Roundup: Caroline Kennedy Seeks Clinton’s Senate Seat; Who Will Veto Arizona’s Anti-Choice Legislation Now?

Emily Douglas

Caroline Kennedy seeks Clinton's Senate seat; as Governor, Napolitano vetoed anti-choice bills, now what?; medication abortion likely to be approved in Italy; birth control to be available over-the-counter in London.

Caroline Kennedy Seeks Clinton’s Senate Seat

After a lifetime avoiding public office, Caroline Kennedy has announced her
intention to seek Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat.  Reports the Wall
Street Journal
: "Ms. Kennedy entered the political fray nearly a year ago
when she gave a strong endorsement to Barack Obama, whom she compared to her
father, in the closely fought Democratic primary. She was a major draw on the
campaign trail and in June was named to Mr. Obama’s vice-presidential search
committee, where she emerged as a crucial member of the vetting team." Yet Kennedy’s credentials are being widely
debated.  Reports
the New York Times

Aside from a 22-month, three-day-a-week stint as
director of strategic partnerships for the New York City schools, her
commitments generally involve nonprofit boards: the NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund Inc., the American Ballet Theater,
the Commission on
Presidential Debates
and the John F. Kennedy
Library Foundation.

But friends and associates say that Ms. Kennedy, 51, is no dilettante, and
that her career is replete with examples of the kind of hands-on policy work
and behind-the-scenes maneuvering that could serve her well.

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Would Caroline Kennedy be the women’s rights leader in the Senate Hillary
Clinton was?  The Times notes that she "has
promoted such noncontroversial causes as patriotism, poetry and public service."  If she is to be a worthy successor to Sen. Clinton, her appetite for controversy – over issues that should be common sense! – may have to increase considerably.

As Governor, Napolitano Vetoed Anti-Choice Bills; What Now?

As Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano vetoed eight anti-choice bills, reports the Arizona
, including a bill to ban certain forms of late-term abortion
(a so-called "partial birth" abortion ban), a parental consent bill, and a bill
that would require doctors to tell women more than 20 weeks pregnant that the
fetus has the capacity to feel pain.  But
now that she is headed for Washington
as President-Elect Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, anti-choice State Rep.
Andy Tobin says he hopes to introduce some of this legislation a second time,
when Secretary of State Jan Brewer, a Republican who will replace Napolitano, may not veto.  The
Capital-Times reports that the local Planned Parenthood is gearing up for the shift:

Michelle Steinberg, director of public policy for
Planned Parenthood of Arizona, said members of her organization are sad to see
Napolitano poised to leave.

"Governor Napolitano was a tremendous supporter, and it is hard to say
what will happen when she leaves," Steinberg said. "We hope Brewer
comes in with an open mind and we can find common ground."

Medication Abortion Likely to Be Approved in Italy,
Over Vatican’s

Despite protests from the Catholic Church, including the Church’s
recently-released statement on bioethics, Italy
is likely to see legal RU-486, medication abortion, accessible to women next
month, reports
the Times-Online
.  "RU486 would be
available only in hospitals, and doctors who disapproved had the option of
conscientious objection," the Times-Online reports.  Silvio Viale, a gynecologist, told the newspaper: "Worries
about the dangers are baseless: studies have proved it is safe."

Birth Control to Be Available Over-the-Counter in London

Pilot projects in London will attempt over-the-counter hormonal birth control access. Reports the BBC:

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: "We want to improve
women’s access to contraception and help reduce the number of
unintended pregnancies without undermining patient safety.

"Pilots like these will help to show whether supplying
contraception through pharmacies is effective in reducing unintended

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