Roundup: Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Touts Pro-Choice Position

Emily Douglas

Democratic candidate for Virginia governor touts pro-choice position; how a public option really works; religious community supports health care reform.

Democratic Candidate for Virginia Governor Touts Pro-Choice Position
Abortion rights-related rhetoric is heating up in the Virginia gubernatorial race, reports the Washington Post. "Surrounded by female activists and lawmakers, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds
on Monday launched an assault on his opponent’s record of working to
restrict abortions, calling it evidence that the Republican has the
wrong priorities for the state."  The Post observes that Deeds’s
democratic predecessors, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, did not elevate
abortion rights as an issue in their campaigns.  Deeds’s Republican
challenger, Robert F. McDonnell, initiated a number of abortion
restrictions while he was a delegate from Virginia Beach; reports the
Post, "While in the General Assembly, McDonnell successfully sponsored
banning late-term abortions, requiring a 24-hour waiting period before
the procedure is performed and requiring that minors receive parental
permission for an abortion."

How a Public Option Really Works

The Des Moines Register offers a clear description of how a public option works, explaining that it would not necessarily cover abortion services:

First, a refresher on how the public option would work. As currently
crafted by Congress, imagine a pool of health-insurance plans
containing private plans, plus a public option. The public option would
be managed by the government. None of the benefits is directly funded
with tax dollars, in contrast with the way Medicare and Medicaid are

In terms of specifics of coverage:

So what will the plans cover? Current drafts of legislation outline
general guidelines for coverage. For example, plans could not
discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, but the
specific services covered are broadly defined. Plans must cover
emergency care, mental-health services, maternity care and prescription

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But the legislation does not require coverage for specific procedures — including abortion.

to House legislation, plans in the pool — including the public plan —
will have to meet benefit standards to be determined by a committee
chaired by the U.S. surgeon general. Also on the committee would be
private members appointed by the president and representatives from
federal agencies. Obviously, details have not yet been determined, so
there is no way of knowing whether or not abortion will be covered.

"40 Days for Health Care Reform": Religious Community Supports Health Care Reform

ABC News
reports on a planned "40 Days for Health Reform" conference call held
by the pro-reform religious community, which President Obama will
join.  The calls’ speakers are making it clear that they do not want
funding for abortion to become a stumbling block for reform.  "The key
thing is we don’t want abortion to enter this debate and
sabotage health care reform," said the Rev. Jim Wallis. "Neither side
should try to win
political gains on abortion during the health care debate."

Reuters adds,

"I think that the Democrats were surprised by the strength of the
religious right and the insurance companies and those opposed to
healthcare reform when they got their grass roots efforts going," said
Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in

"So it took awhile for the Religious Left to get their national
campaign going and we’ll see whether or not it has the same emotion and
intensity," he said.

Other News to Note

August 10: Feminists for Choice: The Ethical Debate Behind Abortion

August 10: Creative Minority Report: Gov’t: Catholic College MUST Cover Contraception

August 11: Denver Daily News: NARAL: Address unintended pregnancies

August 11: Trib Today: Ryan: Fewer abortions with law

August 10: Suzy B: Planned Parenthood of Spokane, WA Fined $700,000

August 10: Politics Daily: Euthanasia and Health Care Reform: What is the Truth?

August 11: My SA News: Longoria meets pro-choice resistance

August 11: Express India: Docs sound alarm as pill becomes the preferred contraceptive among girls

August 10: Feminists for Choice: Why I’m a Clinic Escort

August 10: Baptist Press: Obama silent about provisions for abortion

August 10: Feministe: Abortion and Health Care: Is there common ground?

August 9: District Chronicles: All sides weigh in on the pregnancy prevention bill

August 11: Canberra Times: Greater access to abortion drug

August 10: Miami Herald: Kansas eliminates state funding for abortion alternatives

August 10: Optimum Population Blog: Not just pills and condoms

August 10: LifeNews: New Petition Launched to Stop Leroy Carhart Late-Term Abortion Center in Kansas

August 10: Live Mint: No sex education please, we’re Indians

August 10: HuffPo: Why Indie Voters Don’t Make California Purple

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