Roundup: Diane Rehm’s Show Covers Abortion in Health Reform


Diane Rehm’s Show takes on abortion and health reform

The Diane Rehm’s Show this morning featured an hour-long segment on abortion and health reform, during which a lay representative of Catholic theology on contraception and abortion perpetuated misinformation about federal funding for abortion under the Capps Amendment in the House bill and similar language in the Senate Bill.  In effect, both bills maintain the "status-quo" on abortion funding–which in effect denyies poor women their right to choose by denying them federal funding to access abortion care–while not prohibiting private plans from providing coverage for abortion care.

Stephen Schneck, director of the Life Cycle Institute at the Catholic University of America, stated that he would not support the bill as it is right now, and also did not approve of federal funding for contraception, to which he is personally and theologically opposed.  Other guests included Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press; Ceci Connolly, reporter, The Washington Post; Rachel Laser, director of the Culture Program at Third Way.

 

New Prevention First Bill Introduced in Ohio

Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor is cosponsoring a bill that will require public schools to teach more than just abstinence. The bill, which is called "Prevention First," after the name of a similar bill introduced in the U.S. Congress, would require
public schools to teach more than just abstinence and to offer medically accurate information on sex, reproduction, contraception and other sexual health issues.

Letter to the Editor: I may not choose abortion but I don’t want to take the choice away from others.

A letter to the editor of the Ventura County Star (Ventura County, California) discussing health reform and abortion articulates succinctly the position of the majority of Americans who self-identify to pollsters as "pro-life."

I’m most comfortable to be associated with the pro-choice camp. I can
only speak for myself. Being pro-choice doesn’t imply that I personally
believe in abortion or would consider this a legal medical option. I
don’t want to eliminate this difficult and personal decision from my
fellow human beings. 

The majority of people who say they would not choose or are not pro-choice nevertheless do not want to take the choice away from others.

 

 

October 5

Catholic Exchange: “Sort of, Kind of, Maybe” Against Taxpayer-Subsidized Abortions

En Passant: Abortion and democracy

Ventura County Star: Tax money for abortions

Catholic Culture: USCCB RUES REJECTION OF PRO-LIFE AMENDMENTS TO HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL

Town Talk: Pro-life rally in Alexandria draws from 3 parishes

Naples News: Abortion opponents fan out along U.S. 41 to hold peaceful demonstration

News Record: Sex during bad economy complicated

ABC 13: Senator wants change in Ohio’s contraception policy

Brisbane Times: More Aussies are now pro-choice: report

South Bend Tribune: ‘Abstinence Plus’ is the wrong approach

October 4

OneNewsNow: Breaking the stronghold of abortion

Central Florida Future: Birth control ban a possibility

AP: Lawmakers face balancing adoptees’ rights

Brisbane Times: Right to choose abortion wins strong support

The Northwestern: UW-Oshkosh newspaper rejects ad from pro-life group

The Spokesman Review: New birth control pills, old debate

October 3

Evansville Courier Press: Ellsworth draws line at funding abortions

Moderate Voice: A Chance To Be Born vs A Chance To Live

Progress Ohio: Video: Senator Teresa Fedor: Statement On SB176 The Ohio Prevention First Act

AP: Neb. couple honored as ‘adoption angels’

Catholic Exchange: Council of Europe Pushes Abortion as Part of Cairo Conference Anniversary

Canton Rep: (Letters) Time spent protesting abortion could be better used for seeking solutions

National Post: An abortion addict speaks: Irene Vilar in her own words

HuffPo: Sex and Sin

10/2
NYTimes: Ephemeral Comfort of Conservatism
Boston Globe: Support for abortion rights down in survey
CBS News: Americans Split on Abortion with Obama in Office
HuffPo: Abstinence-Only Programs: What Part of ‘They Don’t Work’ Is Hard to Understand?
Star Tribune: Bachmann shares more abortion fears
Imprint: The science behind the abortion debate
Feminists for Choice: Did You Know? Some Interesting Pro-Choice Trivia
LifeNews: Pro-Life News: Catolic Bishops, Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Korea
Examiner: Democrats at war with themselves over abortion
Catholic News Agency: Spanish bishops urge faithful to participate in October 17 pro-life march
LifeNews: Man Who Allegedly Shot Pro-Life Advocate James Pouillon Declared Incompetent
Courant: Dodd picks up the endorsement of NARAL
LifeNews: Pro-Life Groups Applaud New Pew Poll Showing Pro-Life Movement on Abortion
True/Slant: Abortion and health-care reform: Which side misleads more?
Kirksville Daily Express: No plans for Planned Parenthood at ACHD
The Hill: Pro-life Dem not confident health bill will bar abortion funding
NBC Washington: Graham Supports Woman’s Right to "Choose"
LifeNews: Pope Tells New Obama Vatican Ambassador to Uphold Pro-Life Position on Abortion
Heritage Foundation: A Glimmer of Hope for Abstinence Education Funding
U.S. News & World Report: Bart Stupak, Leader of Antiabortion Democrats: ‘Not Very Confident’ on Healthcare
Catholic Exchange: 183 Reps: Nix Abortion Coverage, or No Health-Care Bill

10/1
Drugs.com: FDA Approves Mirena to Treat Heavy Menstrual Bleeding in IUD Users

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  • jeornom

    A letter to the editor of the Ventura County Star discussing health reform and abortion articulates succinctly the position of the majority of Americans who self-identify to pollsters as "pro-life."


    You make a conclusion about the beliefs of self-described pro-lifers based on a letter from a self-described pro-choicer?

    The majority of people who say they would not choose or are not pro-choice nevertheless do not want to take the choice away from others.

    According to May 2009 Gallup, 37% of Americans believe abortion should be legal only in a few circumstances, while 23% believe it should be illegal in all cases. In other words, 60% of Americans are ready to substantially limit the abortion choices of others, in favor of the unborn.

  • momtfh

    Almost the entire country believes in the status quo. The legal abortion these people want to keep legal makes them pro choice. Almost everyone agrees that the status quo is right: there should be restrictions on later abortions, which are rare and already incredibly difficult to come by even when medically necessary.

    I don’t know why NPR (and this commenter) wants to represent radical Catholic theology and extremist anti-choice beliefs as reasonable. Against contraception? More than 80% of self identifying Catholics use birth control!

  • stephen-f-schneck

    Good to hear from you again, Jodi.

     

    One of the things that is so typical of right wing style, whether in blogs, print, screen, or radio—is its shouting, self-righteous, and mean-spirited hysteria.  I’d like to think that we progressives are distinctive in part by the thoughtfulness of what might be called our style.  We talk reasonably with one another and listen to arguments carefully, even when we have our differences.

     

    In that spirit, let me take some exception, Jodi, to your suggestion that I perpetuated misinformation on the Diane Rehm show.  What I said was that federal funds would go to pay for some abortions in the current versions of the health care bills.  My analysis of the bills is exactly like that of Time magazine, FactCheck.org, New York Times, and the Associated Press—all of which came to same conclusion I did about the funding in these bills.  Maybe Glenn Beck believes such organizations are part of a conspiracy to perpetuate misinformation, but I don’t. 

     

    As for contraception, we had one caller to the show who asked me directly if I approved of the contraception funding in the bills, and my answer was that while I personally would not approve funding contraception, the presence of funding for it in the bill would not block my support for final legislation.

     

    I have concerns about these bills in addition to abortion funding.  Currently the bills are too costly in out of pocket expense for working class families above the Medicaid cut-off.  Moreover, it is crucial for the legislation to allow immediate inclusion of legal immigrants (a vulnerable population) and not require a five year waiting period.  And its inconceivable to me that any comprehensive health care system can work, can achieve needed economies, or can leverage private insurance practices without a robust public option.  These things, like abortion funding, need quick work in the weeks ahead.

     

    This legislation is an historic opportunity for our generation to address the most critical needs of our most at risk citizens.  One-third of the fifty million without health care are children.  Let’s join together, Jodi, and get this done.  Best wishes!

     

     

     

  • colleen

    I’d like to think that we progressives are distinctive in part by the thoughtfulness of what might be called our style

    I don’t believe that being ‘progressive’ is a matter of personal style but, rather, a matter of values and priorities. It’s clear from this post alone that your values and priorities are not progressive.

    while I personally would not approve funding contraception, the presence of funding for it in the bill would not block my support for final legislation.

    Oh wow, big of you.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • jodi-jacobson

    Thanks for writing.

    I must, in turn however, take issue with your analysis, and that of Time, FactCheck and the New York Times.

    Having worked long and hard on various US policies having to do with sexual and reproductive health, I have learned the hard way how wrong the "mainstream" media and even some usually trusted sources can get these facts. Indeed, the most recent and grossly unfortunate example–though only one such example–was the media misrepresentation of PEPFAR prevention policy, which no media source ever got right and which none investigated effectively until years later when finally GAO reports showed that the Bush Administration had been misrepresenting the amount of funding it was spending on abstinence-only-until marriage.

    As Jessica Arons pointed out in her recent article on RH Reality Check, the current bills in Congress represent the status quo of no federal funding going to abortion care.

    That is to me a gross injustice as it denies the rights of poor women to make fundamental choices about their lives and most harshly affects women of color, Latinas and low-income women of every race and ethnicity.

    It is an equity issue, a human rights issue, and a personal choice issue and one that so-called "common ground" efforts have completely taken off the table by first agreeing to maintaining the status quo on abortion funding…..and on which now some in the anti-choice camp appear to be reneging.  As we both know, the efforts underway to restrict abortion care further would affect women’s private insurance plans, not public funding.

    In regard to the position on contraceptive care and family planning, yes, you did say that you personally did not support funding for contraception. 

    The issue for me is: What business is it for either you or the Church to be involved in making government policy on an issue in which your ideology trumps the human rights and the scientific evidence (not to mention the regular practice of the majority of the Catholic population) on family planning.

    Which is why with all due respect I continue to wonder at the inclusion of people like yourself in these discusssions on public radio, in the media and elsewhere.  I truly mean no offense when I say as far as government policy and personal practice on sexual health and reproduction goes, I do not see a legitimate role for you or others representing Catholic theology to be at this table or be a spokesperson on those specific issues.

    As far as I am concerned, the "faith" community has far over-reached in its efforts on women’s health, has been included far too deeply in this issue, and has further muddied it.  The Church should teach its principles in church.  The US government should be promoting equity, good science, and the needs of all people irrespective of religion.

    Here I assumewe will continue to disagree.

    And in terms of "getting it done" I am not interested in doing much of anything that continues to put women’s lives on the chopping block.

    With best wishes, Jodi

     

  • jeornom

    Almost the entire country believes in the status quo.

    Please cite your source. According to the Gallup poll, 23% want abortion illegal in all cases. 22% want it legal in all cases. In other words, 45% of the country is not happy at all with the status quo.

    Almost everyone agrees that the status quo is right: there should be restrictions on later abortions, which are rare…


    You might be able to say that the 37% who want it to be legal only in a few circumstances want it to be "safe, legal and rare". However, 1.2 million abortions per year (the status quo) is not "rare".

    That leaves the 15% who believe it should be legal in most (but not all) circumstances. Is that who you mean by "almost everyone"?

  • colleen

    Please cite your source.

    Here’s a link to a whole mess of them. Please stop trying to make that Gallup poll say what you want it to say. You’re becoming incoherent.
    http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htm

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD