What We're Reading This Morning -- April 11
Yesterday, Rick Santorum ended his bid for the presidency, leaving many to consider Mitt Romney the presumptive Republican nominee. While Santorum may be gone, his ideas live on in Romney, who has almost exactly the same positions [on women's health]. We’ll have more on Santorum later, but for now, here’s what we’re reading this morning….
Can Ann Romney fix Mitt’s problem with women? We don’t think so. “Mitt Romney can’t leave women voters to his wife” — “Romney’s biggest problem with women voters is among those with college educations and among those under 45. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll, for example, showed President Obama leading Romney by 57 percent to 38 percent among registered women voters, while Obama lagged with men, 44 percent to Romney’s 52 percent. However, the gender gap was markedly bigger among college-educated women, 65 percent of whom supported Obama, compared to 52 percent of those without a college education. Same with age, with 63 percent of female voters 18 to 44 backing Obama, compared to 54 percent of those 45 and older. How many of these younger and/or better-educated women are going to identify with Ann Romney’s father-knows-best description of life in chez Romney?”
Most Americans believe there will be a partisan ruling on the health care law. “Poll: More Americans expect Supreme Court’s health-care decision to be political” — “More Americans think Supreme Court justices will be acting mainly on their partisan political views than on a neutral reading of the law when they decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s health-care law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Half of the public expects the justices to rule mainly based on their ‘partisan political views,’ while fewer, 40 percent, expect their decisions to be rooted primarily ‘on the basis of the law.’ The rest say both equally or do not have an opinion…. The public’s perception of the court is closely tied to partisan and ideological leanings. Almost twice as many conservative Republicans think the court will decide on the basis of the law rather than politics, 58 to 33 percent. Liberal Democrats are more skeptical, saying by an equally wide margin that the court will put politics first.”
The teen birthrate may have decreased, but it remains significantly higher in states that require abstinence only education. “Teen Pregnancies Highest In States With Abstinence-Only Policies” — “The number of teen births in the U.S. dropped again in 2010, according to a government report, with nearly every state seeing a decrease. Nationally, the rate fell 9 percent to about 34 per 1,000 girls ages 15 through 19, and the drop was seen among all racial and ethnic groups. Mississippi continues to have the highest teen birth rate, with 55 births per 1,000 girls. New Hampshire has the lowest rate at just under 16 percent. This is the lowest national rate for teen births since the Centers for Disease Control began tracking it in 1940, and CDC officials attributed the decline to pregnancy prevention efforts. Other reports show that teenagers are having less sex and using contraception more often. Studies have backed this up. Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that teenagers who received some type of comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. And in 2007, a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs had ‘no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence.’”
In Arizona, a sweeping anti-women’s health bill heads to the desk of Governor Jan Brewer. “Arizona Legislators Send Another Top-Priority Bill to Governor: 20-Week Abortion Ban” — “HB 2036, which bans abortions past 20 weeks and imposes numerous other abortion-related regulations, is now on the desk of Governor Jan Brewer for her consideration. If you haven't been keeping up with all the abortion priorities at the Capitol this session, this particular bill has caused a bit of controversy.… Last week, a Nebraska woman sent a letter to the governor, asking her to veto the bill if it landed on her desk. That woman explained that Nebraska has a similar law on the books, and it wasn't exactly a ‘pro-life’ law if you ask her, as the state law complicated her pregnancy. Still, the 20-week abortion ban is just one of dozens of provisions the bill offers, according to a Senate fact sheet. Those new provisions include allowing doctors to be sued for performing abortions on minors without a notarized permission form from the parents or a court authorization, makes the Department of Health Services run a website ‘describing the unborn child,’ and forces a doctor to offer a printout of a woman's ultrasound, among many other things.”