What We're Reading -- February 21
Good morning everyone; we hope you had a restful Presidents’ Day Weekend! As the Senate remains in recess, leaving Roy Blunt’s amendment dangling in uncertainty, there’s plenty going on in the states as anti-women’s health legislation makes its way in Virginia and New Hampshire (among others). But these unpopular bills aren’t moving without a fight. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney continue to duke it out in the final days before voters in Michigan and Arizona cast their ballots next week in the next Republican presidential primaries (or as well like to call it, the race to see who could be worst for women’s health).
The economics of affordable birth control. Sarah Kliff from the Washington Post reports: “The economics of birth control” – “Marginal Revolution flags recent research that sheds light on how pricing effects women’s use of contraceptives… ‘We find that the three- to ten-fold increase in the price of the Pill reduced the use of oral contraception by 1 to 1.8 percentage points, on average, or 2 to 4 percent, among college women. These findings are consistent with previous literature that documents small price elasticities for contraception in other contexts.’”
An out-of-touch debate in New Hampshire. Why are New Hampshire lawmakers debating a mandate that has existed without controversy for more than a decade? The Concord Monitor editorial staff writes: “Contraception attacks must be rejected” – “Today will bring a committee vote on a resolution sponsored by the Republican leadership in the New Hampshire House calling on the federal government to rescind its rule requiring that health plans provide coverage for contraception. Coming later this session: a measure undoing the New Hampshire law that includes a similar mandate. Is this what anyone imagined 21st-century politics would be about? Do Republicans really believe that debating the value of birth control will win them many votes?”
Over 1,000 Virginians silently protest anti-women’s health personhood, ultrasound bills. The Associated Press reports: “Women protest anti-abortion bills in Va. by locking arms, standing mute outside state Capitol” – “Hundreds of women stood mute, arm-in-arm, forming a human cordon through which legislators walked before Monday’s House and Senate sessions to protest a wave of anti-abortion legislation coursing through Virginia’s General Assembly. Capitol and state police officers, there to ensure order, estimated the crowd to be at least 1,000, perhaps 1,500 at the noon peak of the protest. The silent demonstration was over bills that would define embryos as humans and criminalize their destruction, require ‘transvaginal’ ultrasounds of women seeking abortions, and cut state aid to poor women seeking abortions.”