Roundup: Are Georgia Voters Getting Tired of Abortion Talk?

Robin Marty

Republican candidates for governor are attacking each other on abortion, and voters are getting annoyed.  Plus, Colorado Personhood has a new mascot: a fictitious slave.

The race to be the Republican candidate for governor of Georgia is getting heated, and the primary is becoming more and more focused on reproductive health issues as a way to discern between the two otherwise mostly indistinguishable candidates, Karen Handel and Nathan Deal.  Now the competition is who is the most anti-choice, and voters are watching a fierce battle ensue.

From the Examiner:

The rather ugly discussion focused a lot on social issues, especially abortion. Handel has been attacked by the Georgia Right to Life (GRL) organization for supporting restrictions to her pro-life stance, such as when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, and if it endangers the life of the mother.

GRL attacked Handel personally when, while commenting on Handel’s abortion views, they suggested infertile women are “barren and desperate;” Handel has been outspoken about her struggle to get pregnant.

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Most recently, the organization suggested that Sarah Palin shouldn’t have endorsed Handel, because Handel’s views would have allowed abortion of Palin’s youngest child who has a Down syndrome.

Deal himself has criticized Handel, naming issues such as abortion and support of a gay group Log Cabin Republicans as examples of Handel’s lack of conservative values.

The conversation about who’s a “true” conservative took quite a bit of time during the 30- minute debate. Handel called herself a “lifelong, conservative Republican,” an obvious hint about Deal who became Republican after his first party of choice, Democrats, lost power in U.S. Congress in 1994.

But there is such a thing as too much focus on abortion issues, and some voters are getting so annoyed they are thinking about not voting all together, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Contrary to popular belief, Karen Handel and Nathan Deal actually have discussed more than just abortion in their runoff campaign for the GOP nomination for governor.

But, for some voters, it’s still too much.

“The state has 10 percent unemployment and the worst budget crisis ever, and they want to fight over things that happened in the ’90s,” said James Williams, 42, of DeKalb County, who said he supported Handel in the primary. “It makes me angry enough to skip voting for the first time in my life.”

Theresa Matt, 66, of Athens is strongly against abortion, but she wants to hear the candidates discuss jobs, water and Jekyll Island. A retired attorney who said social issues are “real important to me,” she voted for Sen. Jeff Chapman (R-Brunswick) in the primary, and if the runoff vote comes down to abortion, she’s not impressed with either Deal or Handel.

“I don’t really trust either one of them,” she said.

It seems like the “who’s the most anti-abortion” game really only goes so far, though, as neither candidate appears to have showed support for the recent “Pro-Life Freedom Ride,” who’s inagural trip recently terminated in Atlanta and was attended by leaders of Georgia Right to Life.  However, their intended prayer vigil at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not to be, according to Lifenews, who reports they were turned away.

After the protest, which went unchallenged except for three pro-abort bike riders who peddled by, the Priests for Life team and the pro-life and civil rights leaders boarded the Freedom Bus and headed to Atlanta, followed by a caravan of some 50 cars and vans. When it became clear en route that they would not be able to assemble at the King, Father Pavone told a King Center employee, “There’s a lot of people here from all over the country and we’re on our way there, so get ready for us.”

Looks like a lot of Atlanta is getting tired of anti-abortion talk.

Mini Roundup: Fertilized eggs are slaves?  Well, that’s what the Colorado Personhood Initiative sponsors are going to claim.  Folks, get ready to meet “George Stevens,” a fictitious slave who is prepared to claim a moral equivilancy between using the pill and owning human property.

June 26, 2010

Youth arrested for forcing girlfriend to undergo abortion  – IBNLive.com

Buffett Secretly Spending Millions On Abortion Med-School Scheme: NY Times – Philadelphia Bulletin

Early abortion may be allowed – JoongAng Daily

NARAL backs DiNapoli » – New York Daily News

First GOP gubernatorial debate takes some ugly turns – Examiner.com

99 Days to Decide: Anti-Abortion PAC Learns Endorsed Candidate Is Pro-Choice – FOXNews

Philippine Bishops on Sex-Ed/Abortion: State Must Obey Moral Law – Lifesite

Former Surgeon General Koop Calls Kagan’s Alteration of ACOG’s Partial Birth … – CNSNews

Bench Memos – National Review Online

Alaska Abortion Advocates Spending Big to Stop Parental Notification Vote – LifeNews.com

Organizers: Pro-Life Freedom Ride a Success Despite Pro-Abortion Opposition – LifeNews.com

Is the Roberts court too conservative? – The Week Magazine

Palin’s Progress – Huffington Post

Handel, Deal focus on abortion; voters want to hear about jobs – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Abortion initiative radio, web ads run afoul of APOC – Alaska Dispatch

Personhood Amendment Backers Announce Strategy –  KUNC

DiNapoli Gets NARAL, Declines to Comment on Indy Party – New York Observer

Why would you want more abortion on TV? – ProLife Blogs

Obama: A Feminist Scorecard – Huffington Post

Gov. Chris Christie Vetoes Health Care, Tax-breaks – The State Column

Permanent Birth Control – WDEF News 12

Jayne Dowle:Teenage mothers are turning the clock back – Yorkshire Post

FDA Approves New Permanent Birth Control – WCCO

Get Permanent Birth Control Without The Operation – cbs4denver.com

Call to recruit women in campaign against HIV/AIDS – AsiaOne

Cash payments lower HIV and STD rates – Sovo.com

Vaccine hopes can’t mask the extent of Russia’s AIDS crisis – The Moscow News

Pregnant teens shun HIV treatment for fear of stigmatization – Myjoyonline.com

International AIDS conference ‘a disappointment’ – Charities Aid Foundation

Coming face to face with maternal, child mortality, Africa’ s death trap – Xinhua

AU Leaders Summit Kicks Off, Focus On Maternal And Child Health – Kaiser Family Foundation

Can Pregnant Women Be Shackled In DC? – Washington City Paper

June 27, 2010

Backers of ‘personhood’ measure regroup – Boston Globe

Measure 2 could put girls’ lives at risk – Anchorage Daily News

Big Abortion Isn’t Having the Recession They Hoped For – National Catholic Register

Are fetuses like slaves? – Denver Daily News

Schools must get permission from parents to teach sex ed – Arizona Daily Star

Abortion provision looms for Dems – Politico

Family planning push for nations – BBC News

Bense, Scott meet in the cover of night – Palm Beach Post

Family planning saves us millions – HeraldNet

Teen births rise in Wyoming – Casper Star-Tribune Online

Popularity of morning-after pills fuels concerns in India – Arab Times

Family planning push for nations – BBC News

More women than men have HIV/AIDS in PNG – Radio Australia

Kerry Continues Push to End Ban on Gay Men Giving Blood – Las Vegas TSG

Lincoln Foundation includes AIDS education in grants of $720000 for learning – News Sentinel

Cervical screening age to be raised in Northern Ireland – BBC News

UN chief calls 2010 a turning point for women’s health – TwoCircles.net

How Nebraska ranks – Lincoln Journal Star

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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