Welcome to Dispatches, your round-up of the latest news from the front-lines of the War on Women. Have a story from your state or an idea on how to push back? Share them here and fight back against the War on Women.
With bill after bill attacking women’s reproductive rights, the women are fighting back. First, there’s Project TMI, a campaign where constituents share the intimate details of their reproductive health with legislators who support anti-abortion restrictions in their states to keep their representatives honest in their “concerns” over women’s health.
Then there’s this piece focusing on conservative and even evangelical female Republicans admitting their growing disenchantment with a party that seems intent on legislating women back to the days of coverture. And there’s this video reminding us all of the power of women voters. And this one too.
Even Republican men are starting to speak out. Senator John McCain (R, AZ) weighed in on the war on women, coming out against controversial contraception bills making their way through the Arizona legislature. Pay attention to his critique though and remember that McCain supported the very-similar Blunt Amendment at the federal level for a good gut-check on the politics versus optics challenge for McCain here.
Speaking of Arizona, the state is not only attacking contraception but looking to de-fund Planned Parenthood as well.
Texas health care providers are scrambling now that the state has forfeited millions of dollars in Medicaid funds as part of a campaign to strip Planned Parenthood of all funding. The goal is to manage care without closing clinics, but the reality is services will have to be drastically cut, especially since the Women’s Health Program lost approximately 90 percent of its funding via these cuts.
In Utah public opposition to an abstinence-only bill led Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) to veto the bill, a rare victory for public health advocates in Republican-dominated legislatures. The state still has a bill mandating a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortion pending though and that bill is more likely to be signed.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, passed an abstinence-only bill and a ban on private insurance bans covering abortions.
Public pressure is also what likely killed a mandatory ultrasound bill in Pennsylvania.
Mississippi’s attack on choice includes advancing a “fetal heartbeat” bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks as well as a series of TRAP laws that, if passed, would close the state’s only abortion clinic.
The Obama administration clarified that the contraception mandate would apply to self-insured institutions and most college health plans while the first private lawsuit challenging the contraception mandate was filed in federal court.
Just how high are the stakes in this battle? Over half the women in this country live in a state where reproductive rights hang in the balance.
Finally, there’s still bitter partisan battling over renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
Come back tomorrow for another round-up of the latest news and commentary on the War on Women. So long as the battle rages, we’ll cover the latest.
Photo from The US Army via flickr.