The New York Times reports that pro-choice members of Congress are faced with a tough decision on health care reform and how hard to fight efforts to include a ban on insurance coverage for abortion care.
The New York Times posts an ad that the Center for Reproductive Rights produced and will start running on cable stations in the D.C. area about the abortion coverage ban. The article also notes that NARAL Pro-Choice America delivered over 97,000 petition signatures to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging him to keep the Stupak-Pitts language out of the Senate health care bill.
The AP reports on pro-choice grassroots efforts to keep the abortion coverage ban out of the Senate health care bill. Leaders of pro-choice groups have met with top presidential aides to discuss the health care legislation.
The Las Vegas Sun reports on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s political calculations as he puts together the Senate health care bill and decides whether to include language from the Stupak-Pitts amendment.
Time magazine looks at the steps that led to the Stupak-Pitts amendment, and the division among congressional Democrats on the issue of abortion coverage in health care reform.
NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” looks at the effect the Stupak-Pitts amendment will have on private insurance plans.
An article on Politico points out that our current health care system includes federal subsidies for health insurance plans that cover abortion care. Employer-provided health care is not taxed as income for employees and employers are allowed to write off the cost as an expense, meaning that the federal government forgoes a quarter of a trillion dollars each year in order for people to buy health insurance, including plans that cover abortion.
The LA Times reports on the influence the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has had on health care legislation.
Congressional Democrats fear that the controversy over abortion and health care reform may cause Catholic voters, who favored President Obama by 53% in 2008, to support Republican candidates in 2010.
Valerie Tarico writes on Daily Kos that contrary to the position of the Catholic Church, the decision to have an abortion is a moral one.
Lawyers for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have filed a lawsuit to block a proposed Nevada ballot measure that seeks to define a person and extend due process rights to “everyone possessing a human genome.”
The CDC reports that rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infection in the U.S. continue to rise; adolescent girls 15 to 19 years had the most chlamydia and gonorrhea cases of any age group. The CDC cites abstinence-only education, as well as increased testing, as the reasons behind the increase in STD infection rates. The U.S. has one of the highest rates of STD infection among developed countries.
Progressives are concerned by the slow pace with which President Obama is filling vacancies on the federal bench. They fear that the opportunity to reshape federal courts is slipping away.
Conservatives are divided over whether to filibuster the confirmation of Judge David Hamilton to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Hamilton has previously ruled in support of abortion rights. Although Republicans do not have enough votes to block the confirmation, some feel that a filibuster would send a message to the Obama administration about future nominees.