What We're Reading -- May 15
Good morning everyone! Yesterday President Obama delivered the commencement address to the Barnard College Class of 2012 where he discussed the gender gap. Today, the House is expected to vote on their own version of the Violence Against Women Act. And tomorrow, the Ohio House will hold a committee hearing on a bill that would effectively defund Planned Parenthood health centers in the state. Here’s what we’re reading this morning….
In honor of Women’s Health Week, Dr. Vanessa Cullins writes in the Huffington Post on the importance of taking care of your health. “Time to Make Our Health a Priority“ — “’Your health should come first, but when you're a healthy and busy working adult, you tend to forget how quickly the time flies.’ This is Beth, a Planned Parenthood patient, talking about how, when she was 32, her doctor found a lump in her right breast. The discovery was made during an appointment that Beth was nearly too busy to keep. ’Had I not gone in for my checkup, I wouldn't have known about the lump. And while it was determined to be benign, the knowledge that I have a lump in my breast and the skill of knowing what a lump feels like in the future -- I value Planned Parenthood for helping me stay a healthy woman.’ Beth's story is a reminder of how crucial preventive care is, and National Women's Health Week (May 13 - 19) is a good time for us all to prioritize our health. In observance of the week, we're encouraging women to use Monday, May 14 -- National Women's Checkup Day -- to schedule a check-up with their health care provider.”
How important is the women’s vote in 2012? Politico details the history of the gender gap. “Will women finally determine presidential vote?” — “Will the women’s vote finally determine the outcome of the presidential election? Since women first got the vote, with the 19th Amendment in 1920, presidential politics has awaited this climactic moment. Until now, election statistics have never proved that the 19th Amendment altered the outcome of any presidential race. In 2008, Barack Obama handily won the female vote. But given margins of statistical error in exit polls, the men’s choice is not determinable. In both 1992 and 1996, a similar pattern emerged in Bill Clinton’s victories…. Given Romney’s current weakness with women, he will likely be working from now until the GOP convention at the end of August to improve his public standing. Experts are predicting a closer election than in 2008. But with the developing gender dynamic, it should not surprise anyone if, come Labor Day, the polls show men solidly favoring Romney with women lined up strongly behind Obama. So this ‘battle of the sexes’ could then set up a potentially historic climax if the president wins reelection. It would be a significant milestone, symbolic of one of the vast changes occurring in national politics.”
Senator Rand Paul wants to ignore the Supreme Court and have Congress institute “personhood”. “Rand Paul Signs Fundraising Email Calling For Congress To Simply Ignore Roe v. Wade” — “Earlier today, the National Review’s mailing list distributed an email (which can also be found here) signed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), which called for Congress to pass a law effectively rendering a binding Supreme Court decision a nullity:
Working from what the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, pro-life lawmakers can pass a Life at Conception Act and end abortion using the Constitution instead of amending it. . . . Signing the Life at Conception Act petition will help break through the opposition clinging to abortion-on-demand and get a vote on this life-saving bill to overturn Roe v. Wade. Life at Conception Act declares unborn children ‘persons’ as defined by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, entitled to legal protection.
It’s not entirely clear why Paul believes Congress has this power, and the email he signed does not provide a fully developed legal argument making the case for such an law. Instead, it appears to argue that Congress can simply grant full legal ’personhood’ status to fetuses under the 14th Amendment because Roe left open ‘the difficult question of when life begins.’ This is not a correct reading of the Roe decision, however. The Roe opinion is unambiguous that ‘the word “person,” as used in the 14th Amendment, does not include the unborn.’”