What We're Reading -- April 19
Good morning, everyone! The anti-women’s health politicians continue to throw their support behind Mitt Romney, as Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced their endorsements yesterday. Meanwhile states like Ohio and Iowa show that the attacks on women’s health are far from over, as they move forward with bills that would cut off funding for comprehensive health services.
Here’s what we’re reading this morning…
Governor Mitch Daniels presided over Indiana when it became the first state to sign legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, so it’s no surprise that he would endorse fellow anti-women’s health politician Mitt Romney. “Mitch Daniels backs Romney” — “While Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joined other Republicans Wednesday in backing Mitt Romney, some conservatives in Congress say they are still lukewarm. Daniels was one of the few high-profile Republican leaders who had not endorsed the former Massachusetts governor, USA Today reported. Romney's support has picked up since former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., effectively ended his campaign last week. A fiscal conservative who was considered a possible presidential contender himself, Daniels said Romney is the best candidate to extricate the country from ‘ruinous debts and anti-enterprise policies.’”
Teen birthrate falls significantly, almost exclusively due to an increase in contraception. “Birth Control and Teenage Pregnancy” — “An encouraging new report shows a big decline in the rate of teenage births. From 2009 to 2010, the birth rate among young women ages 15 to 19 fell 9 percent, to 34.9 per thousand, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is a record low for the 65 years that data have been available, and a remarkable 44 percent drop from the 1991 rate. This good shift is largely the result of an increase in teenagers’ use of birth control — a fact that Congressional Republicans ignore as they seek to dismantle reproductive health programs…. While factors like shifting cultural attitudes and demographics play a role, the most recent birth rate decline is the result ‘almost exclusively’ of an increase in contraceptive use, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Analyzing data from an earlier C.D.C. survey, the institute found hormonal contraceptives were used by 47 percent of sexually active adolescents from 2008 to 2010, compared with 37 percent from 2006 to 2008. Teenagers’ use of dual contraceptive methods, generally condoms together with hormonal contraception, rose to 23 percent from 16 percent.”
Ohio State senator says women should not need a "permission slip from the government” to make decisions about their own bodies, as a new amendment to the state budget threatens to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. “Dems blast effort to cut Planned Parenthood money” — “COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Democrats on Wednesday blasted a proposal intended to cut federal funding to dozens of Planned Parenthood centers in the state, arguing it's a sneak assault against women's health that's being undertaken by other state governments around the country. Some female Democratic lawmakers gathered at a Statehouse news conference to criticize the last-minute amendment proposal, calling it a political ploy in an election year that's part of the ongoing national debate on abortion. They said Ohio could be the latest state trying to stop any federal dollars from supporting Planned Parenthood…. State Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland said the proposed amendment will especially hurt poor women in rural parts of the state with limited access to preventive health care. She said in many cases, Planned Parenthood is their only option for nearby health care service. ‘Women do not need a permission slip from government to decide what is in the best interest of their bodies,’ she said.”
In Iowa, a new bill would further restrict women’s access to comprehensive health services. “Iowa House votes to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood” — “Republicans in the Iowa House have voted to prohibit state tax money from being used to provide abortions to Medicaid patients in cases of rape or incest. The proposal, attached to large bill which outlines state spending for the Iowa Departments of Human Services and Public Health, also would prohibit Medicaid patients from going to Planned Parenthood to get reproductive health exams, cancer screenings or sexually-transmitted disease tests. Representative Annette Sweeney, a Republican from Alden, urged the House to adopt the policy. ‘Your vote…will prioritize health care funding in this state,’ Sweeney said. Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, a Democrat from Ames, voted against the proposals. ‘Every family circumstance is different,’ Wessel-Kroeschell said. ‘Even if we have difficulty understanding why, that’s not a reason to impose our own beliefs on someone else.’”