Grappling with the mish-mash of American politics
In another example of the “Do as I say, not as I do” hypocritical, moral authority, anti-choice Republican Party a Tennessee member of the House of Representatives is caught trying to persuade his pregnant mistress to have an abortion to save his marriage.
WASHINGTON — A pro-life, family-values congressman who worked as a doctor before winning election as a Tea Party-backed Republican had an affair with a patient and later pressured her to get an abortion, according to a phone call transcript obtained by The Huffington Post.
The congressman, Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, was trying to save his marriage at the time, according to his remarks on the call, made in September of 2000. And, according to three independent sources familiar with the call and the recording, he made the tape himself.
Newspapers in the battleground states of Florida and Ohio were riddled with ads from the conservative political action committee Government is Not God claiming the darndest things. Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize winning factcheck website, took notice and essentially gave what can only be described as a serious smackdown.
A year after Wisconsin exploded in protest over Republican legislation to gut collective bargaining for public employees, a Wisconsin judge has nullified the law, ruling on Friday that it violates workers’ equal rights under the Constitution.
Those dramatic union reforms and the political theater it sparked last year turned Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker into a Republican hero and helped balance the state’s budget.
With its focus on a signature Republican law, Friday’s ruling also highlights a series of state and federal rulings over the last year that have turned back major tenets of a Republican agenda fueled by the massive electoral victories the party brought home in November 2010, when it took over the House of Representatives and won nine governorships.
Once again the Daily Scoop is offering multiple interrelated articles. Today, we are looking at 3 articles that examine the current controversies circling around the Health and Human Services rules for contraception provisions inclusion in employer insurance policies, including religious-based universities and hospitals but exempting churches.
The first article details the findings of newly released study which illustrates the effect of increased contraception use among teens and the decrease in abortion and pregnancy rates for the same groups. The second compares perceptions of the contraception “battle” in the media, in Congress and the general public. And the third reports on the current actions the House of Representatives is preparing to take on the contraception rules.
I was a Planned Parenthood affiliate chief executive, supervising a network of clinics in New York state, during the early days of this terrible recession. We ran deficits, cut hours, closed centers and laid off staff members. In a recession, things get very difficult — more and more people are in need, while government funds lag and donations dwindle. But still we did not turn patients away, even if they could not pay. At the same time, we had to fight political battles to preserve women’s rights to basic care and information about their sexual health.
Amid the debate, let’s address some of the misperceptions about this nearly 100-year-old health-care organization.
After the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood, attention has focused on its Vice President for Policy, Karen Handel. She joined the group last January after a failed run for governor in Georgia, where she had advocated defunding Planned Parenthood.
But there’s another woman who deserves equal credit: Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest. It’s her group that issued a report last fall, “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood,” that led to a probe by the Energy and Commerce Committee. And it’s that investigation that puts Planned Parenthood in violation of Komen’s new policy that bars funding of groups under investigation.
UPDATE: As of this morning the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has reversed their decision to eliminate their funding to Planned Parenthood. They clarified their previous position which was not to provide funding to organizations under investigation, which Planned Parenthood is by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Their new position is that “… disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.”
The pressure exerted by those who support Planned Parenthood, and all their services to low income families, over the last 24 hours illustrates the loudest voices from the far edges of the ideological spectrum do not represent the views of the majority.
JANUARY is a busy month in capitals across America. New laws are implemented; Congress and legislatures reconvene, hoping to pass more. If one’s political party is in the minority, this is a terrifying prospect. For opponents of abortion, the outlook could hardly be sunnier. As of January, for example, abortion providers in Arkansas must follow new rules for inspections. Beginning this month, Utah and Nebraska bar private health plans from covering abortion. These laws follow an avalanche of abortion measures, passed last year, that are already in effect. As politicians return to capitals, more restrictions may come.
Last year saw a surge in social conservatism.
Last Tuesday night people throughout the country went to the polls to weigh in on numerous local initiatives and representation. Giving voters their last chance to directly express their views before next year’s presidential elections, many of the contests could very well be viewed as referendums on Democrats, President Obama and those elected in the 2010 Republican resurgent wave.
What would be the impacts of a precedent such as this? What would the effects on women who choose to use birth control? What are the implications for affordable birth control and those who use it for other hormone control purposes? What would this do for responsible family planning?
<Washington Post> A new poll underscores just how close Mississippi is to passing the country’s first “personhood” law, which would define life as beginning at conception. Public Policy Polling finds that, hours before tomorrow’s vote, 45 percent of voters supported the amendment, while 44 percent opposed it.