What We're Reading - June 20
Good morning, everyone! Today is the first day of summer and it is incredibly hot — all across the country. Seriously, just look at this map. So while you’re trying to avoid the heat, check out some of our morning reads….
Pillamina steals the show, and the press picks up on her recent political appearances. “Giant pack of birth control to follow Romney on campaign trail” — “Planned Parenthood's political arm is sending a special surrogate out on the campaign trail to highlight the group's disagreements with Mitt Romney: a gigantic package of birth control. Dubbed ‘Pillamina’ by the group, the costumed figure will follow the presumptive Republican nominee to draw attention to his objection to President Obama's birth-control coverage mandate. The move highlights the breadth of Planned Parenthood's political action this election cycle, as women's health issues remain in the headlines and Democrats seek to solidify their lead among female voters. The group recently made its third presidential endorsement ever — backing Obama — and launched a $1.4 million ad buy blasting Romney. ‘Pillamina’ will appear in Troy, Mich., on Wednesday, according to materials from Planned Parenthood [Action Fund]. That state recently made international headlines after two lawmakers, both women and both Democrats, were banned from speaking on the floor for mentioning ’vaginas’ and ’vasectomies’ in an emotional debate over abortion.”
Gearing up for a fight, Catholic Associations are putting an ad on the air. “Catholic group to launch ad against birth control mandate” — “An association of lay Catholics will air a nationwide ad against the Obama administration's birth control coverage mandate on Fox News Thursday. The move serves to highlight a two-week effort by U.S. Catholic bishops to build momentum against the mandate, which some have argued violates religious freedom. The debate puts the church in a tough spot because polls show that the vast majority of Catholic women use and support birth control. ‘We are Catholics. Together, we are the church. … We will defend our right to practice our faith free from government coercion,’ the Catholic Association ad's narrator says over a photo of President Obama. The group also announced a new poll finding that a majority of voters ’oppose the notion that free birth control should be a federal priority.’ Catholics for Choice, meanwhile, said Tuesday that more than 3,600 people have submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services in support of the mandate. The group has also dismissed the bishops' two-week activism push, saying that warm-up events were poorly attended ’even by the low standards that the bishops set themselves.’"
New reports on pregnancy rates for women in their twenties. “U.S. women in 20s less likely to get pregnant or have abortion” — “(Reuters) — Pregnancy rates for U.S. women in their early 20s fell nearly 18 percent from 1990 to 2008 and their abortion rate dropped by 32 percent, as those women delayed the decision to have a baby and used more effective birth control, said a government report released on Wednesday. The findings for women in their prime child bearing years mirror similar studies showing declines in pregnancies and abortions among teenagers. The report from the National Center for Health Statistics stated that in 2008, the pregnancy rate for the 20 to 24 age group was 163 per 1,000 women. By comparison, in 1990 that demographic had a pregnancy rate of 198.5 per 1,000, which was nearly 18 percent higher than in 2008. Pregnancy rates for women between the ages of 25 and 29 fell a more modest 6 percent during the same time period, to 167.9 per 1,000, according to statistics in the report…. Another reason for the decrease in pregnancies among younger women is more effective birth control methods, including the combined use of condoms and other methods such as contraceptive patches that release hormones, she said. ‘If the pregnancy rates are down, including both births and abortion rates, that would show more efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies,’ Ventura [Stephanie Ventura, an author of the National Center for Health Statistics report] said.”