Roundup: Ben Nelson is Full of Regret and Confused

Rachel Larris

Senator Ben Nelson is full of regret. He also doesn't understand why the anti-choice groups are still angry at him.

Senator Ben Nelson is full of regret. Not because of
his attacks to hijack the healthcare reform legislation with his Nelson Amendment
or because of his demands that Nebraska be given an extra $100 million in Medicaid
reimbursements, which he now says he always intended for every
state to get the same deal
.

Nelson now says his vote was a
mistake
.

"I
think it was a mistake to take health care on as opposed to continuing to spend
the time on the economy," he said.

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"I
would have preferred not to be dealing with health care in the midst of
everything else, and I think working on the economy would have been a wiser
move," he said.

Yet Nelson says doesn’t understand why the
anti-choice groups are still
angry at him
.

He
said he is puzzled by criticism he has taken about language banning federally
funded abortions.

"I cannot understand the level of anger and frustration aimed at me because
this language that I put together does ban (federally funded abortions). It
absolutely bans it," he said.

Perhaps this should be proof that there is no
half-way in pleasing the anti-choice crowd.

In
Other News

Sex in the City star Cynthia Nixon’s new burst of
activism isn’t limited to talking about the healthcare reform bill. She’s now
joining a campaign to end
Florida’s ban on adoption by gays and lesbians
.

Cynthia Nixon, fresh off her appearance at
October’s National Equality March
, is heading south to lend her support to
kickstart a campaign to overturn the worst LGBT adoption law
in the entire
United States. That law? It’s in Florida, and it’s the only law in the country
that categorically prohibits adoption by gays and lesbians.

Currently the law is tied up in the state’s court
system. In 2008, a
Miami judge ruled
that the law was unconstitutional, and that banning LGBT
folks from adopting was bad social policy…

That decision started the slow legal process of getting
the law overturned, which will result in years of litigation (the case is
currently in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals).

So enter the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU),
which
will feature Cynthia Nixon as it launches a three-year education campaign

to win over hearts and minds on the issue of LGBT adoption.

Meanwhile the
Australian state of New South Wales has decided not to lift their ban on
same-sex adoptions
.

While gay couples can adopt in some Australian
states, the NSW Government says the issue is too complex and sensitive and it
will not be changing the law, at least for now.

A six-month parliamentary inquiry found allowing
same-sex couples to adopt would be in the best interests of children.

Bonus Item: Alternet
reports that the Washington, DC-based John Paul II
Cultural Center which is led by Catholic bishops has entered into a partnership
with one of Terry Randall of Operation Rescue’s cohorts, and only banned Randall’s
participation after Alternet’s story came to light.

January
8, 2010

Justice Antonin Scalia: Advocates
of Using Foreign Law Ignore Abortion Decisions
LifeNews.com

Stop taxpayer-funded abortion
Washington Times

Southern California doctor ordered
to stop performing abortions
Los Angeles
Times

Sen. Nelson seeks extra Medicaid
funding for all states, not just Nebraska
Los
Angeles Times

Mass. Senate Candidates Sharpen
Differences On Abortion In Race To Succeed Kennedy
Medical News Today

New York doctor works to deliver
care consistent with Catholic values
The
Catholic Spirit

 

January
7,2010

The Maternal Health Task Force: An
Expert Interview With Ann K. Blanc, PhD
Medscape

CBS Tells Parents Teens Should Wait
for Sex but Pushes Contraceptives on Teens
NewsBusters

The Decade for Women: Forward,
Backward, Sideways?
The Nation.

Serious about reducing abortion?
Make women see an ultrasound of the procedure.
Christian Science Monitor

Report: Pro-Choice GOP PAC Spends
Little To Elect Pro-Choice GOPers
TPMMuckraker

Few Parents Think Teens Are Having
Sex
CBS News

Pro-Life Group Launches Billboard
Campaign Targeting US Rep. Gene Taylor
Christian
News Wire

Pro-life Dems: "Not overlooked
anymore"
World Magazine

Obama Pushes Congress to Fast Track
Health Care Bill
Christian Post

On leadership Pro-Woman, Pro-Life

Stunned by Stupak ChristianityToday.com

Pro-life leaders criticize
‘abortion super center’ in Texas …
Catholic News Agency

Gay adoption ban Sydney Morning Herald

Overturning the Worst LGBT Adoption
Law in the Country
Change.org

Gay adoption inaction riles rights
groups
ABC Online (Australia)

Couple Seeking Adoption Eyed in
Arizona Missing Baby Case
FOXNews

2009 study confirms abortion-breast
cancer link
Catholic News Agency

Casey: health reform abortion
language will survive conference
Pennsylvania
Ave.

Ben Nelson Calls Health Care Bill a
"Mistake" as Abortion Deal Backlash Continues
LifeNews.com

ObamaCare: Why Private Insurers
Like Paying for Abortion
Forbes

Abortionist Faces Revocation in
Wake of Abortion Death
Christian News
Wire

Why Do Women Have to Go to Clinics
for Abortions?
AlterNet

Chief rabbis rapped for anti-abortion
letter
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

President Barack Obama Re-Nominates
Pro-Abortion Dawn Johnsen to Top Post
LifeNews.com

Doctor’s license in jeopardy after
death of abortion patient in San Gabriel
Los
Angeles Times

Florida Navy Officer Charged With
Killing Pregnant Woman Who Refused Abortion
LifeNews.com

Catholic Bishops Embrace Anti-Abortion
Terrorizers
AlterNet

House Democrats discuss health care
priorities
Reuters

China’s Horrid One Child Policy
Continues
Huffington Post

News Law and Policy

California Lawmakers Take Action Against Rampant Wage Theft

Nicole Knight

A survey of people who work for low wages found that wage theft robbed workers of $26.2 million each week in Los Angeles, making the locale the "wage theft capital of the country."

Los Angeles has earned the distinction as the country’s wage theft capital, but a new California law is tackling the rampant problem of wage theft with new enforcement tools.

The law, SB 1342, signed last month by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), gives city and county authorities subpoena powers when investigating wage violations. Until now, the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement was the primary agency charged with investigating wage theft cases.

State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) authored the legislation to “ensure that our low-wage workers, who already face many challenges, receive the pay that they have earned,” Mendoza wrote in an Orange County Breeze op-ed.

Wage theft is the illegal practice of failing to pay overtime and minimum wages, denying lunch breaks, or forcing employees to work off the clock. A survey of people who work for low wages by the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found that wage theft robbed workers of $26.2 million each week in Los Angeles, making the locale the “wage theft capital of the country.”

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Some 654,914 workers in L.A. County are subjected to at least one pay-based violation in any given week, researchers noted.

Most people who work low-wage jobs in L.A. were born outside the United States, and the majority are Latino (73.4 percent), Asian (17.9 percent), or Black (6.3 percent), researchers found.

Wage theft is not only illegal, it contributes to food insecurity and housing instability in low-income families, Mendoza noted.

“This bill protects hard-working Californians by clarifying the ability of cities and counties to investigate non-compliance with local wage laws,” Mendoza said.

A legislative analysis of SB 1342 cited research noting that minimum wage violations are rampant in industries such as garment manufacturing, domestic service, building services, and department stores, where wages are low.

The measure comes as states and cities are increasing minimum wages as lawmakers in Congress have refused to consider raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Brown in April signed a law lifting the statewide minimum pay rate to $15 per hour by 2022. More than a dozen cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, have proposed or enacted $15 minimum wage rates, according to the National Employment Law Project.

News Abortion

Study: Telemedicine Abortion Care a Boon for Rural Patients

Nicole Knight

Despite the benefits of abortion care via telemedicine, 18 states have effectively banned the practice by requiring a doctor to be physically present.

Patients are seen sooner and closer to home in clinics where medication abortion is offered through a videoconferencing system, according to a new survey of Alaskan providers.

The results, which will be published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, suggest that the secure and private technology, known as telemedicine, gives patients—including those in rural areas with limited access—greater choices in abortion care.

The qualitative survey builds on research that found administering medication abortion via telemedicine was as safe and effective as when a doctor administers the abortion-inducing medicine in person, study researchers said.

“This study reinforces that medication abortion provided via telemedicine is an important option for women, particularly in rural areas,” said Dr. Daniel Grossman, one of the authors of the study and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). “In Iowa, its introduction was associated with a reduction in second-trimester abortion.”

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Maine and Minnesota also provide medication abortion via telemedicine. Clinics in four states—New York, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington—are running pilot studies, as the Guardian reported. Despite the benefits of abortion care via telemedicine, 18 states have effectively banned the practice by requiring a doctor to be physically present.

The researchers noted that even “greater gains could be made by providing [medication abortion] directly to women in their homes,” which U.S. product labeling doesn’t allow.

In late 2013, researchers with Ibis Reproductive Health and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health interviewed providers, such as doctors, nurses, and counselors, in clinics run by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands that were using telemedicine to provide medication abortion. Providers reported telemedicine’s greatest benefit was to pregnant people. Clinics could schedule more appointments and at better hours for patients, allowing more to be seen earlier in pregnancy.

Nearly twenty-one percent of patients nationwide end their pregnancies with medication abortion, a safe and effective two-pill regime, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alaska began offering the abortion-inducing drugs through telemedicine in 2011. Patients arrive at a clinic, where they go through a health screening, have an ultrasound, and undergo informed consent procedures. A doctor then remotely reviews the patients records and answers questions via a videoconferencing link, before instructing the patient on how to take the medication.

Before 2011, patients wanting abortion care had to fly to Anchorage or Seattle, or wait for a doctor who flew into Fairbanks twice a month, according to the study’s authors.

Beyond a shortage of doctors, patients in Alaska must contend with vast geography and extreme weather, as one physician told researchers:

“It’s negative seven outside right now. So in a setting like that, [telemedicine is] just absolutely the best possible thing that you could do for a patient. … Access to providers is just so limited. And … just because you’re in a state like that doesn’t mean that women aren’t still as much needing access to these services.”

“Our results were in line with other research that has shown that this service can be easily integrated into other health care offered at a clinic, can help women access the services they want and need closer to home, and allows providers to offer high-level care to women from a distance,” Kate Grindlay, lead author on the study and associate at Ibis Reproductive Health, said in a statement.

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