Happy 2010, one and all!
If you are like me, you have probably been pining for the symbolism of 2010 for a while: the new decade, the fresh start, the chance to once again look at the world with optimism and a new pair of eyes.
Well, hope you enjoyed your two days of "new," because I looked around the country for today’s round up, and a lot of it is the same old story.
Oklahoma legislators are planning to bring back the same anti-abortion legislation that they tried and failed to pass last year, proving that if at first you don’t succeed, you’re probably a politician:
Two controversial abortion laws now in court might be revisited this
legislative session if supporters decide they can successfully
circumvent any legal rulings. One measure that would have required
women to undergo an ultrasound within an hour of obtaining an abortion
and hear a description of the findings was tossed out by an Oklahoma
County judge who ruled that it violated the state’s constitutional
one-subject requirement. The attorney general’s office is appealing
In another case, an Oklahoma County judge has extended a
temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of a measure that
would require physicians to obtain extensive personal information from
abortion recipients and make it available for inclusion on a state Web
site. Opponents argue the measure, which has other provisions, is
intrusive and unnecessary and could make women who receive abortions
Plaintiffs challenging that bill contend it also violates the one-subject rule. The case is set to be heard beginning Feb. 19.
Look for Oklahoma lawmakers to continue to make national news on this front, whether we want them to or not.
Kansas is also poised to do a 2009 redux, with legislators adamant about passing laws to crack down on late term abortions in the state, despite the fact that after the death of Dr. Tiller, there is no longer anyone in the state that can even perform them.
Tiller’s clinic has been closed since he was shot to death in May
and no doctor or clinic elsewhere in Kansas is doing the same work.
But legislators who oppose abortion still expect to pass a bill
requiring doctors who perform late-term procedures to report more
information to the state and making it possible for them to face
lawsuits if patients or others come to believe their abortions violated
state law. Abortion opponents contend such issues are still compelling,
even if no doctor or clinic is performing abortions as late as Tiller
Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of the Planned
Parenthood chapter, said he’s not surprised at abortion opponents’
plans. He sees the annual legislative disputes mainly as an effort to
help anti-abortion groups raise money.
“There’s nobody in the state of Kansas who’s doing abortions past 22
weeks of pregnancy. It’s a moot issue, from a practical standpoint,” he
said. “For the Legislature to continue to spend significant amounts of
its time on an issue that has no practical impact is waste of taxpayer
money and legislative time.”
Some states are bypassing 2009, and heading all the way back to the early 2000’s. In Alaska, where a parental notification law was taken off the books in 2007, an Anchorage Arch Bishop is making a push to get all Catholic registered voters to sign a petition to add a consent law to the ballot during the next election.
order for the Parental Notification Initiative to go before voters
in August, organizers need 44,000 signatures of registered Alaskan
this moment they are 4,500 signatures short with two weeks to go,”
Archbishop Schwietz wrote in a December 31 letter addressed to all
pastors and parish administrators in the archdiocese.
tragic it will be if this initiative fails because of a lack of attention
or indifference,” he added.
order for an initiative to be placed on a state election ballot in
Alaska, 32,734 signatures from registered voters are required and
while the minimum number of names has already been gathered, more
signatures are still needed to make-up for those signers who may be
disqualified because they are not registered voters. The deadline
is Jan. 15.
But there are some signs of progress out there. In Wisconsin, 2010 means the implementing of a new rule requiring that all insurers cover birth control in their plans.
Mandating birth control coverage will dramatically increase its access,
Safar said. She cited a 2001 report by the state Office of the
Insurance Commissioner that showed about one in five of the most
popular insurance plans with prescription drug coverage in Wisconsin
did not cover contraceptives.
Wisconsin is joining 24 other
states that already require birth control to be covered, according to
the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two additional states
require insurance companies to offer contraceptive coverage as an
option to employees, but it can be declined.
Maybe it will be a happy new year after all!
Mini Roundup: In lieu of a mini-roundup, a second dip into Oklahoma. apparently, when it comes to "til death do you part," Oklahoma really means it:
If Rep. Sally Kern,
R-Oklahoma City, gets her way, Oklahomans soon will have a harder time
getting divorced. In House Bill 2279, Kern seeks to tighten up the
incompatibility grounds for divorce. Under her proposal, judges could
not grant a divorce on the basis of incompatibility if there are living
minor children of the marriage, the parties have been married 10 years
or longer, or either party files a written objection to the granting of
Apparently forcing married people who hate either other’s guts
to stay married is better for everyone, including the children, than
letting everyone have the chance to start a new life, in Kern’s view.
I guess you can’t say they don’t take the sanctity of marriage seriously in the state.
January 3, 2010
Turn: Don’t make abortion about ability to pay BurlingtonFreePress.com
lawmakers have in store for Oklahomans
foes plan to renew debate Lawrence Journal World
Ethics: When Might Makes Right Gospel Coalition
Favors Abortion Ban
in Health Care Bill American
Simplot: A pro-life
view of capital punishment La Crosse Tribune
Spend Energy Helping Disadvantaged Children Flathead Beacon
takes journey of adoption Greensboro News & Record
Lange-Kubick: Birthday bash to celebrate adoption Lincoln Journal Star
Yan’s bold leap forward Global Times
ligation: Not always permanent Boston Herald
January 2, 2010
the Health Insurance Bill Bay Area Indymedia
in Mexico 2009 Catholic
10-year high in Illinois Chicago Sun-Times
foes plan to renew debate in Kansas
The Associated Press
Health Care: The Rotten Tree Catholic Online
Rates of Abortion in
Illinois … Feminists for Choice
Exclusion in America Conducive
is called to consider adoption Spartanburg Herald Journal
population to reach 94 million Philippine Star
laws kick in Friday Watertown
for sex ed are stuck in the ’80s PennLive.com
January 1, 2010
care vigil draws Ind. treasurer Evansville Courier & Press
End war pregnancy policy Concord Monitor
eNews Announces Its 21 Leaders 2010
America PAC Endorses Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy NARAL Pro-Choice America
Truck Will Deliver New Year’s Message to Pro-life Traitor Sen. Ben Nelson Christian News Wire
agency faces lawsuit The
Daily Item of Lynn
Clinics scheduled The
be shy on family planning Boston Globe