Afternoon Roundup: Anti-Choice Bullies; ACLU Sues Federal Government for Rape Records; Protesting an HIV PSA in NYC

Wisconsin anti-choice advocates bullying of an entire city – from medical doctors to hospital administrators to women seeking care – results in a hospital’s decision not to provide abortions; Gay and Lesbian advocacy groups protest a NYC public service announcement on HIV prevention; the ACLU files a lawsuit against the government to gain access to records on rape in the military.

  • The ACLU and the Service Women’s Action Network have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran’s Administration seeking access to documents and files related to “Military Sexual Trauma” (MST) –  incidences of rape and sexual assault in the military. According to the lawsuit, MST occurs nearly twice as frequently as it does in civilian society and tens of thousands of female soldiers each year become victims. The federal government has refused to respond to Freedom of Information Requests related to MST incidences, prompting the lawsuit. MST is the primary cause of post-traumatic stress disorder among female veterans. 
  • In the “despicable but true” category: The University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics was essentially bullied into a decision not to offer second trimester abortions at their Madison Surgery Center out of concern for their patients privacy and safety. UW Spokesperson Lisa Brunette said they made the decision not go ahead with plans for an abortion clinic because they didn’t want their patients harmed by activists. Apparently, “pro-life” activists are proud of this bullying behavior – head of Pro-Life Wisconsin says the decision to halt the plans permanently “proves pro-life activism works.” Well, if pro-life activism is simply about bullying entire communities and blocking access to health care which medical doctors and hospital administrators were intent on providing to women in need, but now can’t, then – yeah – pro-life activism works like a charm.
  • H/T from The Gothamist: Gay and Lesbian advocacy groups are objecting to a new PSA on HIV put out by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene claiming it further stigmatizes gay men. The PSA urges people to stay HIV free by using a condom but the Gay Mean’s Health Crisis says that it paints gay men as “disease-ridden vessels” from which people should stay far away. It’s definitely a seriously fear-based spot but you can judge for yourself. View it here
  • Media Matters has an excellent post on why yesterday’s ruling, by federal court Judge Henry Hudson, on the unconstitutionality of the central provision of the health care law (mandating that all Americans must purchase health insurance) makes a series of significant errors in its analysis. Legal experts from around the country say Judge Hudson’s decision has a “fairly obvious and quite significant error” ; that his decision is “blinkered to reality”; and that it “wrongly conflates analyses of different provisions” in the Constitution. Read exactly what these experts have to say, in detail.

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