What We're Reading This Morning -- May 16
Good morning everyone! The Catholic bishops are at it again, not only threatening a lawsuit over the administration’s birth control mandate, but also attacking the Girl Scouts. And because it’s Women’s Health Week, Think Progress put together a list of work that Congress is doing to protect women. Definitely worth a read. Here’s what else we’re reading this morning….
You only have to look at Romney’s record to know what life would be like under a Romney presidency. “What 'President Romney' Would Mean for Women” — “Mitt Romney wants you to know that he and his party are ‘extraordinarily pro-woman’ – ‘pro-opportunity for women, pro-moms, pro-working moms, pro-working women,’ as he put it on Fox News the other night…. Even if ‘the GOP war on women’ – the metaphorical talking point – is dead, as at least one pundit has suggested, the GOP war on women – the real and continuing Republican drive to set back women’s rights and opportunities – remains very much alive. And make no mistake: A Romney presidency will only escalate the assault. Let's take a look at exactly how, starting with the issue he says will attract women voters to the Republican ticket…. But wouldn’t victory release Romney from his promissory notes to the rightwing of the Republican Party? After all, isn’t this what Etch-a-Sketch candidates do? Again Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor, so often cited in favor of his essentially moderate outlook, points to the opposite conclusion. As well as attempting to deny rape victims the morning after pill, Romney withdrew his previous support for legal abortion, embryonic stem cell research, comprehensive sex education, and gay civil rights. On social issues he flip-flops in only one direction: to the right.”
As the House votes on their own version of the Violence Against Women Act, Planned Parenthood Federation of America speaks out. “Planned Parenthood 'Strongly Opposes' House GOP's Violence Against Women Act” — “WASHINGTON -- The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has joined a growing list of civil rights organizations, women's rights groups, domestic violence workers and faith-based organizations in strong opposition to the House GOP's version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. Planned Parenthood released a statement on Tuesday saying that it ’strongly opposes’ the House measure. ‘There are few pieces of legislation that have delivered as greatly on their promise as the Violence Against Women Act,’ said Cecile Richards, president of the health services provider. ‘However, instead of seeking to expand protections, this new House bill puts victims of domestic violence in greater danger and excludes vulnerable populations from critical protections.’ After the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that included protections for unauthorized immigrant, Native American and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender victims of domestic violence, House Republicans wrote a bill that not only strips out those provisions, but also rolls back existing confidentiality protections for immigrant women who have been abused. The House version of the bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee on party lines last week and is scheduled for a full House vote on Wednesday.”
First Republicans deny Sandra Fluke the opportunity to testify on the birth control benefit, now they are denying DC’s only representative the right to testify on behalf of a DC abortion bill. “Norton Denied Chance to Testify on D.C. Abortion Bill” — “D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton announced today that she will not be given the opportunity to testify during a congressional hearing on a bill that would prohibit abortions in D.C. after 20 weeks. This Thursday the House Subcommittee on the Constitution will consider the bill introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) in January. (A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee.) Last week Norton requested the right to speak—which could have been granted by Franks, who is also the committee's chair—as she has for other hearings in which legislation directly targeting D.C. is considered. Her request was denied. ‘The post-20-week D.C. abortion ban bill targets an entire group of individuals, women who live in the District of Columbia, and their constitutional rights. Using the women of one congressional district to reach for extreme encroachments on women’s reproductive rights has become a pattern of the House Republican majority, but also reflected nationwide. We will vigorously fight the bullying tactics of the Republican majority against the District’s women, and in standing up for ourselves, we recognize that we are also in the larger fight to protect the reproductive rights of women everywhere,’ said Norton in a statement.”