What We're Reading This Morning -- April 18
It’s a busy day today, especially in states like Ohio, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, which all face anti-women’s health legislation that could further restrict access to comprehensive and preventive care. Meanwhile, Joan Walsh continues to stand up for Planned Parenthood and Cecile Richards is named to TIME 100’s Most Influential People list for the second year in a row.
Here’s what we’re reading this morning…
The idea that women and men should be able to plan their families is STILL bipartisan. Joan Walsh writes for Salon, “Why Planned Parenthood Matters” — “I think the attacks on Planned Parenthood are part of what is widening the gender gap behind President Obama…. As Rebecca Traister and I wrote after the Komen debacle, Planned Parenthood was traditionally the staid, bipartisan women’s health organization, supported by Republicans like Peggy Goldwater, Prescott Bush and his son George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Betty Ford – and of course, at one time, Ann Romney, and Mitt Romney’s extended family. I think it would be good for the country, not just for Planned Parenthood, if believing that women (and men) should be able to plan their families went back to being a bipartisan point of view. Actually, it is still a bipartisan point of view, it’s just that Tea Party extremists are trying to hijack the Republican Party and impose a fringe view on the rest of us. But the double-barrel assault on Planned Parenthood, first by the Tea Party, then by Komen, woke women up to that new radicalism, one that put even contraception access back on the table. (Thanks, Rick Santorum!) I think it also woke up the women’s movement to the importance of placing contraception and abortion services in a full spectrum of women’s healthcare – as well as in the larger context of the kind of society we want….”
In Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Votes is up with a new ad to show just how dangerous a restrictive ultrasound bill can be. Read the story in POLITICO: “Planned Parenthood [Votes] spends big in Pennsylvania special election” — “The political arm of Planned Parenthood is going up with a major TV ad buy in a Pennsylvania special election, aimed at sending a message to state Republicans who are attempting to pass a restrictive ultrasound bill. The script packs a punch: ‘I help women facing the difficult decision to end a pregnancy, including women who are victims of domestic violence. And that’s why Ryan Mackenzie won’t be getting my vote. Mackenzie’s Harrisburg friends want to force me to show my patients images of an ultrasound even when she doesn’t want to see it. That’s cruel. Worse, Mackenzie’s friends would force a patient to take that image home, where an abuser could find it. That’s dangerous. That’s why Ryan Mackenzie’s wrong for Pennsylvania women’…. And the Planned Parenthood ad buy comes just as Gov. Tom Corbett – who famously said that women who don't want to view the ultrasound ‘just have to close your eyes’ – reportedly prepares to endorse Mitt Romney.”
Anti-women’s health politicians in Ohio add language to the budget bill that would effectively defund Planned Parenthood in the Buckeye State. “Ohio House Republicans move to defund Planned Parenthood” — “COLUMBUS, Ohio - House Republican foes of abortion rights inserted language into Gov. John Kasich's mid-budget review bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of up to $1.7 million in federal funding controlled by the state Department of Health. The language effectively would block federal funding administrated by the state for 37 family planning centers operated by Planned Parenthood in Ohio, according to the organization. It was one of dozens of amendments to Kasich's sprawling mini-budget added Tuesday by Republicans in the Finance Committee. The budget bill is on a fast track, with majority-party GOP lawmakers expected to pass the legislation before Memorial Day. The language added by GOP abortion opponents, which mirrors a separate bill that sits in committee, reprioritizes federal family planning funds in a way that makes Planned Parenthood and other stand-alone family planning providers the lowest priority in getting federal funding.”