Roundup: HHS Acknowledges, the Health Care System Fails Women

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Roundup: HHS Acknowledges, the Health Care System Fails Women

Emily Douglas

HHS acknowledges, the health care system fails women; more reactions to, analysis of Obama's planned appearance at Notre Dame; Swedish health board rules gender-based abortion not illegal.

HHS Acknowledges, the Health Care System Fails Women

Excitingly, the Department of Health and Human Services has just released a report entitled "Why the Current Health Care System Does Not Work for Women,"
which could have been lifted straight from the NWLC or PPFA websites.  The
report points out that a higher percentage of women than men delay
needed care due to costs, that women pay higher premiums on the
individual insurance market, and that less than half of women can
access health insurance through their employers.  Said Marcia
Greenberger, Co-President of NWLC, "This report underscores what women have been saying for
a long time, that our current health care system fails to meet the
needs of far too many women. It reflects the importance of bringing a
women’s lens to the health care reform debate, and how essential it is
that health care reform meet the needs of women."

Reactions to Obama’s Planned Appearance at Notre Dame
Notre Dame alumnus and former Student Body President Adam Istvan writes on the Huffington Post,

For decades, presidents of both political
parties have come to Notre Dame as commencement speakers to address such
profound issues as poverty, peace building, international affairs and
human rights. When I was a student, George W. Bush visited the
university. Along with many other Catholics, I found his positions on
the death penalty, imprudent use of military power and contempt for
international human rights treaties unconscionable. But he was the
president of the United States. His visit fostered open discussion of,
and free inquiry into, urgent issues of our time. Why should president
Obama’s visit be viewed any differently?

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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On The American Prospect’s FundamentaList, Sarah Posner offers a dose of perspective:

But about half of all rank-and-file Catholics hadn’t even heard about the "controversy," according to a recent Pew poll.
Of those who had, 50 percent thought it was fine for Obama to speak at
Notre Dame. (Interestingly, only 33 percent of white evangelicals
thought it was proper for Obama to speak at this Catholic university —
that’s about half of those who think torture can be justified.)

And in the New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg takes the long view:

…the controversy about Obama’s Notre Dame appearance is less about him
than about divisions within the American Catholic community. Church
teaching holds that abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, is an
"intrinsic evil." Contraception is an "intrinsic evil," too (as is
torture). But a Pew poll prompted by the Notre Dame flap found that
more Catholics would keep abortion legal in all or most cases than
would ban or restrict it, and a Gallup study found practically no
difference between Catholics and non-Catholics on embryonic stem-cell
research, which is "morally acceptable" to around sixty per cent of
both groups. It is significant that sixty-eight bishops have protested
Notre Dame’s invitation, but just as significant that hundreds have
not. The real division is between social conservatives, on the one
hand, and social moderates and liberals, on the other, not between
Catholics and non-Catholics.

Swedish Health Board Rules Gender-Based Abortion Not Illegal
The Local (Sweden) reports that "Swedish health authorities have ruled that gender-based abortion
is not illegal according to current law and can not therefore be
stopped."  After a woman asked about the fetus’s gender following an
amniocentesis, doctors at Mälaren Hospital asked Sweden’s National
Board of Health and Welfare to "draw up guidelines on how to handle
requests in the future in
which they ‘feel pressured to examine the fetus’s gender’ without
having a medically compelling reason to do so."  The board ruled that
"abortions can not be refused and that it is not possible to deny
a woman an abortion up to the 18th week of pregnancy, even if the
fetus’s gender is the basis for the request."

Other News to Note
May 12: Guardian: The paradox of the sexes

May 11: MTV News: Nude Celebrity Photos Part Of A Larger Trend, Experts Say

May 12: Global Catholic Network: Pro-life Foundation Denounces Promotion of Morning-after Pill in Spain

May 12: Beliefnet: Pure politics?

May 12: Politics Daily: Notre Dame President Addresses Obama Debate in Letter to Graduates

May 13: Des Moines Register: Carlson: Pro-choice Braley’s talk at Catholic Clarke College stirs no fuss 

May 12: Politics Daily: American Religion and the Notre Dame Protests

May 12: WSBT (South Bend): Some worry Notre Dame protesters hurt pro-life movement

May 12: WaPo: The Bishops We Need

May 12: Guardian: Funding cuts threaten women’s access to contraception

May 13: The Dartmouth: Let’s Talk about Sex

May 12: LifeNews: Top Senator: Obama’s Pro-Abortion Legal Counsel Pick Dawn Johnsen Lack Votes

May 12: LifeNews: North Dakota Governor Hoeven Signs Pro-Life Bills on Abortion, Ultrasound

May 12: Wonkette: ‘New York Neck-Beard’ Douthat Writes Column About Abortion And Gays!

May 12: OneNewsNow: KS lawmakers want to defund abortion chain

May 12: San Diego Union-Tribune: Health care remedy