House Drops Affordable Birth Control Measure … I noted in the June 13th roundup that the House of Representatives was debating an amendment to a supplemental war funding bill that would have closed an unintended loophole causing birth control prices, especially for students, to rise sharply over the past two years. The house dropped that measure last Friday, says the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report.
According to CQ Today, the House-approved version of the domestic
package does not include a provision — included in an earlier Senate version of
the war supplemental bill that also contained domestic spending provisions —
that allows pharmaceutical companies to sell deeply discounted birth control
products to college health centers and certain family planning clinics without
impacting the Medicaid drug rebate program. According to House Appropriations
Committee Chair David Obey (D-Wis.), President Bush likely would have vetoed the
package if it included the birth control pricing provision (Higa/Rogin, CQ
Today, 6/19). The dropped provision was modeled after legislation (S
2347) introduced by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in November 2007. The cost of
birth control at college clinics, as well as about 400 community-based family
planning clinics, increased last year as the result of a change included in the
Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, 5/23).
TIME on Pro-choice Women and McCain … TIME Magazine published an article in this week’s edition asking if Pro-choice women will back John McCain.
The article focuses on the polling data that show a big swing from
McCain to Obama when women are informed of Senator McCain’s extreme
right stance on reproductive rights. There’s an interesting tidbit
buried in the article in that Pat Nixon, Betty Ford and Laura Bush have
all expressed pro-choice sentiments despited their husbands’ adamantly
From Pat Nixon, who declared "I believe abortion is a personal choice,"
to Betty Ford, who praised the Supreme Court’s judgment in Roe as "a
great, great decision" to Laura Bush, who on the eve of her husband’s
inauguration said she did not think he would appoint justices who would
overturn Roe, pro-choice wives have long tried to signal to voters that
this particular Republican President would not focus on abortion.
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Obama Warms Up to Women on the Trail … In an ABC News blog Jennifer Duck reports that Senator Obama "made a strong appeal to women" in Albaquerque, NM yesterday.
"Standing here today, I know that we have drawn closer to making this America
because of extraordinary women like the lieutenant governor and the first lady
[of New Mexico, Barbara Richardson] and the extraordinary woman who I shared a
stage with so many times throughout this campaign –- Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton," Obama said to the small roomful of women. "In the months and years
ahead, I look forward to working with her and women across the country to make
progress on the issues that matter to American women and to all American
families -– health care, education, support for working parents and an
insistence on equality."
Meanwhile Michelle Obama attended a luncheon sponsored by National Partnership for Women and Families.
29% of Britain’s Secondary Schools Have On-site Sexual Health Services … A recent survey (PDF) by the National Children’s Bureau in England reveals that 29% or 2,185 schools responding to the survey offer on-site sexual health services to students including offering condoms, pregnancy and STD tests, the morning after pill and counseling and advice. Lucy Emmerson, senior development officer for the Forum, said: “We are
encouraged to find that so many schools are providing sexual health services
on-site as it means that more young people can get help. “Research confirms that the combination of good SRE (sex and relationship
education) in schools, linked to easily accessible, confidential, sexual health
services is key to reducing teenage pregnancy rates and improving sexual