If you’re like me, you might be doing a double take. Take your time. Pause. Read the headline again. Your brain has not jumbled the words. It does say restore, not restrict.
If you’ve been following the gradual dismantling of access to family planning and women’s health services across the United States, you’re probably shocked and excited by this news. Texas is still trying to restrict access to abortion with new clinic regulations and a so-called “fetal pain” bill, but in terms of family planning and basic access to women’s healthcare, legislators are biting their tongues and working quickly and quietly to restore the funding that they dismantled in flamboyant fashion in 2011.
According to The New York Times, State Representative Sarah Davis (R) said, “The major difference is we’re not fighting about it. We’re just doing what’s right for women and the state.” Davis, who is against legal abortion, is the only Republican member of the House Women’s Health Caucus. She helped the two sides come together in a compromise. She attributes this compromise to the reaction of voters who were more than peeved that non-abortion providing clinics closed in their districts. Keep reading »
Access to contraception is a universal human right, the United Nations has declared. The annual report “State Of The World Population 2012,” released today by the U.N. Population Fund regarding women and children in the developing world, is the first ever to describe contraception as a human right. By doing so, the Associated Press explains, the UN has declared that preventing a woman from access to family planning services (whether through politics, religion, etc.) is an abuse of her rights. Keep reading »
Those little tramps are at it again. The nefarious-cookie sellers are trying to pull a fast one on us! The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched an official inquiry on the Girl Scouts out of concern that scouting materials contain links to other groups like Oxfam, the Sierra Club, and Doctors Without Borders, which support family planning and contraception. Apparently the connection here is that some Girl Scout troops are held in Catholic churches. Mind you, Oxfam works to end world poverty, the Sierra Club is an environmental organization, and Doctors Without Borders supports medical professionals in conflict zones. Nevertheless, those tenuous links to the Girl Scouts are “problematic,” say the bishops.
Sigh. Can’t we just leave the poor Girl Scouts alone already? [New York Times] Keep reading »
“The moving target is focused on women in America.”
That was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to reporters this morning as he addressed the threat of a government shutdown over an inability by Republicans and Democrats to reach a deal on the budget. The main piece of contention? Funding for Title X, which allocates funds for family planning services, including those offered by Planned Parenthood. The issue? Even though Title X funds don’t cover them, Planned Parenthood provides abortions.
In simple, basic terms, let’s recap seven things you need to know about the threat of a governmental shutdown: Keep reading »
No one can deny Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a longtime, committed supporter of the rights of women and girls globally—especially the right for women to plan their pregnancies. Clinton spoke this afternoon at the International Conference on Population and Development on the 15th anniversary of its historic Cairo summit, when 179 governments adopted a program to level out population and development by addressing gender equity and reproductive rights.
I listened to Secretary of State Clinton’s speech live on C-SPAN (watch the video here) and teared up. Here’s a (rough) transcript for some of the points she made. Keep reading »
The recession is effecting more than just our wallets. As money gets tighter, a lot of women are putting their baby-making plans on hold. Women’s clinics across California are getting record numbers of calls, and many of the callers are wanting abortions. And not just single women—a lot of them have families already, but are reconsidering poppin’ another one out because, well, kids are expensive and folks are worried about losing their jobs. Check out some other ways women are restructuring their sex lives these days. [LATimes] Keep reading »
On October 16, 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the nation’s first family planning clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Women waited on line to get information on birth control. Nine days later Sanger was arrested for violating the Comstock obscenity laws, which made it illegal to send any contraceptive devices and birth control information through the mail and banned the distribution of information on abortion for educational purposes. Unfortunately, the clinic was closed, but that didn’t stop the birth control movement. She later opened clinics, known as “Mothers’ Health Centers,” in Manhattan and the Bronx, which later became branches of Planned Parenthood of New York City. The American Medical Association didn’t recognize birth control as an essential health service until 1937, but Sanger had championed the benefits for two decades prior. [Planned Parenthood] Keep reading »