Health Care and Abortion Coverage
The White House is putting pressure on Congress to pass health care reform, setting a new deadline of March 18.
Meanwhile, notorious anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak said that he and a group of anti-choice Democrats will kill health care reform entirely without tighter restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion care.
At her weekly news conference, Speaker Pelosi said that the bill is not about abortion, and that the current ban on federal finding for abortion care will remain intact. She urged passage of health care reform and seemed exasperated by attempts to block reform over the issue of abortion access.
Washington Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown suggested that the legislature pass a temporary sales tax increase coupled with a referendum, which would go to the voters in November, on whether to repeal the sales tax increase and institute a “high earners” income tax.
Rev. Richard Gamble has an op-ed in the Seattle Times urging state legislators to have the courage to raise taxes to fund programs for those in need.
Other Noteworthy News
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to endorse the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel. Johnsen is a former legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and her nomination has already been blocked once by the Senate. Her nomination now heads to the Senate floor.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writes about the story of Nujood Ali, a 10-year-old Yemeni girl who was forced to marry a man in his thirties and then bravely sought a divorce. Kristof notes that countries like Yemen, which ranks last in the world for gender equality, are often hotbeds for other kinds of violence.