Afternoon Roundup: Republicans Say Abortion More Important Than Economy, Birthornot.com Couple “Rejects” Abortion

Amie Newman

Newly elected Republicans around the country are hard at work dealing with the troubles afflicting our nation...access to abortion for women; The "Birthornot.com" couple makes a shocking decision; and surgeons gather from around the globe to address an entirely preventable and treatable childbirth-caused condition called obstetric fistula.

Newly elected Republicans around the country are hard at work dealing with the troubles afflicting our nation…access to abortion for women; The “Birthornot.com” couple makes a shocking decision; and surgeons gather from around the globe to address an entirely preventable and treatable childbirth-caused condition called obstetric fistula.

  • The Wake County Board of Commissioners (North Carolina) apparently lives in an alternate universe where there is no recession, no one is unemployed or losing health benefits. Except their own female members. One of the first acts under the board’s Republican leadership? To revoke insurance coverage of abortion from the county employees’ insurance plan. 
  • And in Oklahoma newly-elected, extremist Republican/Tea Party lawmakers are protesting their own party, which now controls the state’s House and Senate, as well as the Governor’s office, for placing jobs and the economy ahead of abortion and immigration.  Who needs a job or a healthy economy when you can just get paid to block access to women’s health and immigrant rights?
  • If you need more evidence that Republicans are more concerned with blocking access to individual rights than working to remedy a crumbling economy: Rep. Michelle Bachmann has once again called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and health care reform on the whole, according to CNSNews.com (a Republican news outlet). Andy Birkey, in the Minnesota Independent, reports that “Much of what Bachmann had to say about abortion in the interview has previously been ruled false by independent fact-checkers.”
  • Surgeons are gathered in Dakar this week to discuss the best ways to prevent obstetric fistula in developing nations around the world. Fistulas (holes in the birth canal) affect between 50 – 100,000 women/year and, notes the article, and occur during childbirth (usually as a result of a prolonged labor, lack of timely access to care or a lack of proper prenatal care). Most women who suffer from fistulas end up unable to afford the treatment to repair the hole and leak urine for the rest of their lives. The good news? They are entirely preventable with proper care.
  • Shocking news! Remember the “Birthornot.com” couple who falsely presented themselves as  wanting public input into whether the woman should continue her pregnancy or have an abortion? Apparently they think it’s hilarious to parody real people’s honest, and sometimes difficult decision making when it comes to family planning, by pretending to put their pregnancy up for a vote! Get it? Me neither. Unsurprisingly, and with the hope that if there’s a god or goddess to which to pray their child will not be as insensitive and clueless as they are, they decided to continue with the pregnancy. Gotta love that USA Today’s headline notes that they “rejected abortion.”

Morning Roundup: Continuing Resolution, Planned Parenthood Battle Wages On

Beth Saunders

Washington considers compensated surrogacy, SBA List and FRC demand House vote against keeping goverment running unless bill is anti-family planning, Sen. Murkowski supports Title X, Nebraska woman denied labor inducement, Idaho poised to ban abortion in state exchanges, and an "expose!" that isn't really.

Washington considers compensated surrogacy, SBA List and FRC demand House vote against keeping goverment running unless bill is anti-family planning, Sen. Murkowski supports Title X, Nebraska woman denied labor inducement, Idaho poised to ban abortion in state exchanges, and an “expose!” that isn’t really.

  • The Washington House has passed a bill allowing for compensated surrogacy in that state, and the bill will have a hearing in the Senate today. Currently, it is illegal to pay a woman to be a surrogate in Washington, so many couples turn to Oregon or California, family or friends, or pay a surrogate illegally.
  • Anti-choice groups such as Susan B. Anthony List and the Family Research Council are encouraging Republican members of Congress to vote against a continuing resolution today that would keep the government running until April 2, unless it contains the Pence amendment, which bars federal funding of Planned Parenthood. House Speaker John Boehner has said he wants to focus on anti-choice measures in a longer-term spending bill.
  • Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has written a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee asking that they find a way to continue funding family planning programs. She joins Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) as a Republican supporter of Title X.
  • A Nebraska woman was forced to risk infection and infertility after her water broke at 22 weeks pregnant, and she was not allowed by law to have her labor induced, even though her fetus would not survive. A week after her membranes broke, she birthed a girl who died 15 minutes later. Nebraska passed a “fetal pain” law prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks last month.
  • Idaho is poised to pass a law prohibiting state insurance exchanges from covering abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. Women would still be permitted to purchase private insurance that covers abortion.
  • A group called CatholicVote.org has put out a video they are calling an “expose” of radical extremist abortion advocates. They show activists at rallies, demanding that women be allowed to control their bodies and their futures. Not sure what is so radical about that. Watch for yourself. 

Mar 14

Morning Roundup: Nebraska Rejects Insurance Coverage of Abortion for Rape and Incest Victims

Beth Saunders

A new rectal gel shows promise at reducing transmission of HIV when applied before anal sex, Elton John speaks out against American sex ed, Nebraska lawmakers don't want rape and incest victims to have access to private insurance-covered abortions, and a condom fashion show at USC.

A new rectal gel shows promise at reducing transmission of HIV when applied before anal sex, Elton John speaks out against American sex ed, Nebraska lawmakers don’t want rape and incest victims to have access to private insurance-covered abortions, and a condom fashion show at USC.

  • A gel form of the AIDS drug tenofovir has been shown to reduce transmission of the virus when applied to the rectum prior to anal sex.  Previous studies have shown that a slightly different formula of the gel provided similar effects when used vaginally. Researchers are still working on the exact composition of the gel.
  • Did you go to Elton John’s Oscar-viewing party? No, me neither. I was busy lying on the couch wearing sweatpants, so I missed Elton railing against American schools’ lack of sex education. Talking about HIV/AIDS, he said, “With young people, the infection rates rise and until you inform people and make this disease a non-stigmatized thing, you’re never going to have any change and we’re batting our heads against a brick wall. We need to get into schools.”
  • Lawmakers in Nebraska rejected a measure that would have allowed health insurance in that state to cover pregnancy termination for rape and incest victims. Nebraska lawmakers are working on a bill to exclude abortion coverage from all insurance in the state, and apparently lawmakers have decided that rape victims are on their own.
  • Do you like Project Runway? Do you like sexual health? Then you have to check out the images from Project Condom, a fashion show/condom education project at the University of South Carolina. Teams of students created elaborate costumes out of different colored condoms, and educated the audience on proper condom usage.

Mar 1