I appreciate (and agree wholeheartedly with) Obama’s response to Akin:
Rape is rape… What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, the majority of which are men, making decisions that affect the health of women.
However, I still haven’t forgotten Obama’s condescending response on the emergency contraception ruling last year, where he (also a politician and a man) made a decision that affects women’s health that is not backed up by scientific facts:
As the father of two daughters, I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over the counter medicine. The reason Kathleen made this decision is that she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or 11-year-old going to a drug store would be able to, alongside bubble gum or batteries be able to buy a medication that potentially if not used properly can have an adverse effect.
In fact, this ruling disregarded the recommendations of FDA scientists.
Texas Seeks To Stop Doctors From Talking About Abortion
#war on women
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) effectively defunded his state’s Planned Parenthood earlier this year by barring it and any other “abortion affiliates” from receiving funds under the Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP). The government eventually cut off the program for not complying with the law, but Perry insisted he’d continue it — but on his own terms.
It turns out those terms mean blocking funding for anyone who even talks about abortion.
In a letter explaining the Texas Department of Health and Human Services’s proposed new rules, they have expanded their ban from “affiliates” (abortion providers or clinics attached to abortion providers) to “promoters” and those who affiliate with “promoters.”..
Banning “promotion” effectively means banning any women’s health care provider who mentions the word abortion or has informational material about how a woman might be able to seek out the procedure. Banning those who affiliate with someone who promotes abortion even further broadens the number of facilities that will not be able to recieve state funds.
This is outrageous! Women of Texas, take note.
See this and more on my Pinterest War on Women wall of shame.
What individuals with vaginae/uteri will gain from the Affordable Care Act
#affordable care act
Thirty-two million people will gain access to health care insurance coverage including sixteen million people who will gain access through Medicaid. What does this mean for individuals with vaginae/uteri? How will this affect our health and healthcare coverage?
(Excerpts taken from a recent Feminist Majority post)
Subsidies to purchase coverage
- About three-fourths of people who purchase through the insurance exchanges (those with incomes between 133% and 400% of poverty) will receive a federal subsidy to help pay for the coverage.
- By 2014 at the latest, insurers will be banned from “gender rating,” or charging individuals with vaginae/uteri higher premiums for the same coverage, both for individual policies and for employer group plans with fewer than 100 employees. In most states, individuals with vaginae/uteri with individual plans pay on the average some 48% higher premiums for the same health insurance coverage.
No Co-Pays or Deductibles for Preventive Care including Birth Control
- Every new insurance policy is required to include the basic preventive health care package without any co-pays or deductibles. As recommended by the Institutes of Medicine, this includes pap smears, mammograms, birth control, STI/STD testing, checkups, immunizations and other preventive care.
Discrimination Based on Pre-Existing Conditions Eliminated
- Exclusions for pre-existing conditions were immediately eliminated for children in 2010, and will be eliminated in 2014 for adults. This will prevent the exclusion of coverage for individuals with vaginae/uteri who have “pre-existing conditions” such as pregnancy, prior injuries caused by domestic violence, the second or subsequent Caesarian delivery, re-occurrence of breast cancer, etc. A temporary high risk insurance pool program is available to cover eligible adults with pre-existing conditions until 2014.
Bans Insurers from Dropping Coverage Because of Illness
Mandatory Coverage of Maternity Care and Specific Health Services
- Beginning January 1, 2014, individual and small employer plans must cover at a minimum a comprehensive package of “essential health benefits” including, for example, pre-natal and maternity care, prescription drug coverage, mental health care, and pediatric care (including oral and vision care). Currently 87 percent of individual health insurance plans exclude maternity coverage.
Mental Health Parity
Benefits for Older People
- Medicare guaranteed benefits are not reduced.
- Beginning in 2011, Medicare now covers the full cost of preventive care, including cancer screenings, annual physical examinations and immunizations.
- The Medicare prescription drug “Donut Hole” will be gradually eliminated, starting with a $250 payment to beneficiaries in 2010 and a 50% discount on Medicare Part D prescription drug costs. By 2020, payments by beneficiaries will be reduced to 25% of drug costs in the gap.
Ban on Discrimination against Lower Paid Employees
- Employers will not be allowed to provide inferior plans with less coverage to their lower-paid workers, who are more likely to be individuals with vaginae/uteri and people of color.
Addresses National Nursing and Primary Care Physicians Shortage
- The law increases the numbers of nursing education slots, providing loan repayments and retention grants and offering grants for employment and training of family nurse practitioners. It provides scholarships, loan programs and bonus payments to private care physicians and general surgeons. It also expands health accessibility by doubly the capacity of community health centers. New programs will increase support for school-based and nurse-managed health centers.
*Update: I changed the title to reflect how the Affordable Care Act will affect individuals with vaginae/uteri — not just those people who self-identify as women.
NEWSFLASH: “Fetal Personhood” Law Passes Oklahoma Senate →
A bill declaring a fertilized egg to be a “person” with constitutional rights has passed the Oklahoma Senate. The bill is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House and be signed into law by the state’s anti-abortion governor, Mary Fallin.
Personhood laws would drastically limit women’s medical options:
By giving constitutional rights to a fertilized egg, the amendment could ban emergency contraception, birth control pills and IUDs as well as all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman or girl. It could eliminate medical choices for women, such as some cancer treatments or in vitro fertilization. It could allow the state to investigate and even prosecute a woman for a miscarriage.
Such measures have been unpopular with voters. A personhood measure on Mississippi’s November ballot suffered a resounding defeat. But personhood’s proponents are pressing on in 2012, with campaigns in 11 states and counting.