Roundup: McCain Squirms in Silence on Birth Control Question

Brady Swenson

Watch video of McCain squirming for eight long seconds in response to a birth control question, Birth control prices continue to rise, Catching up on RH issues in Latin America.

McCain Squirms in Silence When Asked About Insurance Coverage for Viagra and Birth Control … A reporter following up on yesterday’s story that McCain adviser Carly Fiorina is not happy about the fact that health insurance is required to cover Viagra but not birth control asked if McCain still stands behind his 2003 Nay vote on a bill that would require coverage for birth control.  McCain’s eight full seconds of silent agony are downright hilarious and quite sad actually:

The Wall Street Journal provides context for the video:

When McCain was asked for his position on the issue, he said–with a
nervous laugh-"I certainly do not want to discuss that issue."

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The reporter pressed. "But apparently you’ve voted against–"

"I don’t know what I voted," McCain said.

The reporter explained that McCain voted against a bill in 2003 that
would have required health insurance companies to cover prescription
birth control. "Is that still your position?" she persisted.

During the awkward exchange, with several lengthy pauses, McCain
said he had no immediate knowledge of the vote. "I’ve cast thousands of
votes in the Senate," McCain said, then continued: "I will respond
to–it’s a, it’s a…"

"Delicate issue," the reporter offered, to a relieved laugh from McCain.

"I don’t usually duck an issue, but I’m–I’ll try to get back to you," he explained.

Legislative Birth Control Pricing Oversight Continues to Cause Prices to Rise and Access to Fall … The fact that a loophole in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act is causing birth control prices to rise and access for students and low-income women to fall has been known for a while now. The initial effects were felt primarily by college students and The Daily Pennsylvanian has a good writeup on how the loophole is affecting birth control prices for low-income women who depend on reasonably priced birth control from community clinics.

Latin American RH Roundup … Brazillian lawmakers voted down a bill that would have decriminalized abortion in the country:  

A committee in Brazil’s
lower house of Congress voted down a bill that would have legalized
abortion in the world’s most populous Roman Catholic nation. The
Justice and Constitution Committee voted 57-to-4 against the bill,
which had been stuck in Congress for 17 years. It is now likely to be
shelved. Several ruling party legislators pushed the bill after Health
Minister José Temporao last year all but endorsed legalizing abortion.

Human Rights Watch released a new report detailing the Peruvian government’s deliberate refusal to streamline procedures and
approve guidelines for legal abortion:

Women and girls confronting pregnancies that could kill or permanently harm
them are refused legal abortions, or don’t even know they have a right to get
one,” said Angela Heimburger, a women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch
and author of the report. “The government not only has an obligation to raise
awareness about the right to safe, dignified and affordable legal abortions, but
it should make getting the procedure as painless as possible.

A new CDC study reports a high rate of preventable cervical cancer occurring throughout Latin America and the Caribbean:

Because too few cases are detected early, it is a common cause of cancer death.
In the United States, where Pap smears are a routine part of medical care paid
for by health insurance, just 2.5 percent of all cancer deaths among women are
cervical cancer. In Haiti, 49 percent are.

The countries with the highest
rates were Haiti, Bolivia, Paraguay, Belize, Peru, Guyana, Nicaragua, El
Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela.

A vaccine that prevents infection by
the most dangerous strains of the virus costs $360 in the United States, far
more than the health systems of most Latin American countries can afford.


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