Afternoon Roundup: Wall Street Journal FAIL

Amie Newman

The Wall Street Journal FAIL on federal funding for abortion; planned homebirth and ACOG; Kansas' new abortion reporting bureacracy; and expanding family planning for more Americans is (surprise!) a tremendous benefit to women's health.

The Wall Street Journal FAIL on federal funding for abortion; planned homebirth and ACOG; Kansas’ new abortion reporting bureacracy; and expanding family planning for more Americans is (surprise!) a tremendous benefit to women’s health.

  • A missed report but a good one: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a “Committee Opinion” on January 20th which actually acknowledges that some women decide to opt for a planned homebirth. It still uses a “widely discredited” study, notes The Big Push for Midwives, as evidence for the dangers of a planned homebirth. Yet this acknowledgement that women do birth at home will help more healthy women who wish to birth at home, access optimal care:

Although The College does not support planned home births given the published medical data, it emphasizes that women who decide to deliver at home should be offered standard components of prenatal care, including Group B Strep screening and treatment, genetic screening, and HIV screening. It also is important for women thinking about a planned home birth to consider whether they are healthy and considered low-risk and to work with a Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Midwife, or physician that practices in an integrated and regulated health system; have ready access to consultation; and have a plan for safe and quick transportation to a nearby hospital in the event of an emergency.

  • Health and Environment Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health, Robert Moser, told the Associated Press that his office would start requiring “abortion providers to give the state more details about late-term procedures they perform.” Not a surprise considering he was appointed by the virulently anti-choice Governor Sam Brownback. He says doctors who perform later term abortions, after 21 weeks, or after viability, for reasons related to the woman’s health or life, must be “accurate” when filling out the forms. That’s already the law though. As well, maybe Moser needs to be told, the only physician providing later term abortions in his state – Dr. George Tiller –  was murdered by an anti-choice fanatic in 2009.
  • Media Matters for America today points out that the Wall Street Journal falsely notes that the recently introduced “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” bill is consistent with current federal restrictions on abortion. Wow, somebody needs to tell Kimberly Strassel to do her research. In fact, the bill would do far more than that – reaching into the tax treatment for private coverage of abortion care and changing the tax code so that employer would be prohibited from claiming a tax deduction for “premiums paid for insurance coverage of abortion services.” This bill doesn’t simply codify current law, like the Hyde Amendment, into permanent law but from Smith (Chris Smith, the representative who introduced the bill) himself, “Our new bill is designed to permanently end any U.S. government financial support for abortion, whether it be direct funding or by tax credits or any other subsidy.”
  • The Guttmacher Institute released a report today which projects that states which institute expanded Medicaid programs for family planning services will see a considerable benefit in terms of helping many more women avoid pregnancies they don’t want, improve maternal health and improve child health by helping women space out their pregnancies, as well. The health reform law makes it much easier for states to expand eligibility for their Medicaid family planning programs – Wisconsin became the first state to do so with extremely positive results thus far.

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