Roundup: Melody Barnes on HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence Against Military Spouses

Emily Douglas

Obama economic advisor Melody Barnes outspoken on HIV/AIDS; New York Times highlights domestic violence against military spouses; was Kansas abortion provider George Tiller trapped?

Obama Economic Advisor Melody Barnes Outspoken on HIV/AIDS

Todd Heywood has the story on new Obama economic advisor Melody Barnes’s background working on HIV/AIDS and connecting health care issues to the economy. You can read more about Barnes’s position on HIV/AIDS in a 2004 op-ed she wrote with Shira Saperstein. Writing about the high rate of HIV among African-American women, Barnes says, 

At this point, we do not truly understand all of the reasons
for these health disparities, although disproportionately high rates of
poverty and low rates of access to health care are certainly on the
list. So, too, is the fact that public funding – for prevention,
treatment and care – has not kept pace with the epidemic nor been
reallocated appropriately to meet current needs and demographic
changes. To the contrary, while most African American women are
infected with HIV through heterosexual sex, funding continues to
increase for unproven abstinence-only programs rather than for
comprehensive and culturally appropriate reproductive health programs
that provide condoms and counseling on safe sexual behavior. Despite
rising demand for treatment, budget cuts have resulted in long waiting
lists for access to AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) in almost
every state. This has left thousands of HIV-positive Americans unable
to secure the drugs they need to save their lives. An estimated half a
million Americans currently living with HIV are not getting medical

New York Times Highlights Domestic Violence Against Military Spouses

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Inaction and stalling in cases of domestic violence perpetrated against soldiers’ spouses continues to be a problem in the Army, the New York Times reports. The article notes that sound procedures to deal with domestic violence are even more important in wartime, when more soldiers are deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, which is linked to "increased violence in the home."

(Thanks to Feministing for the heads up.)

Was Kansas Abortion Provider George Tiller "Trapped"?

Pre-trial hearings against Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller are underway, but may be exposing the unethical gathering of evidence against him.  Reports the Feminist Daily News,

Tiller’s attorneys filed a motion in September asking the court to
either suppress evidence or dismiss the charges against Tiller because
of alleged "outrageous" misconduct of the preliminary investigation
into Tiller’s practice by former Kansas state Attorney General Phil
Kline and state attorney Eric Rucker…The defense claims that Kline targeted Tiller without first having
evidence of illegal activity and that the evidence against him was
obtained as a result of abuse of power.

Senate Seats Still Undecided in Georgia and Minnesota

Haven’t quite let your election anxiety go because of the Senate races still undecided in Georgia and Minnesota? Blog for Choice
has updates for you. The Coleman-Franken recount is underway, and the
Saxby Chambliss v. Jim Martin runoff will take place December 2.

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