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Dr. George Tiller in Doc “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”

June 4, 2009

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Salon.com has an extended scene from the forthcoming documentary “What’s the Matter With Kansas?“, based on Thomas Frank’s bestselling book of the same title about the Right Wing’s rise in the once-liberal state. It features Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita-based abortion provider who was gunned down last Sunday while attending church. The clip touches on the years of threats and abuse Tiller experienced — law suits, arson, death threats, failed assassination attempts — for his commitment to providing women with safe and legal reproductive care. When Tiller speaks, he seems exhausted yet resigned to defending women’s rights against these radicals. It’s tragic.

After the jump, a round-up of interesting articles and info on Dr. Tiller and reproductive rights in the wake of his murder:

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



Will the HPV Vaccine for Boys Make Them Sluts? Ha!

April 2, 2009

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vaccinephoto by zmxncbv.com

When the relatively new HPV vaccine Gardasil came on the market for girls a few years ago, conservatives got their panties all in a bind over the possibility that it would give sweet, innocent P.Y.T.s permission to do it. Now that the vaccine is being considered for boys, no one seems too worried about their purity being tarnished. According to the Washington Post, the big questions this time around are about safety and cost-effectiveness. (And who says feminism is obsolete?) In the article, Gregory D. Zimet, a professor of pediatrics and psychology at Indiana University, brings up an interesting point about about this question of whether it’s really worth it for the boys…

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



Tell Obama to Overturn Bush’s Unconstitutional “Conscience” Rule

March 12, 2009

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Planned Parenthood’s president speaks out about speaking out.

The tides are definitely turning. Earlier this year President Obama overturned Bush’s Global Gag Rule which denied funding to any international family planning organizations that provided responsible abortion information and/or services (a rule that ironically and tragically led to more abortions). And just this week, Obama lifted dark-age restrictions on stem cell research and Congress (finally!) passed legislation to restore access to affordable birth control to millions of women. (According to Planned Parenthood, “it had been two years since a legislative error made birth control prices skyrocket by as much as 900 percent.”) But these recent victories don’t mean we can sit back, relax and let Obama and the Democratic Congress do all the work.

The other day the President began taking steps toward overturning Bush’s last-minute policy — the so-called “conscience rule” — which pretty much allows any healthcare worker or institution to deny patients information about — as well as access to — legal healthcare services (even stuff like birth control and HIV testing) based on personal biases (i.e. “God told me, your pharmacist, not to give you The Pill”). But Obama has to allow some time for the public to comment on his plans, which means it’s time to speak up! We all have less than a month to make sure Obama knows Bush’s BS has got to be overturned. Take a sec and add your name to the list of people who want Obama to continue protecting and supporting reproductive rights.



36th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade; End of Global Gag Rule…?

January 22, 2009

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gag

photo by Shht!

Today marks the 36th year women have been legally allowed to make decisions about their own bodies, without (too much) interference from the government, despite continuous threats from religious and anti-choice extremists. According to NOW:

Hateful legislation seeking to block our reproductive freedom continues to pour out of conservative state legislatures. Pharmacists are refusing to fill birth control prescriptions. Hospitals are denying emergency contraception to rape survivors. Clinics endure constant harassment.

Thankfully, we’ve now got a pro-choice Congress (barely) and a pro-choice President. It’s expected that early in his first term (today? this week? Ed note: He did it on Friday, January 23, 2009), Obama will repeal the Global Gag Rule which, according to Population Action International, basically states that international NGOs must either “accept U.S. assistance to provide essential health services — but with restrictions that may jeopardize the health of many patients — or reject the policy and lose vital U.S. funds, contraceptive supplies and technical assistance.” Not much of a choice.

According to a post on UN Dispatch, overturning the Global Gag Rule and investing $100 million in Family Planning would yield the following health impact:

  • Contraceptive users added – 3.6 million
  • Unintended pregnancies avoided – 2.1 million
  • Abortions prevented – 825,000
  • Infant deaths prevented – 70,000
  • Maternal lives saved – 4,000

We were hoping that President Obama would overturn the policy today (as Bill Clinton overturned anti-choice policies on the Roe anniversary back in 1993). Perhaps he’s delaying to soften the blow to the millions of right-wing nutjobs who would send women back to back alleys: they’re still his constituents, after all. Today, tomorrow…just do it soon! Too many lives are at stake.

Of course, untying the gag is just the first step. Hopefully the “conscience” rule (which allows health care providers to deny women access to healthcare, including birth control), the ban on stem cell research, and abstinence-only education are also not long for this world, under this administration. One thing’s certain, we cannot kick up our feet and get comfortable (have you seen the Supreme Court lately?!): fighting to make sure Roe stays in place and making the world safe for women and their bodies are still, sadly, ongoing battles.

Click on any of the above links for more info on these topics.