Around The Web In Abortion Access: July 3 Edition

3 Jul

In the past week a lot of great things have happened for women’s health. The biggest news coming when the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care overhaul legislation passed by Congress and signed by Obama in 2010!  It is now official: women can no longer be discriminated against by health insurance companies and employers with higher premiums, co-pays, decreased coverage for things like annual exams and birth control prescription coverage! And if you’re screaming that Obama is taxing you, well, get this, if you opt out, you pay $95 dollars a year. That’s, like, worth it for the rest of us to have , eventually, decreased premiums and healthier citizens!

Here’s a cool chart about the Affordable Care Act and Women! Can you tell how excited I am!?!?!

In Mississippi, the state’s only remaining clinic that provides abortion care will remain open. That is despite the State’s overreaching law that imposed impossible-to-fulfill legal restrictions upon abortion providers passed by state legislators last year.  Here’s the scoop, thanks to the New York Times:

State lawmakers came up with another unconstitutional scheme to eliminate abortions by requiring doctors performing the procedure to be obstetrician-gynecologists who have privileges to admit patients to a hospital..

Under the new law, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s sole remaining abortion clinic, would have to close because its doctors have not been able to obtain privileges — an unsurprising predicament given the hostile political atmosphere.Fortunately, a Federal District Court judge on Sunday night granted the clinic a reprieve. Judge Daniel Jordan III temporarily blocked enforcement of the law, which was scheduled to go into effect Monday.

A reprieve isn’t perfect, in fact, far from it, obviously. But for now, the clinic remains open and continues to help women that literally, have no where else to go. Shenanigans from anti-choice law makers are being called out by national and local media outlets alike, bringing the potential absence of any abortion provider in Mississippi to light.  And that is a scary prospect for most people because while many people may disagree with abortion, most (according to a recent slew of polling) think abortion should be legal in certain cases.

Now, the not-so-awesome news.

Alaska department of Health and Human Services  proposes more Medicaid payment stipulations for patients seeking abortion care. Ugh. 

Anchorage, Alaska — The state Department of Health and Social Services is proposing changes to regulations of abortion payment conditions. The department is hearing public input on the issue until July 30th. Current code states that in order for an abortion to receive funding under Medicaid, an abortion must be “certified by a physician as medically necessary to prevent the death or disability of the woman, or to ameliorate a condition harmful to the woman’s physical or psychological health.”

The proposed change would add a new section to the law that reads, in part, “the life of the mother would otherwise be endangered if the pregnancy were carried to term, or pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; procedure is medically necessary because the health of the mother is endangered by the pregnancy.” The new language is what Rep. Wes Keller (R-Wasilla), chair of the house Health and Social Services Committee, calls a clarification to the existing law.

I don’t think it is right to make this a political issue, but just as an FYI, Romney’s Bain Capital invested in a medical waste company that did in fact dispose of abortion clinic waste.  The issue is not that his company invested in a medical waste company, it’s that Romney lied about it.

Because cutting funding for breast cancer screening and annual exams for low income people is totally saving lives!

Not.

In an over night vote, North Carolina overrides veto and cuts Planned Parenthood funding.

North Carolina’s Republican-controlled state legislature voted Monday night to override Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of a state budget that strips money from Planned Parenthood.

The same lawmakers overrode Perdue’s veto and moved to defund Planned Parenthood last year, but a judge blocked the provision, arguing that a state can’t single out a particular health provider. This time around, lawmakers found a way to sidestep legal challenges by not specifically naming Planned Parenthood in the budget. Instead, the bill prevents the state’s Health and Human Services department from contracting with “private providers” of family planning services — effectively, but not
explicitly, singling out Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, one of the state’s two Planned Parenthood providers, estimates that it will lose $200,000 as a result of the new budget. Because no state money is used for abortion services, the funding cuts will affect the clinic’s ability to provide affordable birth control, cancer screenings, pap smears and other services for low-income women in the state.

If you have any more links or articles of import you want to talk about, drop them in the comments! Happy 4th, everyone, and a very belated Canada Day to readers up North!

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