Roundup: HIV Testing for All Women, New Smears Against Obama, Women Try Again for Elected Office

Emily Douglas

New recommendations on HIV testing from ACOG, smears on "infanticide" to hit Obama, and a historic number of women are making second attempts at elected office this year.

New Recommendations from ACOG on HIV Testing
Coming hot on the heels of new data on the prevalence of HIV infection in the African-American community and the announcement that the US HIV infection rate is 40% higher than previously reported, new recommendations issued by ACOG would direct physicians to routinely screen women at 19 to 64 for HIV infection, regardless of individual risk factors. ACOG also recommends "opt-out" testing, in which patients are told that HIV tests will be administered as part of regular care. While patients are given the option to decline, neither signed consent nor HIV counseling are required.

Explaining the recommendations, Denise Jamieson, chair of ACOG’s Committee on Gynecology Practice, said, "Women represent the fastest growing population of persons infected with HIV in this country, and heterosexual transmission has become a much bigger factor."

Opt-out testing might sound like a no-brainer, but as I wrote last September, it’s more complicated than it appears.

Obama Soon to Battle "Infanticide" Charges
Dean Hudson, member of John McCain’s advisory board for Catholic issues, is brewing up a heinous smear against Barack Obama, reports Seth Colter Walls at the Huffington Post. Hudson claims that Obama, in voting against the so-called "Born Alive Infant Protection Act" during his time in Illinois state Senate, essentially supported infanticide. In fact, any infants born alive were and are already protected in Illinois under a bill passed in 1975.

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Hudson has called attention to what he thinks is a comparable bill that passed the US Senate unanimously. But, says Colter Walls, comparing the bills is like comparing "apples to oranges."

Critically, the Illinois version of the bill that Obama opposed was also bundled with other proposals that would have put doctors at risk of prosecution, which led the Illinois State Medical Society to oppose the measure along with Obama. The state bill also carried greater influence in terms of enforcement, since states had been granted greater leeway in regulating abortion practices ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

We have more on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and Obama’s votes, here.

Historic Number of Women Make Second Attempts at Elected Office This Year
Allison Stevens at Women’s eNews takes stock of the record number of female politicians who are taking another shot at elected office in this election cycle. Writes Stevens,

After losing once, running a second race in the same district or state
for the same office may seem futile. But often, a political loss is the
first leg on a longer road to victory, an axiom well understood by male
candidates ranging from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan. Indeed, repeat
candidates often benefit from higher name recognition, established
fundraising networks and experience gained from rookie mistakes.

But this year, sixteen female politicians who lost congressional races in 2006 are giving their campaigns another shot.

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