Roundup: Illinois Reproductive Health Act Approved by House Committee

Emily Douglas

Illinois Reproductive Health Act approved by House Committee; Bristol, Levi split; Bristol shamed; Arizona State House approves anti-choice law; Michael Steele does damage control; new era for international women's rights.

Illinois Reproductive Health Act Approved by House Committee
You’re not seeing double: The Illinois state legislature has taken positive action on reproductive health care and access.  Veronica Arreola has covered this progressive, justice-oriented bill for Rewire.  HB 2354 has been approved by the Illinois House Human Services Committee
and will now be heard by the full House.  Activists in Illinois say
that legislators are being deluged by anti-choicers calling in to
oppose the act, so if you live in Illinois, take action here.

Bristol, Levi Split; Bristol Shamed

I’m sorry, I can’t help it: I’m linking to US Weekly.  Yes, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have called off their engagement.  Lauren on Feministe has a brave, impassioned shout-out to newly-single teen mom Bristol, while Steven Waldman wonders
whether Bristol ought to have given her child up for adoption (see,
even when women have the baby, their choices are still
questioned, doubted, and shamed!). 

Arizona State House Approves Anti-Choice Law
MSNBC reports that Arizona’s State House has approved a law that mandates a waiting period and biased counseling:

HB 2564 would require a 24-hour waiting period before a woman could
terminate a pregnancy. During that time, the woman would have to be
told "the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics" of the
unborn child at that point.

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The state no longer has Janet Napolitano around to veto measures like this — "Gov. Jan Brewer already is on record as
supporting a waiting period."

Michael Steele Does Damage Control for Pro-Choice Interview
Salon’s War Room
has Michael Steele’s "damage control" on his GQ interview, in which he
sounded awfully pro-choice (calling abortion "an individual choice.") 

Salon writes, "Steele is ‘reaching out to anti-abortion leaders,’ Politico’s Ben Smith reports, and he’s put out this statement:"

I am pro-life, always have been, always will be.

tried to present why I am pro life while recognizing that my mother had
a "choice" before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every
day for supporting life. The strength of the pro life movement lies in
choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face
difficult circumstances. They did that for my mother and I am here
today because they did. In my view Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and
should be repealed. I realize that there are good people in our party
who disagree with me on this issue.

But the Republican
Party is and will continue to be the party of life. I support our
platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that
we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change
the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome
all children and protect them under the law.

Meanwhile, on Huffington Post Sam Stein reports that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, "one of the fastest rising Republicans in the House of Representatives"
said "that RNC Chair Michael Steele was ‘pro-choice’ — and
that he was okay with that."

New Era for International Women’s Rights
A Friday pick-me-up: Joan Walsh celebrates
a new era for international women’s rights – Hillary Clinton at State
Department, a new ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a new
Interagency Task Force on Women and Girls – and a renewed working partnership between Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Other News to Note

March 12: Rasmussen Reports: RESEARCH: 52% of Americans Agree with Obama’s Stem Cell Decision

March 12: Huffpo: The Activist’s "Conscience Cause:" How to Be a Partner in Power

March 12: SPI: Bill could lower birth control costs at colleges

March 12: Washington Independent: Ogden Headed for Confirmation Despite Right’s Fears of Porn and Abortion

March 12: LifeSite: Illinois "FOCA" Moves to House Floor – Would
Eliminate All Abortion Restrictions in State

March 12: The Tufts Daily: Pro-life feminist pushes for solutions to social causes of abortion

March 12: GOP12: DAMAGE CONTROL: Palin travels to attend huge pro-life event after pro-abortion pick

March 12: LifeNews: Minneapolis City Officials Face Lawsuit Hearing Over Firing Pro-Life Psychologist

March 12: Spero News: US pro-life movement seeks Vatican help : Randall
Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, presented materials at the Vatican
showing that the majority of Catholic bishops in the U.S. do not
support the teachings of their church regarding abortion.

March 12: Science News: Bottled water may contain ‘hormones’: Plastics

March 12: Phil Star: World population to exceed 9 billion by 2050: UN report

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