President Proclaims “National Sanctity of Human Life Day,” Undercuts Women’s Lives
Pledging that his administration “will continue to honor our country’s founding ideals of equal dignity and equal rights,” President Bush on Tuesday proclaimed Sunday, January 19, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Using the declaration as a platform for espousing his anti-abortion rights beliefs, Bush called “unborn children” “those without the voice and power to defend their own rights,” according to the Associated Press. In a White House release, Bush urged organizations and individuals to aid those in need, to help create a “culture of hope… and ensure a brighter future for all.”
However, Bush pressed for welfare reform policies yesterday that will do little to “ensure a brighter future for all.” In a White House speech, Bush urged Congress to pass his approach to welfare reform, which includes requiring welfare recipients to work 40 hours a week at a time when the unemployment rate is 6 percent, according to the New York Times. The National Organization for Women issued a statement criticizing Bush’s proposal, pointing out that there has been no increase in spending for the past seven years, despite the fact that the cost of living has gone up. In addition, the harsher work requirements are not supported by a substantial increase in child-care spending. Bush has proposed that $4.8 billion be spent on child care, but NOW argues that this will meet only 15 percent of the need.
Bush has also taken action to restrict access to and information about abortion and birth control. The Bush administration has altered scientific fact sheets naming condom use as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of AIDS and disproving any link between abortion and breast cancer. Bush threatened to back out of a landmark international population policy, forcing a vote at the last minute, which he lost. He has stacked scientific panels to favor his political agenda. Most notably, Bush appointed Dr. W. David Hager, who is adamantly against mifepristone, abortion, and birth control, to a key reproductive health committee of the Food and Drug Administration. Furthermore, he withheld $34 million appropriated by Congress for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), based on inflammatory rhetoric from a right-wing organization that was not even supported by Bush’s own fact-finding team.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .