Category Archives: Choice
There have been plenty of articles over the past few days over the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, mammograms, and other life saving treatment that low income women across this country depend upon. While I find this decision appalling, I’m going to defer to the authors of those articles rather than write another piece myself.
Instead, I want to focus on an aspect of this scandal that has been largely overlooked: the blatant hypocrisy of the decision. No, I’m not talking about the hypocrisy of right wingers demanding that the Komen Foundation cut off funding for life saving treatment in the name of being “pro-life.” I’m also not talking about the hypocrisy of creating a rule for the explicit and sole purpose of cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood, and then blaming said rule for not being able to fund Planned Parenthood.
No, I want to focus on their inconsistent and hypocritical application of this rule. For those in the back, the Komen Foundation created a rule in December barring funds to organizations under local, state, or federal investigation. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) has recently launched a base-less and politically motivated investigation into Planned Parenthood’s funding, specifically to determine if they illegally use federal funds for abortions (which, as it has been well documented, they do not).
Meanwhile, the Komen Foundation continues to maintain a relationship with a corporate partner that IS under investigation from multiple governments. I speak, of course, of their partnership with Bank of America. Over the past three years, Bank of America has donated over $2.7 million to the Komen Foundation through their pink-ribbon credit cards. Does this seem a little strange to anyone else? Take it away, Georgia Logothetis:
Yes, that’s the same Bank of America that is “currently under a local, state or federal formal investigation for financial or administrative impropriety or fraud.” Here’s a sampling of what Bank of America is facing:
- In New York, Bank of America is being investigated for “fraudulently steered homeowners into overpriced insurance policies.”
- In California and Nevada, Bank of America is under investigation for “foreclosure fraud and other wrongdoing in the mortgage markets, including the packaging and selling of mortgage-backed securities by Wall Street players and scams by smaller players offering to help troubled borrower.”
- In Arizona, Bank of America is under investigation for its loan modification practices.
- And, of course, the federal government’s new mortgage crisis unit will be investigating Bank of America’s conduct leading up to the real estate crisis.
If that were the end of the hypocrisy, that would be one thing. But it’s so much worse than that. Bank of America, inarguably, played a role in creating the Great Recession. With high levels of unemployment also comes a large number of people without health insurance (at least until Health Care Reform fully kicks in). And without health insurance, it is incredibly difficult for women to afford preventative care like breast cancer screenings and mammograms. See where I’m going with this? So instead of cutting ties with a corporation that had a large role in a recession that actively (and possibly irrevocably) harmed women, they defunded an organization that provides cancer screenings to low income women, a service in increasing demand because of the aforementioned recession.
The cognitive dissonance makes my head hurt.Ed. note: I’m not upset that the Komen Foundation has a partnership with Bank of America. If Bank of America is going to exist and make a ridiculous amount of money, I’m glad that they’re donating some of that to help fight breast cancer. I’m merely pointing this out to highlight the hypocrisy of the Komen Foundation as yet another reason why they should reverse their decision to defund Planned Parenthood.
This week’s Kick Ass Thursday was hosted by FemDems, The University of Michigan College Democrat’s women’s issues committees. We presented information about sex education and had a comprehensive presentation on safe sex practices from a couple of Planned Parenthood certified educators. Whether you missed this week’s meeting, or just want to share with your friends, here are some links to check out for safe sex information:
+ Bad Sex Ed- A Tumblr giving people a forum to expose their bad sex education experiences.
+ Bristol Palin and The Situation talk abstinence and safe sex practices (sort of):
+ Primetime reveals a stark contrast between comprehensive and abstinence-only sex education programs:
+Scarleteen- a grassroots site providing sex education and advice to young adults
+ Dan Savage – America’s leading sex and relationship advice columnist and podcaster
+ University Health Services’ guide to safe sex practices and on campus resources
Last week Â New York District Judge Edward Korman ordered the FDA to allow over-the-counter access to Plan B emergency contraceptive for 17-year-olds. The pill is currently available over-the-counter for women 18 years of age and above, and can be acquired through prescription for minors.Â
Throughout the Bush administration, the FDA refused to address the issue of providing access to the drug for women under the age of 18. Republicans do not want wider access to the pill, because, as the article cites, Plan B “is a source of tension for social conservatives… who believe the pill is tantamount to abortion.” Now that the conservative Bush administration is out of office though, courts can now try to provide wider access without fears of Obama’s administration appealing the case.Â
While I’m not going to comment on women’s decision to use the pill or not, I will say that providing over-the-counter access to 17-year-olds recognizes the fact that women of that age are at the age of consent. A woman old enough to consent to sex should be old enough to grant medical consent for something that affect her sexual health. While conservatives are worried that this will increase the “danger that Plan B may be given to … sexually abused women or minors,” I feel that it has little connection. I don’t think the use of the pill or not would affect whether a woman reports sexual assault.Â
The judge told the FDA that they had 30 days to comply with his order to make Plan B available to 17-year-olds. A week is already up. We’ll see if the FDA can get over the past eight years of a conservative administration and quickly come up to speed with current Democratic policies, or if this will become an ongoing debate.
Look what Maddie and I discovered:
There are 6 levels, and a new one comes out every Thursday… yet another thing to look forward to! You will probably spend hours playing it, just like we did. You’re welcome.
Our favorite anti-choice voices in congress reared their ugly heads again this week asÂ House Minority Leader John BoehnerÂ undermined a family-planning proposal that was ultimately dropped fromÂ Obama’sÂ economic stimulus package.Â In addition to providing women with greater access to basic health care with an emphasis on preventive measures, the provision would also haveÂ helped toÂ ensure thatÂ birth control was kept affordable for women hurt by the economic crisis.Â Says Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California,
“The Republican leadership, which demanded its removal, has once again shown just how divisive and out of touch they are with the American public, which overwhelmingly supports access to family planning services.”
You can read more aboutÂ the provisionÂ here.
Personally, I find itÂ shocking and completely unacceptable that women’s health should ever be considered the “first to go” in an attempt to save money. However, it is even worse when considering that the provision reportedly would have saved the federal government $700 million over 10 years and that moving forward without it will greatly increase the burden on state budgets that have already been burned in the recession.
in honor of Sarah Palin. Follow this link. Click on the picture for a bigger view.
If you need some additional humor in your life, then this video should do the trick.
Another election is coming around the corner, and yet again the annoying issue of abortion resurfaces. We all know how this goes. Conservatives scream “Baby-Killers!” while liberals demand “Reproductive rights.”
SOME people think their morals are so precious that they don’t need any actual information. Clearly the Republicans–especially this election–are badly in need of a reality check:
abortion is completely illegal throughout Latin America, but abortion rates in Peru, Chile and the Dominican Republic have been estimated to be more than twice the U.S. rate. In Brazil and Colombia, they are substantially higher as well. At the same time, these countries’ maternal mortality rates, which are highly associated with unsafe abortion, range from six times to more than 20 times the rate in the United States.
By contrast, in virtually every country in which abortion is legal and also widely available from trained clinicians, abortion-related mortality and morbidity is virtually nonexistent. Moreover, in these countries, abortion rates are by no means necessarily high. Indeed, in some countries in which abortion is not only legal but also very easily accessible to women and even free of charge under a national health insurance system, rates of abortion are among the world’s lowest. Countries in this category include the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Italy.
The Huffington Post further supports this statement:
A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.
Moreover, the researchers found that abortion was safe in countries where it was legal, but dangerous in countries where it was outlawed and performed clandestinely. Globally, abortion accounts for 13 percent of women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, and there are 31 abortions for every 100 live births, the study said.
The results of the study, a collaboration between scientists from the World Health Organization in Geneva and the Guttmacher Institute in New York, a reproductive rights group, are being published Friday in the journal Lancet.
All of a sudden those “Pro-Woman, Pro-Child, Pro-Life” bumper stickers look incredibly stupid.
Earlier this month Flint Police Chief David Dicks enacted a policy giving police the power to site wearers of saggy pants with public indecency. Since then, the ACLU has threatened action against the FPD and is currently looking for a case to bring forward. I, for one, am glad that the ACLU is standing up for our right to choose our own clothing. Here are a couple of points about this issue:
Deborah Jean Palfrey, the “DC Madam” died today. She killed herself. An article from Yahoo News with more info is here.
Ms. Palfrey killed herself to avoid the long embarrassing trial that was coming which would most likely have ended up with her in prison for many years.
Prostitution is a crime in America today as it has been in most societies throughout the history of the world. Its purveyors are outcasts, sitting at the edge of society to perform a service desired by so many men. For some, the working conditions are not terrible and they can make lots of money. Others were forced into it through various circumstances in their life and are at the whim of a possibly brutal boss. When talking about prostitution, it is impossible to divorce supply from demand. 15% of men have paid for sex in their lives according to href=”http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/PollVault/story?id=156921&page=1″>this ABC News Study. A far more useful public policy would be to recognize this demand and do what Nevada had done with regulation to ensure the health and working conditions of all parties.
This isn’t really about prostitution. It’s about what prostitution represents. Prostitution, especially if one is caught like Senator Vitter and Governor Spitzer, is something profoundly shocking to our American consciences. It’s because sex is a secret. It is something that is not appropriate to discuss in any context, something to be confined solely to the marital bed. It means that we are living a lie. It is a beautiful lie, but a lie none the less. The stat above is highly instructive. 15% of adult men have paid for sex. Fifteen! We can pretend that it doesn’t happen, but the only thing that doesn’t really happen is us talking about sex and the issues that come along with it.