Roundup: Women and McCain, Planned Parenthood’s New Strategy


Katha Pollitt: Women Would Have to be Insane to Vote for McCain The Nation’s Katha Pollitt joins other women’s rights supporters in trying to make women more aware of Senator McCain’s record on reproductive rights with an article in last week’s issue. Pollitt claims that a woman concerned about her reproductive health and rights would have to be insane to support John Mcain in the fall:

Because to vote for McCain, a feminist would have to be insane. Let me rephrase
that: she would have to believe that the chief–indeed the only–goal of the
women’s movement is to elect Clinton, not to promote women’s rights. A vote for
McCain would be the ultimate face-spiting nose-cutoff. Take that, women’s
equality!

She sums up McCain’s record on these issues:

How antichoice is John McCain? Let’s leave the psychological tea leaves out
of it and look at his record. In his four years in the House, from 1983 to 1986,
he cast eleven votes on reproductive issues. Ten were antichoice. Of 119 such
votes in the Senate, 115 were antichoice, including votes for the ban on
so-called partial-birth abortions and for the "gag rule," which refuses funds to
clinics abroad that so much as mention abortion. In 1999, the year he said he
opposed repeal of Roe on health grounds, he voted against a bill that
would have permitted servicewomen overseas, where safe, legal abortion is often
unavailable, to pay out of their own pockets for abortions in military
hospitals.

His record on contraception and sex education is just as bad. He voted
against a 2005 budget amendment, sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton, that
would have allotted $100 million to reduce teen pregnancy by means of education
and birth control. He voted to require parental consent for birth control for
teenage girls and to abolish Title X, which funds birth control and
gynecological care for the poor. He voted against requiring insurance companies
to pay for prescription contraception, when they pay for other prescription
drugs–like, um, Viagra. The beat goes on, and on. With a handful of minor
exceptions (he voted to confirm prochoice Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher
after voting against prochoice Dr. Joycelyn Elders), he has a just about perfect
antichoice record, including votes to confirm the Supreme Court nominations of
Thomas, Roberts and Alito.

Planned Parenthood’s New Strategy The Wall Street Journal is running a feature story on the reproductive health services organization’s new, more "business-oriented" growth strategy. Planned Parenthood is building new, larger facilities in more affluent suburbs to attract a new demographic of women:

The nonprofit, which traces its roots to 1916, has long focused
on providing birth control, sexual-health care and abortions to teens and
low-income women. While those groups still make up the majority of Planned
Parenthood’s patients, executives say they are "rebranding" their clinics to
appeal to women of means — a move that opens new avenues for boosting revenue
and, they hope, political clout.

The article notes some criticism of Planned Parenthood’s new strategy including a lamenting of a perceived shift away from emphasis on providing reprodutive health services for low-income individuals. President Cecile Richards claims that the organization can do both and that expanding to provide services in more affluent suburbs will provide revenue to better provide services in poorer communitues.

Web Site Provides Mail-order Contraception in the UK The online sexual health clinic, DrThom.com, is selling birth control online and mailing it to customers in the UK. Some physcians are saying the service is "less than ideal" as blood pressure tests cannot be performed.

Genital Herpes and HIV The Kaiser Foundation reports a new study finds treating genital herpes does not reduce the risk of HIV infection. It has long been known that a person who carries the Herpes simplex virus-2 is nearly three times more at risk to contract HIV, however the study’s results suggest that it is not the symptoms that increases the likelyhood of HIV infection.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.