strang, founder of Charisma magazine, declared Obama to be "more centrist" on the issue of abortion that he had anticipated. Doug Kmeic, a ‘pro-life’ professor at Pepperdine University, was at the same meeting. He writes in today’s Chicago Tribune that he is endorsing Barack Obama over John McCain because he was convinced that Obama is sincere in his desire to limit abortion and is correct in his approach to limiting abortion: encouraging "responsible sexual behavoir" through education and honest openess about sex. Kmiec was denied communion by a Catholic priest after endorsing Senator Obama.  So, no shock to many of our readers, but there does seem to be some middle ground on this issue afterall!  

The Rise of ‘Pro-life Pharmacies’ The Washington Post reports today that a pharmacy opening in Virginia this summer will be a ‘pro-life pharmacy’ meaning it will not dispense any contraceptives and that this Virgina pharmacy is one of a "growing number" of such pharmacies around the country.

The pharmacy is one of a small but growing number of drugstores around the
country that have become the latest front in a conflict pitting patients’ rights
against those of health-care workers who assert a "right of conscience" to
refuse to provide care or products that they find objectionable.

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California, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington state recently began requiring
pharmacies to fill all prescriptions or help women fill them elsewhere, and at
least another 10 states are considering such requirements. But some states
exempt pharmacies that do not generally stock contraceptives, and it is unclear
how other existing rules and laws and those being considered would apply to
those pharmacies.

The Shifting Reproductive Rights Debate, Contraception the New Target Vanessa Valenti of
Feministing has a must-read piece today on AlterNet
.  The anti-choice
movement is quickly becoming more and more anti-contraception.  Nearly
all American women use contraception at some point in their lives yet
members of the anti-contraception movement are trying to make access to
contraception more difficult and their efforts are beginning to
work as low-income women and students are starting to have serious
trouble acquiring birth control.

For the last three and a half decades, the big battle in women’s health has been
abortion. Anti-choice activists attack Roe v. Wade at every turn and
purposefully chip away at abortion rights. But as anti-choice groups expand
their net to oppose basic birth control, they have a helping hand in the myriad
political, financial and practical access issues that American women face in
trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

While the anti-choice movement and its allies in office attack reproductive
rights through policy, and while legislation like the Deficit Reduction Act
jacks up birth control prices, what goes unnoticed is the fact that many
American women are fighting a battle on the ground — in their everyday lives —
in a struggle to simply acquire appropriate reproductive health care.

PEPFAR Update Kaiser Network reports that the $50 billion President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief may not reach a vote on the Senate floor this year. Senate Republicans led by Senator Tom Coburn are working to block the bill because they are "opposed to the legislation’s cost and "mission creep" into
health and development efforts." Senate Democrats led by Senator Harry Reid are reportedly not motivated to pass the legislation for several political reasons:

"it would give [President] Bush an item for his legacy on his way out of
office," according to some advocates. "There’s no political win for (Reid) if it
passes," one advocate said.

Some international reproductive health groups, which are upset that the
legislation does not link family planning programs and HIV prevention, have said
it would be better to pass PEPFAR reauthorization legislation next year when
there is a new administration.

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