Roundup: America is Pro-Choice, More Opposition to HHS Rule


America is Pro-Choice … An ongoing Gallup poll shows remarkable consistency in the prevailing attitudes of American’s on the issue of abortion over the past two decades (via DailyKos). 
The poll shows that American’s are firmly pro-choice but also reveals
the complexity of the issue in American minds as a majority of
Americans support various restrictions, like parental and spousal
consent laws and limits on third-trimester abortions.  Contrary to what
many may think based on news coverage of impassioned advocates on both
sides of the issue, "abortion is not an important issue for most
Americans."

While a majority of Americans say they feel strongly about their
abortion views, few indicate they only support political candidates who
share their views on the subject. Abortion typically ranks at the
bottom of any list of issues Americans are asked to rate in terms of
their importance for political candidates to discuss or as a government
priority.

The Gallup poll concludes:

Americans support restrictions on abortion that, if enacted, would make
abortion less accessible than it is today. But there is scant evidence
the public is anxious to see these changes made. Few call the issue a
priority, and when asked in general terms about changing abortion laws,
most Americans seem opposed.

The
issue, however, receives much attention during election season as the
far-right has sucessfully used the issue to drive a wedge between
voters and parties, as evidenced this election cycle by John McCain’s flip from a relatively pro-choice position to advocating the outlawing of abortion and his persistent attacks on Barack Obama on the issue.

Chorus of Opposition to Proposed HHS Rule Continues … Today the Salt Lake Tribune, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Springfield News Herald all published letters and opinion pieces standing in opposition to the recently proposed HHS rule that will make access to comprehensive, quality reproductive health care more difficult for American women.  The Bureau of National Affairs published a reaction to the proposed rule.

The Salt Lake Tribune says:

Mike Leavitt, secretary of
federal Health and Human Services, says doctors, nurses and other
health care workers should not "be forced to provide services that
violate their own conscience." Instead, a new rule Leavitt is proposing
would, in essence, force poor women to limit their health care choices
to just those that are morally acceptable to taxpayer-funded providers.

Now that is morally suspect. 

A reader of the Springfield News writes:

This rule would especially impact low-income women and women in
rural areas who often depend on federally funded health centers for
basic health care, including affordable birth control. In the midst of
a health care crisis, Bush wants to deny access to over 17 million
women who utilize publicly funded family planning.

If Bush really
wanted to prevent abortion he would not demonize contraception. He
would help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies by making access
to birth control easy and affordable. It is time Bush and his
administration stop playing politics and realize women’s health
matters! Women matter!

Mexico City to Revisit Legalization of Abortion One Year Later … In yesterday’s roundup I linked to an article in the New York Times that took a look at the state of abortion services in Mexico City one year after the procudure was legalized.  Today Fox News is reporting that Mexico’s Supreme Court just yesterday began debating a bid to overturn the new law:

Backed by anti-abortion groups and the Roman Catholic Church, the conservative federal government has challenged the law.

Eight
out of 11 supreme court judges will be necessary for the law to be
abolished. Four judges have not yet revealed how they will vote –
including the court’s two female judges.

Since abortion was legalized in Mexico City, 12,262 women between the ages of 18 and 29 have had abortions in one of 12 clinics.

“That
means that some 80 women per day have exercised their controversial
right,” Maria Luz Estrada, spokeswoman for the Catholics for the Right
to Decide organization told Agence France-Presse.

The short article concludes with the proposed punishment for women who would obtain an illegal abortion: "If the court reverses the law, women who do have abortions will face prison sentences of three to six months."

Study Links Pre-term Births with Internal Infections … Not much is known about why more and more babies have been born early over the past two decades but a recent study may begin to shed light on one reason:

Infections may play a bigger role in premature birth than doctors
have thought, says a new study that found almost one in seven women in
preterm labor harbored bacteria or fungi in their amniotic fluid.

It’s a small study, and it doesn’t prove that the germs triggered the early labor.

But
Monday’s research used specialized molecular testing to uncover
microbes that ordinary methods miss, and thus uncovered more women with
simmering infections than previously estimated.

The more heavily
infected the amniotic fluid, the more likely the woman was to deliver a
younger, sicker baby, researchers reported in PLoS One, the online
journal of the Public Library of Science.

"We don’t think any
organisms belong in the amniotic sac," said Stanford University
microbiologist Dr. David Relman, the study’s senior author. "You’d have
to presume there’s something wrong."

More than half a million
babies a year are born premature, before completion of 37 weeks of
pregnancy. It’s a toll that has steadily risen for two decades, yet
doctors don’t know the cause of most preterm births or how to prevent
them. Every extra week in the womb helps. Those born before 32 weeks
face the greatest risk of death or devastating disabilities, but even
babies born a few weeks early can face serious problems.

 

 

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  • mh

    The poll results indicate that 54% of people think that abortions should be legal under some circumstances. This is hardly a ringing endorsement of Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton, which permit early-term abortions for any reason and later-term abortions when needed to protect the health of the mother. Lots of Americans support that idea because they don’t realize that health includes physical, emotional, psychological and familial factors, plus the mother’s age, with due consideration given to the burden of a distressful life or future and the numerous challenges and difficulties that come with the parenting job.

    Unfortunately, if you asked Americans if they thought abortion should be available and tax-funded if having a child would be a real bummer, I think you’d see the support fall rather short of 54%.

    What do you think? 

  • invalid-0

    The poll results indicate that 54% of people think that abortions should be legal under some circumstances”

    The poll results indicates that not only do 54% of people think that abortions should be legal under some circumstances, but that an additional 28% think abortion should be legal under any circumstances. So 82% believe that abortion should be legal (some under “certain circumstances” – which circumstances, we do not know)
    *

    “Lots of Americans support that idea because they don’t realize that health includes physical, emotional, psychological and familial factors, plus the mother’s age, with due consideration given to the burden of a distressful life or future and the numerous challenges and difficulties that come with the parenting job.”

    Where did you get this information? Is this merely your opinion of why Americans support legal abortion or do you have some factual information to support this claim?
    *

    Unfortunately, if you asked Americans if they thought abortion should be available and tax-funded if having a child would be a real bummer, I think you’d see the support fall rather short of 54%.

    What a ridiculous statement to make – nowhere have I ever read or heard that women opt to terminate their pregnancies because having a child would be a “real bummer.” If you’d bother to do the research you would find that women take into consideration many things (including any children they may have, their economic situation, their relationship and their health) prior to terminating their pregnancies.

  • mh

    Gee, anonymous, would you consider 2 supreme court decisions to be factual information? I’d quote them for you here, but you probably wouldn’t believe me. Maybe you’ll believe Wikipedia, but even there, I’d advise caution:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doe_v._Bolton#Broad_definition_of_health

    Apparently even some anonymous pro-choice Americans don’t fully understand what they are standing up for. It takes only the smallest amount of research to uncover these facts. Why have you not conducted that research before accusing me of making unfounded assumptions? 

  • mellankelly1

    Gee, anonymous, would you consider 2 supreme court decisions to be factual information? I’d quote them for you here, but you probably wouldn’t believe me. Maybe you’ll believe Wikipedia, but even there, I’d advise caution:

    Fabulous information… but I cannot figure out exactly what your point was.  What were you responding to?  Was it this:

    Where did you get this information? Is this merely your opinion of why Americans support legal abortion or do you have some factual information to support this claim? 

    If it was, you most certainly did not provide information to support your claim that:

    "Lots of Americans support that idea because they don’t realize that health includes physical, emotional, psychological and familial factors, plus the mother’s age, with due consideration given to the burden of a distressful life or future and the numerous challenges and difficulties that come with the parenting job"

    So, I will ask again… how do you know that is the reason why "lots of Americans" support abortion?  I know what a health exemption is, my dear… every pro-choice person I know is aware of that basic fact… so what factual information/relevant poll are you basing your statement on?  Which information reflects that pro-choice Americans do not know what a health exemption is?  I’ll be waiting.

    Apparently even some anonymous pro-choice Americans don’t fully understand what they are standing up for. It takes only the smallest amount of research to uncover these facts. Why have you not conducted that research before accusing me of making unfounded assumptions? 

    Listen, if you didn’t understand the questions that were asked that would be your issue.  I fully support the law as it stands (having proper knowledge of what the exception for a woman’s health actually means).

    PS. How telling that you did not address the other points that I made nor the question that I asked. 

    PPS. Maybe you should use a source other than Wikipedia – you could always references the actual documents themselves

    roe v. wade court document

    doe v. bolton court document

  • invalid-0

    I am sorry that so many want to proudly waive this bloody banner. I guess 66 years ago, Hitler, the leader of one of the most scientifically advanced nations at that time, considered genocide justifiable and the “final solution.” Now many Americans, also find another reprehensible act of murder, justifiable…If there is a God in heaven,(and I’m sure there is) I believe God can’t be pleased.

    Abortion has largely become the “final solution” to sexual permisiveness and one night stands. Let’s live right…we’ll all face God one day.

  • mh

    > you most certainly did not provide information to support your claim that:

    > "Lots of Americans support that idea because they don’t realize that health

    > includes physical, emotional, psychological and familial factors, plus the 

    > mother’s age, with due consideration given to the burden of a distressful life 

    > or future and the numerous challenges and difficulties that come with 

    > the parenting job"

     

    Well, what exactly was the objection? I assumed, I think very reasonably, that Anonymous’s objection was my factual assertion of what the health exception encompasses. I provided back up in the form of a Wikipedia article that quotes from Doe vs Bolton. 

     

    >So, I will ask again… how do you know that is the reason why "lots of 

    >Americans" support abortion?  

     

    I don’t KNOW that at all. That was an assertion of an opinion and I think that was perfectly clear in my original posting and if not, I am quite willing to clarify it in any civil conversation, which THIS conversation has not been so far.

     

    > Which information reflects that pro-choice Americans do not know what 

    > a health exemption is?  I’ll be waiting.

     

    That opinion is based on my personal experience talking to people about abortion. For example, I asked my mother if she thought abortion should be legal. She said yes. Then I asked her if it should be legal for a mother to get an seven-month abortion because the pregnancy will interfere with her skiing vacation in the Alps. My mom said no way. Most people I have talked to answer that way.

     

    Then I asked her if such a reason was in actual fact a legal reason for an abortion. She said no, it’s only legal in the first trimester. Of course, that’s not true.

     

    That is a very common conversation that I have held many times with many reasonably informed pro-choice people. Only the most hard-core pro-choicers — such as political activists and clinic workers and presumably the people in that 20-odd percent of the survey — ever are willing to assert that abortion should be legal for any reason on a mother of any age at any time up to and including birth and paid for with taxpayer dollars. Yet that is what Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton allow and that is pretty much the agenda of most pro-choice groups, like PP and NARAL. That is the definition of pro-choice, and I do not believe that the 54% of "moderate pro-choice" supporters really believe that.

     

    That’s my opinion. I think it’s reasonable and I’m willing to defend it. At the end of my original post, I invited other people’s opinion. All I get from you is an accusation of bad faith and stupidity and not a single clearly expressed opinion let alone anything that would support it.

     

    > I know what a health exemption is, my 

    > dear…

     

    Please don’t call me "dear." It’s either contemptuous or icky. I’m sure that if I addressed you as "dollface," you would object. 

     

    > PS. How telling that you did not address the other points that I made nor the question that I asked. 

     

    Well cue the spooky music! How telling! Oh the irony! Golly, what a sneak! 

     

    Or maybe you could just direct my attention to the points you’d like me to address since I am neither a mind reader nor aware of any past communication I’ve received from you, unless you were Anonymous.

     

    > PPS. Maybe you should use a source other than Wikipedia – you could always references the actual documents themselves

     

    Oh, please! What juvenile pettifoggery! What exactly are you telling yourself? "Oh ho! I have links to the original source docs and you’re just a wikiwuss! Ha! Pwned!"

     

    So lame. Obviously the reason I quoted Wikipedia is because many people regard it (wrongly) as authoritative and unbiased, it took some trouble to actually explain the words from Doe vs Bolton, outlined the basic controversy it led to, and QUOTED THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT AND SUPPLIED FOOTNOTES!

     

    Hey look! Your shoelace is untied!

     

    Your style and demeanor are unworthy of a civilized dialogue. If you want to write back with something constructive, clean up your act please. More light, as a wise woman once told me, and less heat. Otherwise, you’re wasting my time.

     

    Or maybe that was the point?