New York City just passed a law that would force so-called pregnancy counseling centers to disclose, in advertising, signs, and over the phone, whether or not they actually provide the full spectrum of resources and referrals (including for abortion and emergency contraception) and pre-natal services -- which many do not
In the wake of cuts to both Title X, the federal family-planning funding mechanism that provides more than $300 million for health screenings, birth control, and prenatal care (but not abortions) nationwide, and Planned Parenthood (which gets about $75 million annually from the federal government -- none of which can be spent on abortion services), the Maine Choice Coalition held a press conference today, encouraging Mainers contact senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and urge them to vote against such cuts when a similar bill comes before the US Senate.
A few years ago, I interviewed sometimes-Portlander Chris Korzen about his book, A Nation For All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America From the Politics of Division (Jossey-Bass), and organization for which he serves as executive director, Catholics United.
That organization is taking a high-profile stand in support of members of Congress (specifically, pro-life Dems) who voted for health-care reform and are now taking heat from anti-abortion activists
As the US Senate continues debate on an increasingly anemic health care bill, two political action organizations are chastizing Democratic representatives who voted for the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House's version of the legislation. The Senate seems safe from such a provision, but the issue will certainly come up for debate when the House and Senate conference to reconcile their different bills.
US House Democrats made a huge concession on women's health the other day, in order to move forward the massive healthcare bill that passed 220-215 on Saturday night. Under pressure from (shocker!) the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as conservative Dems who said they'd hold up passage of the whole shebang if certain abortion restrictions weren't in place (and despite the fact that there is already an existing ban on using federal funds to pay for abortion -- it's called the Hyde Amendment), Nancy Pelosi and other pragmatic politicians allowed the Stupak Amendment (so named for its legislative sponsor, Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Michigan) into the bill.
Apparently this is happening in Augusta, until November 1.
Here's one Planned Parenthood worker's thoughts (not local -- she's in Houston -- but applicable anywhere, I'd think).
The Maine Family Planning Association has 56 pledges so far in its "Pledge-A-Picketer" campaign. Basically, the model is this: For every anti-choice picketer that shows up at the family planning clinic in Augusta over the next month (Maine Right To Life just launched its 40 Days of Life "peaceful public witness" campaign last week), the pledger donates $X.