What We're Reading This Morning -- April 27
Good morning everyone and Happy Friday! Yesterday the Senate passed the Violence Against Women reauthorization bill which now heads to the House for final passage. Thirty-one senators voted against the bill, all male Republicans. In Arizona, two anti-women’s health bills sit on Governor Brewer’s desk waiting to be signed, while many citizens demand she exercises her power to veto. Here’s what we’re reading this morning….
VAWA passes in the Senate, despite “No” votes from 31 male senators. “Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill passed by Senate” – “A measure that would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act was approved by the Senate Thursday with broad bipartisan support, despite some Republican objections to key provisions. The battle over those differences now moves to the House, where Republicans are pushing an alternative version of the bill. The Senate voted 68 to 31 to pass the bill following an attempt by Democrats in recent weeks to paint Republican objections as a new assault on issues important to women. By Thursday, Republicans were insisting they also wished for speedy passage of the bill, despite their concerns. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), one of eight Republican co-sponsors, said it represented ‘thousands of hours’ of work by domestic violence advocates. ‘I do believe it represents a real improvement in the services offered to victims, even in a difficult budget environment,’ she said. But other Republicans objected to a number of the measure’s new provisions. One would add language barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in programs funded through the measure.”
Why do people mistake emergency contraception and abortion? Anti-women’s health activists intentionally confuse the two. Irina Carmen explains in Salon: “The myth of the ‘morning-after abortion pill’” – “It started around February, when Republicans were still eager to talk about contraception. The Obama administration, or so Mitt Romney charged in Colorado, was forcing religious institutions to provide ‘morning-after pills — in other words abortive pills — and the like, at no cost.’ It was, of course, a lie. Romney was conflating two different pills: emergency contraception, known as the morning-after pill, which prevents a pregnancy; and chemical abortion, or mifepristone, which ends a pregnancy of up to seven weeks’ gestation and isn’t covered under the new guidelines. Since both pills were marketed in the U.S. around the same time, even some pro-choicers have gotten confused. But Colorado happens to be the epicenter of people confusing them on purpose. It’s the birthplace of the Personhood movement and home to Focus on the Family, both of which have strategically called emergency contraception ‘abortion’ on the scientifically unproven basis that they could block a fertilized egg from implanting.”
Two anti-women’s health bills in Arizona sit on Governor Brewer’s desk. “Gov. should veto 2 bills restricting our health care” – “Two bills before Gov. Jan Brewer would directly restrict Arizonans' ability to make private and personal medical decisions. Brewer should veto both. HB 2625 would allow organizations to declare themselves ‘a religiously affiliated employer’ and refuse to include contraception in their health-insurance plans. The ‘religiously affiliated’ distinction is a step back from the original version, which allowed any employer to declare a religious objection. The fundamental problem remains, however, in that it allows employers to impose their personal religious beliefs on another. The other bill, HB 2800, would strip any public funding from any organization that provides abortion services. Keep in mind that it is already illegal for agencies to use public money to pay for those services — this legislation would prohibit health-care organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, from receiving taxpayer money to provide any type of family planning services. Yet the discussion, if one can describe a lopsided religious and legislative effort to directly affect another person's medical care as a discussion, has focused on Arizonans of the uterus-possessing variety.”