What We're Reading This Morning -- March 15
Good morning everyone! The fight for women’s health continues, as we and many others were outraged over Mitt Romney’s pledge to “get rid of” Planned Parenthood. And in states like Kansas and Arizona, legislators are moving forward with the latest trend in anti-choice legislation: allowing doctors to withhold critical, factual information from their patients. With that in mind, here’s what we’re reading this morning….
Mitt Romney’s solution to balancing the budget? Getting rid of Planned Parenthood. “Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood President: Mitt Romney's Plan To 'Get Rid Of' Us Won't Balance Budget” – “Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said that she was traveling in Texas Tuesday when she read about Mitt Romney's promise to ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood in order to cut the deficit. ‘I was really stunned to read that Mitt Romney has now said he wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood, because really what that means is he wants to get rid of preventative health care for 3 million folks every year,’ Richards told reporters on Wednesday. ‘It shows an extraordinary lack of understanding of family planning and the budget to say one of the ways he's going save money in this country is by ending birth control and family planning,’ she added.”
A vital and lifesaving resource for young women. “Planned Parenthood Changed My Life” — “Then, about halfway through my freshman year at Madison, I decided I wanted to go on the pill…. So I did what every normal teen-aged girl does when she wants answers. I asked my friends what I should do. Every one of them gave me the same answer: Go to Planned Parenthood. I quickly learned that for a young woman in a new city with no established medical network, Planned Parenthood could always be counted on to offer friendly affordable healthcare services…. Planned Parenthood did more than give me birth control. It gave me knowledge, and that knowledge gave me the power to be healthy, and strong, and confidant [sic] that the choices I make for my body are the right ones for me. And I was not alone. Planned Parenthood has become a vital resource for young women trying to navigate the complex world of adulthood and their own sexual identify. To destroy it would put millions of these women at risk.”
The fight over access to affordable birth control is far from over, as the Catholic Church gears up for a fight. “Catholic bishops say fight against White House mandate a top priority” – “Top U.S. Catholic bishops on Wednesday formally made their fight against a White House mandate for reproductive services the church’s top priority, saying ‘this struggle for religious freedom’ demands their immediate attention…. In the coming days the bishops will also launch a broader effort about religious freedom, expanding to include not only reproductive issues but state and local laws they say reflect a chipping away at the rights of religious groups. They’ll go after laws requiring religious ministries to turn in illegal immigrants they serve, limitations on religious groups on college campuses, restrictions on religious groups renting public schools for worship and other issues the bishops see as a trend.”
The latest trend in anti-choice legislation: protecting doctors who withhold information. “The Legal Claims of Wrongful Birth vs. the Right to Lie Over Abortion” – “In some states, though, anti-abortion activists are pushing legislation to protect doctors who don’t give women all available information about their pregnancies. Arizona and Kansas are considering bills that would ban lawsuits in cases where doctors fail to warn their patients about birth defects. The Arizona law, which is similar to legislation that exists in a handful of other states, would apply only when doctors make a mistake. But the Kansas provision, part of a sweeping, 69-page anti-abortion bill, would allow physicians to lie to women who might otherwise terminate their pregnancies. It is similar to a law in Oklahoma passed two years ago — in concert, ironically, with mandatory ultrasound legislation.”