What We're Reading This Morning -- February 27
Good morning everyone and happy Monday! Another week begins, and politicians in Texas and Virginia are still looking to further restrict women’s health, but women aren’t letting this go without a fight. Meanwhile, with 24 hours to go before the Michigan and Arizona primaries, the Republican candidates continue to trade blows in the race to see who could be the worst candidate for women, while the states work to outdo each other in this regard as well. Here’s what we’re reading this morning….
Not an “Oops” but an “Ugh” moment in Texas with Governor Rick Perry’s new anti-women’s health rule. The Hill reports: “Texas Dem hammers Gov. Perry's new anti-abortion Medicaid funding rule” – “A senior Texas Democrat hammered GOP Gov. Rick Perry this week over new rules blocking Medicaid funding to providers affiliated with abortion services. Rep. Lloyd Doggett suggested the move is a direct threat to the roughly 130,000 low-income women who receive cancer screenings and other preventive services under the state's Women's Health Program, which could crumble without the federal funds…. Perry's administration announced Thursday that it will soon implement a GOP law banning Medicaid funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation  and other healthcare providers that either furnish abortions or are affiliated with those that furnish abortions.”
Despite plenty of public outcry (both locally and nationally), officials in Virginia continue to move forward with an ultrasound bill. The Washington Post writes: “Virginia ultrasound bill joins other states’ measures” – “Virginia officials backed off last week from requiring vaginal ultrasounds before abortions, but state legislators are still expected to pass a bill that mandates abdominal ultrasounds and adds other significant requirements for women seeking abortions. In recent years, this common diagnostic tool has taken a greater role in abortion-related legislation. Seven states require ultrasounds before abortions. Twenty states regulate some aspect of ultrasound exams, including requiring abortion providers to give women the option to view the image or listen to the fetal heartbeat if an ultrasound is performed. Eleven other states have legislation pending."
In Massachusetts, Senator Brown takes heat over support of Blunt Amendment. This includes a neat video of two women who were able to ask Senator Brown about his support for birth control. Unfortunately, they didn’t get a positive response. “Sen. Scott Brown grilled over contraception stance during campaign stop in Dracut” – “Arriving to a crowd of women protesting his position on President Obama's revised health care mandate requiring health insurance providers to cover female preventative care and contraception, Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown's routine campaign stop in Dracut Saturday involved a debate on the issue. Brown has spent much of the week defending his decision to back a Republican bill introduced to the U.S. Senate by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO., which would allow any employer or insurer to deny insurance coverage of any procedure or prescription which they find in contrast to their religious or moral beliefs.”
By the time the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented more than 30 million additional people will be covered, and women are already benefitting from the preventive care benefits. However, the public remains hesitant about the law. “Swing states poll: Health care law hurts Obama in 2012” – “In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation's dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill's passage ‘a bad thing’ and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do. ‘Mandating that you have to buy the insurance rubs me the wrong way altogether,’ says Fred Harrison, 62, a horse trainer from York County, Pa., who was among those surveyed and supports repeal even though he likes some provisions of the law. ‘It should be my own choice.’”