Apologies for the lack of Choice News yesterday…below are stories from Wednesday and Thursday.
Health Care and Abortion Coverage
On Wednesday President Obama signed the executive order reaffirming the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion care except under very limited circumstances. The executive order was part of a deal negotiated with anti-choice Democrats in the House to secure enough votes to pass the health care reform bill last weekend. The Washington post reports that this deal has angered women’s groups.
Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker criticizes Rep. Bart Stupak for giving up his anti-choice crusade to stop health care reform in exchange for what Parker describes as a meaningless executive order. She repeats the false anti-choice claim that the health care bill expands public funding for abortion care, and points out that Stupak has lost all credibility with anti-choice groups.
Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne offers a rebuttal to Parker’s column.
The Senate passed the package of changes to the health care reform bill. Republicans found two minor provisions that violated congressional budget rules on reconciliation. Because those provisions were deleted from the bill, it now goes back to the House for approval.
Democratic lawmakers have received death threats and been the victims of vandalism after their vote in support of health care reform.
A Ballard High School mother has gone to the media after finding out that her daughter arranged for abortion care through the school-based health center. Washington does not have any laws requiring parental notification or consent for abortion care, and state law actively protects the privacy of minors seeking reproductive health care.
Read NARAL Pro-Choice Washington executive director Lauren Simonds’ response on A Few Choice Words.
RH Reality Check’s Robin Marty comments on this story.
Yesterday, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation prohibiting state prisons, county jails and juvenile correctional facilities from shackling nearly all female inmates who are in labor or recovering from labor.
In response to Attorney General Rob McKenna’s decision to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform package, Democrats in the state legislature and Gov. Gregoire have begun taking action to restrict funding for his office.
Amidst reports that Dino Rossi, anti-choice Republican who twice ran for governor, is considering challenging pro-choice Sen. Patty Murray, a Research 2000 polls finds voters prefer Murray over Rossi by 11 points.
Other News of Note
The Caesarean section rate in the U.S. has reached an all-time high: 1 in 3 babies are delivered via c-section. Some experts are concerned that c-sections are performed too often, unnecessarily exposing women and babies to the risks of surgery.
USA Today reports that 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood would be a contender for the U.S. Supreme Court in the event that Justice John Paul Stevens retires.