As the story of Rush’s rudeness to Sandra Fluke proliferates, advertisers leave his show in droves–including a big one today, AOL— and politicians offer weak but notable condemnations of his words, this story by “beantown mom,” a blogger at Daily Kos, show the very personal toll attacks like Rush Limbaugh’s can take on young women:
You see, my 16 year old daughter came home from school on Friday in tears and has been in a state of utter despair since. She was told, in no uncertain terms, that she is a slut, a prostitute, a horny piece of trash that is out to sleep with every guy in school! The horrid little monsters who started harassing my daughter had the audacity to tell her their mothers were the ones who labeled her with these despicable opinions- they were just “telling it like it is, you know, like that guy on the radio! The one who isn’t afraid to tell the truth!” Who does this?! How does Rush Limbaugh or anyone else have the right to do this, to say these things about anyone?
(Source: Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans don’t share Rick Santorum’s absolutist take on abortion. He’s out of step on women in combat. He questions the values of the two-thirds of mothers who work. He’s even troubled by something as commonplace as birth control — for married couples.
Even among a Republican presidential field eager to please religious conservatives, Santorum’s ideas stand out.
A Catholic father of seven whose kids are home-schooled, Santorum may seem to wear his conservatism as comfortably as his sweater vests. But he’s walked a careful path, keeping the more provocative opinions that helped sink his re-election to the Senate in 2006 mostly out of his presidential campaign.
That is until he leaped to the top of the polls, alongside Mitt Romney.
Now Santorum’s record on social issues is getting a closer look. On several matters, he’s outside the Republican mainstream. And if he becomes the GOP nominee, some of his ideas would probably be surprising, even puzzling, to general election voters.
(Source: The Examiner)
For most of the United States 200+ years of existence, a great battle has been fought over who has civil and human rights. It has been waged in Congress and the courts, at the ballot box and the workplace, and for the four years between 1861-65, on actual battlefields. It is still being fought and, while there have been setbacks at times, the trend has always been towards greater enfranchisement of the individual regardless of race, sex, religion or any of the myriad other things that differentiate us one from another. Over the last couple of weeks another of these battles has been fought over a proposed federal mandate that businesses provide female employees with health-care plans that covered birth control expenses if required. While America’s 355,000 churches were specifically exempted from this provision, religiously-associated businesses like colleges and hospitals were not. This led some organizations, like the Catholic Church, whose tenets forbid the use of contraception, to complain that their religious freedom was being infringed on. President Obama then sought to defuse the issue by offering a new plan that transfers the payment obligation from the business to the insurance companies and that’s the subject of Bill Moyers’ Feb. 16 video essay. “How,” asks the journalist and political commentator, “do we honor religious liberty without it becoming the liberty to impose one set of moral beliefs on others.”
Please see Questions and Answers, August 24, 2006
1. What is emergency contraception?
Emergency contraception is a method of preventing pregnancy to be used after a contraceptive fails or after unprotected sex. It is not for routine use. Drugs used for this purpose are called emergency contraceptive pills, post-coital pills, or morning after pills. Emergency contraceptives contain the hormones estrogen and progestin (levonorgestrel), either separately or in combination. FDA has approved two products for prescription use for emergency contraception – Preven (approved in 1998) and Plan B (approved in 1999).
2. What is Plan B?
Plan B is emergency contraception, a backup method to birth control. It is in the form of two levonorgestrel pills (0.75 mg in each pill) that are taken by mouth after unprotected sex. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone used in birth control pills for over 35 years. Plan B can reduce a woman’s risk of pregnancy when taken as directed if she has had unprotected sex. Plan B contains only progestin, levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone used in birth control pills for over 35 years. It is currently available only by prescription
3. How does Plan B work?
Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B, Plan B will not work.
(Source: The New Civil Rights Movement)
Right this second, Republican Darrell Issa is (of course!) holding a hearing on President Obama and Secretary Sebelius’ mandate that required all employers — even religious-based organizations running businesses — to provide contraception services for free.
(Source: Ms. Magazine)
For those surprised about the recent fervor over Obama’s contraception coverage decision, a look at its deep roots.
Republicans for Planned Parenthood last week issued a call for nominations for the 2012 Barry Goldwater award, an annual prize awarded to a Republican legislator who has acted to protect women’s health and rights. Past recipients include Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, who this week endorsed President Obama’s solution for insuring full coverage of the cost of contraception without exceptions, even for employees of religiously affiliated institutions. And that may tell us all we need to know about why President Obama has the upper hand in a debate over insurance that congressional Tea Partiers have now widened to include anyone who seeks an exemption.
It’s a long time ago, but it is worth remembering that conservative avatar Goldwater was in his day an outspoken supporter of women’s reproductive freedom–a freethinker who voted his conscience over the protests of Catholic bishops and all others who tried to claim these matters as questions of conscientious liberty and not sensible social policy. With Goldwater on his side, Obama sees a clear opening for skeptics wary of the extremism that has captured Republican hopefuls in thrall to the fundamentalist base that controls the GOP presidential primary today. Holding firm on family planning–even if it means taking on the Catholic hierarchy and other naysayers by offering a technical fix that would have insurers cover costs instead of the churches themselves–is a calculated political strategy by the Obama campaign, not a blunder as it has been characterized by many high powered pundits, including progressives like Mark Shields of PBS and E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post.