Repro Rights Roundup: Afternoon-Style

Bristol Palin uses Dancing with the Stars to push her teen pregnancy prevention message, student activists are on day seven of their hunger strike to push GOP support for the DREAM Act, Slate’s William Saletan offers up some smart advice for the anti-choice groups and more…

  • The Center for Reproductive Rights brings a lawsuit against the FDA for failing to make emergency contraception available, over-the-counter, at pharmacies for women under 18 years old. Last year, a judge ruled that the FDA had “acted in bad faith” by limiting over-the-counter access and ordered the FDA to allow those 17 and younger access. CRR is suing the FDA for not complying with the judge’s order.
  • A federal jury in Arkansas is deliberating over charges that a doctor in the state gave his female patients birth control that was not approved in the United States. 
  • Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus, of Ohio, dropped his complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission against anti-choice group, the Susan B. Anthony List over billboards the group wanted to erect targeting his vote for health care reform. Driehaus claimed that the SBA’s message on the billboards – that by voting for the health reform bill, he also voted for “taxpayer funded abortion” – was wholly false. 
  • Slate’s William Saletan offers up his thoughts on lessons for the pro-lifers from the recent Princeton University conference which brought pro-choice and pro-life advocates together to discuss ideas and potential areas of unity. Some of Saletan’s suggestions for take-aways for the pro-life crowd? If you want to reduce the number of abortions, focus on voluntary means of abortion reduction not criminalization, and embrace contraception! Tomorrow? Lessons for the pro-choice folks!
  • Duke University will house the central laboratory which will develop, implement and lead oversight of quality assurance laboratories involved in HIV/AIDS research and vaccine trials around the world. It’s the first time a single site will provide oversight over all HIV/AIDS research and vaccine testing.
  • I really can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be writing about The Jersey Shore in some capacity. The MTV show is painful to watch, as a born-and-bred Long Islander, but it’s like coming home as well. Bristol Palin and The Jersey Shore star “The Situation” (both of Dancing with the Stars as well) have teamed up in a new PSA about teen pregnancy prevention (I think?). The video PSA is sort of a grab bag of messages: don’t have sex, use a condom if you do, Bristol Palin will never, ever make the “mistake” of having unprotected (or any?) sex again. In any case, it’s actually fairly entertaining if not a bit confusing. 
  • While the 11 women activists/workers from El Paso, protesting the violence and extreme poverty in their border region, wind up day nine of their hunger strike in front of The White House today, another group of (student) hunger strikers are on their seventh day, to get Republican Kay Hutchinson to sign onto the DREAM Act.

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  • crowepps

    This is well worth reading:

    Living in a state with popular initiatives and referendums is like living next door to a family of meth dealers who come out every couple of years and point guns at your house: The good news is that about half the time they don’t shoot. The bad news is …well, you do the math.

    Finally, and worst of all, it deliberately seeks to create religious division for political gain. We have seen a systematic attempt by one side of the political debate to amass power by screaming that the Muslims are coming, with their Mosques and their Korans and their Sharia, whatever that is.

    The main point of 755 is quite simply to proclaim that in Oklahoma, American Muslims and their religion are unequal by law. American history teaches us that writing religious inequality into law leads at best to persecution and heartache. If you don’t believe me, ask a Jehovah’s Witness, whose Kingdom Halls were burned during the 1940s after the Supreme Court approved legislation aimed at stigmatizing Witness children who could not, because of their religion, recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

    But a little mild persecution is the best outcome of an exercise like 755. We know from the history of Germany, Russia, the Middle East, and the Balkans that power-hungry leaders fostering religious hatred is a mortal threat to the future of a democratic nation. Oklahoma’s Republicans are hoping to intimidate their real political enemies by convincing the voters that their neighbors are secretly plotting to destroy them. This is juggling with dynamite. It’s a great plan right up until the moment you drop a stick.