What We're Reading This Morning -- June 6
Good morning everyone! Today’s edition of what we’re reading this morning is happening on the road today, live from Rhode Island. Last night was a busy night in politics with a number of primaries and the Wisconsin recall (we’ll have more on the latter later). Here’s what we’re reading this morning….
If Rick Perry’s Texas is any example, a Romney presidency would be dangerous for women. “Planned Parenthood: Romney would slash women's health funds” — “Planned Parenthood [Action Fund] attacked presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney on women's health issues Tuesday as he visited Texas, a state embroiled in a court battle with the group. Texas's dispute began when conservative officials barred public health funds for all of the state's Planned Parenthood clinics, whether they provide abortions or not. Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richard[s] said Tuesday that the move foreshadows what Romney would do in the White House. ‘What has happened to women’s health services in Texas has devastating consequences for women — and Mitt Romney wants to do it in all 50 states,’ Richards said in a statement. ‘What he doesn’t seem to realize is that women are watching and will be voting come November.’ Planned Parenthood clinics provide healthcare services such as birth control and cancer screenings to 50,000 women in Texas, the group said. The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”
Yesterday, a bill designed to protect equal pay for women and prevent gender discrimination in the workforce failed in the Senate. “Senate GOP blocks Democrats' equal pay bill” — “WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a Democratic bill calling for equal pay in the workplace. But President Obama and his congressional allies aren't finished appealing to women on the No. 1 concern for all voters: the cash in their wallets on the heels of recession. As expected, the pay equity bill failed along party lines, 52-47, short of the required 60-vote threshold. But for majority Democrats, passage wasn't the only point. The debate itself was aimed at putting Republicans on the defensive on yet another women's issue, this one overtly economic after a government report showing slower-than-expected job growth. Unlike past taunts over access to contraception and abortion, Republicans this time didn't take the bait…. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., would require employers to prove that differences in pay are based on qualifications, education and other ‘bona fides’ not related to gender. It also would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who ask about, discuss or disclose wages in response to a complaint or investigation. And it would make employers who violate sex discrimination laws liable for compensatory or punitive damages. Under the bill, the federal government would be exempt from punitive damages.”
It’s been 47 years since the Supreme Court case which overruled the states’ rights to ban contraception was decided, and we’re still fighting. “Birth control fight is still being fought” — “Thursday marks the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to make birth control legal in the United States, but the case is still being argued. The threshold Griswold v. Connecticut ruling of June 7, 1965, reversed an 1879 Connecticut statute prohibiting the use of ‘any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception,’ and stipulating that ‘any person who assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender.’ … My generation’s coming-of-age in the late ’50s and early ’60s was haunted by the girls who got sent away to submit their infants to those newly flourishing ‘homes for unwed mothers,’ where all evidence of identity was guaranteed to be permanently lost…. By contrast, the generation of our daughters has produced the recent public testimony of a Georgetown Law School student, Sandra Fluke, whose protest against undercutting the assurance of free health care — by once again excluding contraception — drew a lamentably insulting response from the political talk radio of the ferocious right. From the other side of the media brain, on the related issue of Kathleen Sebelius’s contested invitation to speak at this year’s Georgetown graduation, television commentator Chris Matthews credited the secretary of health and human services by saying that her ‘making birth control free, which is what she has done, will do more to reduce unwanted pregnancies than anything I can imagine.’”