What We're Reading This Morning -- May 17
Good morning everyone! Yesterday was a busy day on Capitol Hill, as the House approved its own version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that excludes vulnerable populations from these critical protections. Today doesn’t seem to be any less busy. A committee hearing will be held on the DC abortion ban put forward by Arizona Representative Trent Franks, who refuses to let DC’s only elected representative testify on behalf of her constituents. With all that in mind, here’s what we’re reading this morning….
Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards imagines what a Mitt Romney presidency would look like for women. “Romney no friend on women's health” — “(CNN) -- This week, as we celebrate National Women's Health Week -- a time when women are encouraged to make our health a priority by scheduling wellness checkups -- Billie's story came to my mind. Like many women, Billie is busy with her family, balancing bills and struggling without health insurance. But she finally took the time to put herself first and went to get a checkup. It's amazing to think that those few precious moments she spent in an exam room potentially saved her and her family from mounds of medical bills and emotional agony. But for a significant number of women in this country, accessing preventive health care services such as lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams is becoming more difficult, thanks to legislators who are putting politics before women's health…. Yet what is happening to patients in states like Ohio is just a preview of what women can expect from Mitt Romney if he is elected president. His promise to strike down the Affordable Care Act and its requirement that health plans cover birth control without co-pays, along with his pledge to end the nation's family planning program -- which provides preventive care to nearly 5 million women -- and his vow to ’get rid’ of Planned Parenthood would have real and serious consequences for millions of women nationwide.”
The attacks on women’s health continue on Capitol Hill this week. “War Over Women Rages On” — “Its [sic] been a busy week for the war against women on Capitol Hill, with Democrats and Republicans jockeying to score the most political points possible. The House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee adopted an amendment prohibiting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency from using funds to provide abortions, except in certain circumstances. That prompted a statement from Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. ‘Abortion has no business being debated as part of a Homeland Security funding bill. For months we’ve seen opponents of women’s health focus more on limiting women’s access to health services than on expanding jobs, growing the economy, and now, protecting U.S. national security,’ Richards said. Not to be outdone by liberal groups, the anti-abortion rights Susan B. Anthony List tried to claim the ‘war on women’ for conservatives, releasing a video that accuses President Obama of forcing women to go against their religious convictions.”
In the New Hampshire House, legislators opposed to women’s health continue to push new bills that would restrict women’s access to abortion, this time advocating for a medically unnecessary mandatory waiting period. “New Hampshire Abortion: Lawmakers Adopt 24-Hour Waiting Period” — “The Republican-controlled New Hampshire House of Representatives Tuesday adopted a measure placing a 24-hour waiting period on abortions as part of a business tax credit bill. The House passed the measure, attaching the ’Women's Right to Know Act,’ toward the end of Tuesday's session in an effort to push the abortion bill out of the Legislature during the 2012 session. The bill, which extends the state's research and development tax credit program, passed the Senate in March, then the abortion measure was tacked on in a House committee. Lawmakers feel that the abortion measure -- which failed in the Senate earlier this year -- will ultimately kill the complete bill. ‘What we have done is take a good piece of fiscal legislation and condemn the legislation to death on the other side of the wall,’ a Democratic lawmaker said of the bill. ‘We've hijacked the bill.’ The abortion provision specifies a series of steps a doctor must take 24 hours before an abortion is scheduled. They include informing the woman which doctor will perform the abortion and informing her of medical complications that could result following the abortion. The complications mentioned in the bill include risk of infection, hemorrhages, tearing of uterine lining and risk to future pregnancies.”