What We're Reading - July 25
Good morning, everyone! It’s a busy day today, so we’ll skip to the highlights. Here’s what we’re reading this morning….
In Oregon, Obama discusses the importance of protecting women’s access to health care. “Obama gets personal on Planned Parenthood” — “PORTLAND, Ore. -- President Barack Obama got personal with his stump speech Tuesday. ‘Mr. Romney wants to get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood. I think that’s a bad idea,’ Obama said to about 950 donors at the Oregon Convention Center as he highlighted differences with Mitt Romney. ‘I’ve got two daughters. I want them to control their own health care choices.’ The president attacked Romney on a broad range of other policy points too. ‘On almost every issue there’s a contrast,’ the president said before turning to his decision on gays in the military. ‘I believe we did the right thing in ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Obama said. ‘I believe that fairness is a hallmark of this country. Mr. Romney disagrees when it comes to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. But we’re not going backwards. We’re going forward.’ Like his other stops on this week’s campaign trip to California and Washington State, Obama’s visit to deep blue Oregon wasn’t about trying to convert voters. This trip is about raising money from an active Democratic base that includes technology, venture capital and business executives.”
MSNBC highlights Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana’s role in the defeat of “personhood” initiative. “’Personhood' movement slowed in 2012 as amendment fails to make Montana ballot”—“A movement to ban abortion in Montana by placing an amendment on the state's November ballot to define life as starting at conception, or fertilization, has failed. Similar so-called ‘personhood’ proposals in half a dozen other states have also failed this year. The Montana ProLife Coalition gathered less than half the signatures it would have needed to get the amendment on the ballot (23,512 out of 48,674 necessary), according to the Missoulian. The amendment, CI-108, would have altered the state constitution to extend all rights afforded to the state's citizens, including due process, to human embryos, thus outlawing abortion, but also possibly impacting some birth control, in-vitro fertilization, and stem cell research. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana championed its voter education effort with helping to block the amendment, saying that after ‘months of work educating voters on the severity of the proposed law, Montanans thought carefully about the unintended consequences before rejecting this dangerous measure.’"
Good news coming out of the International AIDS conference. “Scientists say an HIV cure is within reach” — “An influential group of scientists gathered this week at the International AIDS Conference in Washington is committing to a goal that just five years ago would have seemed ludicrous: to cure HIV. After studying the virus for more than 30 years and developing potent drugs that transformed the disease from a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition, a growing number of researchers now say the search for a cure should be a major research priority. While acknowledging substantial challenges, they argue that the effort is necessary because the epidemic cannot be contained through treatment and prevention alone. And recent medical and scientific advances — including the case of the first man definitively cured of the human immunodeficiency virus— offer proof that it’s possible. Spearheading this audacious challenge is the International AIDS Society, which developed a research agenda in collaboration with more than 40 scientists led by French virologist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, who won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2008 for her role in the discovery of HIV. Among the tasks: investigating where and how the virus can hide out in the body and studying the immune response of the select group of people who are naturally immune to HIV.”