Roundup: Follow-Up Friday, And a Star Wars Birth


From Florida to Wisconsin, today is a brief follow up to all of the roundup stories posted earlier this week. 

On Monday, politicians, activists, and voters were still reacting to the Florida legislature’s decision to make all women undergoing an abortion first pay for an view a mandatory ultrasound.   But today, it’s appearing way more likely that that bill will never become law thanks to a looming veto by Governor Crist.

As the St. Petersburg Times reports, Crist is sounding a lot like he’ll veto it. “I’m concerned about it,” Crist said Wednesday. “Even though I’m pro-life I don’t want to impose my will on others.”

If Crist were to veto the bill, it would be his second high-profile veto of a GOP-backed bill in the last three weeks. In mid-April, Crist vetoed a high-profile education bill that would have eliminated tenure for new teachers and instituted strict guidelines for merit pay — a move that apparently sealed the deal for his decision to leave the Republican Party and run as an independent.

Tuesday, pro-choice advocates in Canada were told to “shut the f— up about abortions” not being funded in the G8 proposal for reducing maternal mortality. Now it’s becoming a little more clear what “it could be worse” really meant, as people wonder if Prime Minister Harper is going to advocate for a global gag rule to be included.

Details of the initiative have not been released yet. But McDonald fears that the Harper government may impose a global gag rule — similar to the one imposed in the United States during George W Bush’s administration — that blocks federal funds being given to international family-planning groups offering abortion and abortion counseling.

Cutting funds to organizations that provide abortion related services means the government will be deviating away from the global consensus — agreed on by world leaders at the G8 summit in 2009 — that takes a comprehensive and integrated approach to sexual and reproductive health services. And playing favourites, the government undermines the maternal and child health initiative and could risk leaving out critical aspects related to women’s health.

Wendnesday brought us a stockpile of anti-women legislation passed the previous day in the Missouri House, including expanded informed consent and a conscience clause for pharmacists and medical providers.  Good thing they didn’t hear about the plan in the neighboring state of Kansas, or I’m sure an abortion tax would have been proposed there, too.

But Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook may have just offered the most unique idea so far: impose a sales tax on abortion.

Pilcher Cook, a Shawnee Republican, offered the idea as an amendment today as the Senate debates a 1-cent sales tax increase. Her amendment would also decrease the proposed sales tax hike to .9 cents.

She noted that governments routinely use tax policy to effect behavior – cigarette and liquor taxes, for example, or tax breaks designed to spur economic activity.

“If you want less of something, you tax it,” Pilcher Cook said.

Several Senators liked the idea. Sen. Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, said it would not only reduce abortions, it might also convince another late-term abortion provider from setting up shop in Kansas now that George Tiller’s clinic is closed.

Luckily, the bill failed to pass.

And on Thursday, Pro-Life Wisconsin declared they shut down plans for a late term abortion center in Wisconsin.  Today, however, they are admitting all they did was change the location of the facility.

The University of Wisconsin may have abandoned plans to install a late-term abortion facility at the at the Madison Surgery Center, but that doesn’t mean the college has abandoned plans for a late-term abortion center entirely.

Yesterday, pro-life groups celebrated the news that UW had apparently decided against having an abortion center at MSC, a joint venture between UW Hospital and Clinics, Meriter Hospital and the UW Medical Foundation.

But, later in the day, UW officials denied it has dropped its controversial plans for a late-term abortion facility, even though MSC may not house the ultimate location.

I guess maybe they wanted to declare victory in causing some minor inconveniences.

Mini-Roundup: In honor of Mother’s Day, a reminder of how dangerous birth can be, and not just in Third World countries.  Plus, a birth announcement for geeks...

May 6, 2010

Crist Hinting At Possible Veto Of Anti-Abortion Bill – TPMDC

UNFPA and Abortion Advocates to Push “Reproductive Rights” on UN Treaty Bodies – Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

Abortion Laws in Oklahoma Tell Women They’re Stupid – The Stir

Abortion foes add hits against Mollohan – Politico

Florida Gov. Crist Weighs Options On Abortion Bill – Kaiser Health News

University of Wisconsin to Find Another Location for Late-Term Abortion Center – LifeNews.com

Pro-choice groups speak out in wake of abortion funding debacle – Xtra.ca

State Senator Mike Bennett caught eyeing photo of topless women during … – New York Daily News

Activists Urge Florida Governor to Sign Pro-Life Bill – Charisma News Online

The great debate Abortion’s exclusion from G8 funding has caused a stir – Tandem

An annual display of the abortion divide – Bellingham Herald

3 NDP MPPs protest Harper government’s women’s health plans  – Toronto Sun

Mexican women’s activists call for Cancun boycott – The Associated Press

Female MPPs prop up abortion rights protest – Toronto Sun

Harper panders to his base on Third World abortion funding – Globe and Mail

A tax on abortion? – Kansas City Star

British medical journal criticizes Harper’s Conservatives on abortion stance – 680 News

Could the Pill Lower a Woman’s Sex Drive? – BusinessWeek

Periods — Who needs them anyway? Women have mixed feelings – CNN

A Woman’s Mission: To Teach Birth Control In Nigeria – NPR

The pill: 50 years of birth control changed women’s lives – USA Today

Single mom didn’t see HIV coming – Mansfield News Journal

Bad Blood: Politics Trumps Science in the Gay Blood Donation Debate – Huffington Post

Uganda: Swedish Minister Tips Youth On Reproduction – AllAfrica.com

Sex and Risk Among People in Their 20s – Los Angeles Times

Harper’s ‘cruel absurdity’ on maternal health – Globe and Mail

Midwives needed now more than ever, UN agency says as it marks Day – UN News Centre

Mozambique: Pregnancy and Birth Complications Kill Eleven Women a Day – AllAfrica.com

Taking Mother’s Day to Capitol Hill and Beyond – Huffington Post

Star Wars Pregnancy Announcement Makes Childbirth Nerdy – Asylum

Journal slams Tories’ G8 abortion stand; calls it ‘hypocritical and unjust’ – Toronto Star

May 7, 2010

As pill turns 50, family planning too costly for many – McClatchy Washington Bureau

Goma prison: nightmare for rape victims jailed for seeking abortions – Toronto Star

Canada’s escalating debate on abortion – MinnPost.com

Poll: Should an ultrasound be mandatory before an abortion? – Naples Daily News

America’s favorite birth control method turns 50 – The Associated Press

Conservatives abandoning Congo’s rape victims, Rae says – Toronto Star

Carole Brite: Success of pill doesn’t mean work is done – The State Journal-Register

Wisconsin Provides Additional Funding For HIV And AIDS Health Care – Gov Monitor

People Who Naturally Control Their HIV Infection Provide Vaccine Clues – IndyPosted

Research Explores Challenges Of Aging HIV/AIDS Population’s Needs – NY1

Tanzanian police detain 9 AIDS activists on sidelines of WEF meeting – Times LIVE

Mothers shouldn’t have to fear for their lives – Bemidji Pioneer

Another dirty word: gender – Ottawa Citizen

Five best and worst places to be a mom – CNN

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