Tag Archives: reproductive health

Planned Parenthood rejoices: Obama commits to women’s right to choose

Planned: adj. devised with a specific intention or goal

Parenthood: n. the state of being a parent, having or bearing a child.

Becoming a parent is perhaps the most serious and sacred responsibility a woman can undertake. And boy did I feel it when my first child was born!  Bearing a child forever changes you. Every child deserves a mother who wanted and planned to have him.

The folks at Planned Parenthood and other public health agencies that support women’s rights to reproductive health care must be dancing in the streets. When was the last time we heard a president say anything remotely as clear and affirmative as this?

Statement of President Obama on the 36th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose.

While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.

On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want for women everywhere.

Hallelujah! It’s a NEW DAY!!!

Update  Friday 1/23: It’s even better! Today Obama ended the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option. These groups did a whole lot more than abortion, and were really hampered for lack of funds to give out information on contraception, AIDs and other diseases, and provide basic women’s preventive health care.

Palin Pregnancy: poster child for “abstinence only”?

For awhile rumors flew that the Palin’s fifth child was actually their 17-year-old daughter Bristol’s. But now we learn that Bristol is five months pregnant herself, which lays the first story to rest, but brings up another:

Abstinence only.

It worked so well for Bristol. So now there will be a shot gun wedding. The family will be lauded for their support of their wayward daughter and for accepting the new challenges “God” has brought into their lives.

Those who like their women pregnant and barefoot will applaud this whole charade. Meanwhile those who believe public policy should give women control over their own bodies just suffered another blow.

Maybe Bristol’s marriage will work out. Occasionally the high school flame is good for life. Mostly not though. And many kids who become pregnant because they were “abstinent” have no family support or understanding.

Here’s another question: do we want a vice-president who’s in the middle of two family dramas – rearing a baby with Down Syndrome, and dealing with a pregnant teen?  Just getting up to speed on foreign policy should be filling Palin’s every waking hour from now till she loses the election.

Poison Pill for Planned Parenthood from the Bush administration

The Bush administration has it out for women (and the environment and the poor and our civil rights and our servicemen and and and and…). Their latest attack on the rights of women to have access to reproductive health care just came down (from the Washington Post):

The Bush administration yesterday announced plans to implement a controversial regulation designed to protect doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who object to abortion from being forced to deliver services that violate their personal beliefs.

The rule empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors’ offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds.

“People should not be forced to say or do things they believe are morally wrong,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. “Health-care workers should not be forced to provide services that violate their own conscience.”

The proposed regulation, which could go into effect after a 30-day comment period*, was welcomed by conservative groups, abortion opponents and others as necessary to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways. Women’s health advocates, family planning advocates, abortion rights activists and others, however, condemned the regulation, saying it could create sweeping obstacles to a variety of health services, including abortion, family planning, end-of-life care and possibly a wide range of scientific research.

What this means – if the public doesn’t make a big enough fuss – is that pharmacists, doctors, nurses and others don’t have to provide birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraception and other forms of contraception if they think it’s wrong, and explicitly allows workers to withhold information about such services and refuse to refer patients elsewhere.

Planned Parenthood is fighting this ruling and urges people to contact their congressperson, the Dept of HHS, newspapers, etc.  And of course Planned Parenthood will accept your contributions to their action fund so they can fight it.

I can imagine a time when a vegetarian grocery checker will refuse to check you out if there’s meat in your cart, a teacher will refuse to teach your child because he’s Muslim, a fundamentalist waiter will refuse to serve a couple because they’re gay…   What is WITH these people????

*The 30-day comment period means YOU – speak up!  Here’s the Dept of Health and Human Services comment site.  (No matter that it appears the comments are about the website; this is where you comment).