What We're Reading This Morning -- March 21
Good morning everyone! Last night Mitt Romney won the Illinois primary, but that isn’t stopping the other candidates from continuing in the race to see who could be the worst candidate for women. Meanwhile the battle over women’s health moves to the states and women in Texas are fighting back. We’ll have more on this later, but in the meantime here’s what we’re reading (and watching).
WATCH: Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards on NBC Nightly News
A mother and a patient, Carolyn Smithers, writes to Mitt Romney about the importance of Planned Parenthood means to her and her family. “A Letter to Mitt Romney: What 'Getting Rid' of Planned Parenthood Means” - “I had a routine p[P]ap test at a Planned Parenthood health center when I was 19 years old, and it detected cervical cancer. Because of Planned Parenthood, the cancer was caught early. I was able to get treatment, and three decades have passed. Now my focus is on my daughters, who are 15 and 18. I have been battling breast cancer for the last several years -- it's hereditary breast cancer, which means my daughters have a 50/50 chance of getting it. I am now losing my battle with breast cancer. It has metastasized, and my doctors have told me that I can expect to live six months to two years. Because Planned Parenthood saved my life 30 years ago, and because the breast cancer I have is hereditary, my girls get screened every few months at our local Planned Parenthood health center.”
Anti-women’s health laws in the states disproportionately target Latina women who are among the least insured in the country. “Ana Perez: Time for Latinas to Speak Up on Birth Control and Choice in Arizona” – “This latest attack against women's health is based on the false and irrational argument that ‘mom and pop’ shops have the right to deny their employees access to birth control based on their religious beliefs. The bill would allow employers to take away health coverage if a woman is using birth control to prevent pregnancy. It has already passed the lower House and awaits approval in the Arizona Senate. As if passing policies such as SB-1070, the highly controversial racial profiling law and the outrageous ban on books, were not enough, now Arizona is narrowing in on women and Latinas are target number one. When we consider, for example, that Latinas are already among one of the highest uninsured groups in our country and that 97 percent of sexually active Latinas between the ages 15 and 44 have used some form of contraception, [this bill] is a clear attack in the escalating the war on Latinas.”
Women are taking a stand in Texas. “Women set Rick Perry's Facebook page on fire” –“ The governor’s been dishing it out on voter ID and abortion while surrounded by mostly like-minded folk in the red state Texas. Until this week, that is. Now Perry’s Facebook page is drawing thousands of comments pointedly taking him to task for cutting off federal funds for women’s health programs because some clinics are operated by Planned Parenthood. Many of the comments are from women facetiously seeking advice on their menstrual periods, since he’s styled himself as an expert on women’s health…. The mocking comments signal considerable frustration over Perry’s highly visible role in cutting off federal Medicaid money for the Texas Women’s Health Program.”