The “War on Contraception” has officially begun with the draft regulations proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act Wednesday in order to ensure that any woman who wants birth control is able to get it in a timely and convenient manner.
A pharmacy in Great Falls, Montana has refused to fill a woman's birth control prescription. The reason? The owners believe that contraceptives are dangerous for women.
Eric Keroack resigned Thursday as Director of the Office of Population Affairs (in charge of Title X, family planning funding). I'd love to tell you it was because of the public outrage at his ridiculous positions on birth control and family planning (among other things), but it looks like it's because the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid is taking action against him. Hmmm… sounds like there's some dirt there.
RH Reality Check would like to introduce Eesha Pandit as a regular weekly writer. Most recently, Eesha served as Associate Director of Programs at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program (CLPP) which is a reproductive rights organization that trains, educates, and inspires new leaders, organizers, and supporters nationwide. Prior to joining CLPP, Eesha worked with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University and with Amnesty International USA's Women's Rights Program. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Chicago.
Last week, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard an appeal of a 2005 federal court ruling that mandated Union Pacific Railroad to cover contraceptives in its health insurance plan.
Planned Parenthood and two female employees of Union Pacific filed a lawsuit that would require the company to provide coverage for FDA-approved prescription contraceptives for female employees, as well as female family members of male employees covered by the company's health plan. Judge Pasco Bowman, who sits on the appeals court panel, says that if the ruling sticks, it could mandate ALL companies to cover birth control in their health-care plans. Let's hope.
There is so much media coverage and conversation going on about new Department of Health & Human Services appointee Dr. Eric Keroack that we figured it might be more helpful to provide a round-up than it would be to add to the fray. Read on to catch up on what's being said about the new director of the federal family planning program:
- The New York Times calls Keroack's appointment a "Family Planning Farce." The first line of the article: "It sounds like a late-night parody of President Bush's bad habit of filling key posts with extreme ideologues and incompetents." It could be, but this isn't SNL: the new director of Title X family planning dollars doesn't appear to believe in birth control.
- The Washington Post's editorial was entitled, "To Oversee Family Planning: Someone Whose Clinics Won't Offer It."
- The Boston Globe's "Not Family Friendly" asserts that while Keroack's appointment should not be a total surprise to anyone who has followed this administration, "to name an opponent of family planning to oversee the nation's family planning program is perverse even by the standards of a government that doesn't much believe in government."
Robin Summers is the Senior Policy Analyst for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA).
The famous Chinese general, Sun Tzu, in his infamous military treatise, "The Art of War," wrote: "All warfare is based on deception." Common sense tells us, however, that for a deception to prove effective, the lie must ring true. That is where the enemies of reproductive choice fail in the newest stratagem in their war: the attack on contraception.
[img_assist|nid=598|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]A couple of weeks ago, anti-choice activists gathered in Chicago for a conference entitled, "Contraception Is Not the Answer." You may have read about it in the Chicago Tribune, or in blogs like this one. The organizer of this attack on contraception was none other than Joe Scheidler and his Pro-Life Action League, the man who vowed to stop abortion "by any means necessary" and the group he called the "pro-life mafia" – the same group that proclaimed a "year of pain and fear" in the 1980s during a rash of violent attacks on abortion providers and clinics. Now it seems that our friend Joe has decided that contraception is the cause of most, if not all, of society's problems.
[img_assist|nid=598|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]If, as a conference held September 22nd-23rd stated, "Contraception Is Not the Answer," what on earth is the question? Surely it was not, "What is the best way to reduce abortion?" No, the focus of the conference was the evil of contraception throughout society. The speakers presented a comprehensive attack escalating a new political strategy of the far right.
The pro-life organizers of the conference called the decidedly middle-class, white audience "brave" for making history attacking the "golden calf of contraception." According to the Centers for Disease Control, most American women who have had sex have used at least one contraceptive method at some point in their lives. Fr. Thomas Euteneuer told the gathering, "When you sow contraception, you reap abortion." Holding the majority of women in this country responsible for abortion demonstrates the extremism of their agenda.
Editor's note: Some of the links in this post are audio clips; click on them to listen to Allan Carlson in a new window.
[img_assist|nid=598|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]Welcome back to RH Reality Check's series about the emerging war on contraception. In this episode, I will analyze Allan Carlson's presentation on "The Emptied Quiver: The Protestant Embrace of Contraception." As the daughter of two Lutheran ministers, I found Carlson's narrow take on Christianity, Martin Luther and the burden of families on clergy particularly interesting. His anti-feminist lecture examined Protestant roots against contraception and celibacy and their departure from that position, ending with an appeal for Protestants to return to their original opinion.
[img_assist|nid=598|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]Two speakers at the "Contraception Is Not the Answer" conference used religion as their main argument against contraception. They used religion as a weapon to attempt to manipulate people into following their narrow beliefs. But it is important to remember that they do not represent the majority of conservatives, nor of Christians. This reality check is for the right and the left.