The Indiana state House just passed a bill that forces health clinics that provide the abortion pill (RU 486) to have full surgical facilities.
Why would somebody need a surgical facility to provide a pill?
This week people were abuzz over news that New York City had mandated sex education — and some were simply scratching their heads at the realization that this wasn’t already the case. Seriously, it took this long?
Well, seriously, there are still 24 states that haven’t mandated sex education, including New York state.
That’s too many states to cover in any detail, so I’ll narrow it down to the worst of them. These are states that not only fail to mandate sex ed, but require that when it is taught, abstinence and the “importance of sex only within marriage” are stressed. These states make sure to defend “traditional” values, but they don’t protect scientific ones: Unlike some states, they don’t require that classes provide medically accurate information. Without further ado, the embarrassing eight that meet this criteria:
- Alabama has “among the highest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis of any state in the union,” according to youth advocate Amplify, and has the 15th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country. Another not-so-fun fact: It bans schools from teaching anything positive about homosexuality.
- Arkansas has landed on some unfortunate top-ten lists: When it comes to STI rates among young people, it ranks 5th in terms of chlamydia, 7th for gonorrhea and 10th for syphilis. It also has the 8th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country.
- Florida has the sad distinction of ranking 1st in HIV infections and 12th in teen pregnancies.
- Indiana fares well in terms of teen pregnancy and STI rates — relatively speaking — but the state’s teens “are among the least likely to report having used condoms the last time they had sex,” according to Amplify.
- Louisiana has the highest syphilis rate among young people in this country. It’s also in the top ten for both chlamydia and gonorrhea, and 11th in terms of teen HIV.
- Missouri was given a “C” rating on teen health by Amplify — while most of the states on this list received closer to a “D” — but, still, “the state has higher than average rates of STIs and lower than average rates of condom use among sexually active high school students.”
- Texas has several claims to sex-shame: It ranks 5th for teen pregnancy, 3rd in young people with AIDS and 4th in terms of syphilis among teens. A whopping 96 percent of Texas school districts teach abstinence only, according to a study by the Texas Freedom Network.
- Virginia has the 8th highest syphilis rate among young people. While it’s seen a decline in unplanned pregnancies, a study found that between 1991 and 2004 teen births still cost taxpayers roughly $3.1 billion.
The good news is that there are 20 states, along with the District of Columbia, that currently mandate sex education. But that’s a very basic achievement — it says nothing of the requirements and restrictions that are made on curricula across the country. Guttmacher reports that “26 states require that abstinence be stressed” in sex ed classes; meanwhile only 19 states insist on any mention of contraceptives. And we wonder why the U.S. has the highest teen birth rate in the developed world.
Here are a few of the stories we’ve been paying attention to:
- Inter Press Service news agency runs an article about attacks on PP in the states, talks about New York’s struggle with CPCs: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=56732
- National Catholic Register cites New York as a place where “anti-family” legislation is thriving: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/anti-family-legislation-sweeps-across-the-country/
- Metro Paper covers the HHS decision: http://www.metro.us/newyork/national/article/933053—birth-control-services-now-free
- We were waiting for this. NY Post runs a negative op ed by Michael Walsh against the HHS decision: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/care_truth_sinks_in_Lw2oQUrLTkawNQQkvsT8MM?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=
- Rachel Maddow celebrates the HHS decision on birth control and women’s health: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/43980737#43980737
- The Colbert Report does a brilliant piece on the decision: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/393824/august-03-2011/women-s-health-nazi-plan
- Whereas Fox News likens it to covering manicures and pedicures: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/08/02/285620/fox-expert-blasts-expanding-access-to-birth-control-are-we-going-to-do-pedicures-and-manicures-as-well/
- And religious groups are objecting: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jVeA_vkBZtjd2GY_-o2deQB_MPaA?docId=854176f27ad64f27bc183d11242b5e56
- Change.org points out that a number of uninsured women are still left hanging: http://news.change.org/stories/no-co-pay-birth-control-a-reality-but-what-about-uninsured-women
- Though Dr. Cullins points out that the decision will be huge for the African American community: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vanessa-cullins/why-free-birth-control-wi_1_b_916702.html
- Cecile Richards celebrates the decision in an op ed in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cecile-richards/birth-control-you-can-aff_b_917407.html
- In celebration of the decision, PPFA released a dancing pill pack Bollywood video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw2REPmbtj4
- Which got picked up by Glamour magazine: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2011/08/dancing-birth-control-bollywoo.html?mbid=twitter_glamourdotcom
- And the Daily Show’s moment of Zen: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-4-2011/moment-of-zen—-dancing-birth-control-pills
- HHS is now taking public comments on the consideration of a conscience clause. PPFA has a form to submit comments through: https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=13586&s_src=hhscomment_0811_c4_ppyt&JServSessionIdr004=p5z203cf52.app209b
- San Francisco is aggressively going after crisis pregnancy centers: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/03/us/03abort.html?_r=2&ref=us
- Anti-abortion group the Susan B Anthony list is being sued for lying: http://jezebel.com/5826865/
- The Nation explores the state of sex ed around the country: http://www.thenation.com/blog/162525/dont-have-sex-you-will-get-pregnant-and-die
- A doctor in Indiana is claiming his pregnant teenage patient is a victim of politics: http://www.wthr.com/story/15204156/doctor-believes-pregnant-teen-is-victim-of-politics
- New HIV infections in the US are holding steady at 50,000 a year: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2011/08/headline/49784868/1?dlvrit=205764
- A doctor is planning Witchita’s first center to offer abortions since Dr. Tiller’s murder: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/06/23/3054015/doctor-plans-first-wichita-abortion.html
- Interesting piece – “Why Latinas Demand a Different Conversation About Teen Pregnancy”: http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x965389947/Why-Latinas-demand-a-different-conversation
- And Kirsten Moore calls for serious innovation in contraception options: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kirsten-moore/technology-birth-control_b_918400.html
- Congress agreed on a debt deal: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60503.html
- Paul Krugman calls it a surrender by Obama: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/01/opinion/the-president-surrenders-on-debt-ceiling.html
- Though the Washington Post points out that social issues were placed “on the back burner” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/in-debt-limit-debate-social-issues-were-placed-on-the-back-burner/2011/08/04/gIQA3E3uuI_blog.html
- And the disapproval rating for Congress is now at 82%: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/us/politics/05poll.html?_r=1&hp
- And the GOP is now pushing the Global Gag Rule: http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/08/resurrecting_gag_rule_conservatives_declare_global_war_on_womens_health.html
- And Salon delves into the hypocrisy of “States Rights” politicians: http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/08/07/kilgore_states_rights/
That’s all we’ve got. What have you been reading?
And, as we know, only 1.5% of abortions are done after 20 weeks, so this is a very small number compared to the total number of women getting abortions.The women who are getting these later abortions generally have special (aka fucked up) circumstances. They didn’t find out they were pregnant until later in the pregnancy, the pregnancy has fetal anomalies, cases of rape and incest, etc.
In my experience, though, this is usually what happens:
- Woman finds out she is pregnant when she is about 10 weeks along. She has 2-4 weeks to get the money together together before the price will go up.
- She usually can’t get the money together in time. This is because most women getting abortions already have children and are single mothers living under the federal poverty line.
- She pawns most of her possessions, tries to clean houses, babysit, etc other random jobs to get the money. She will ask the guy involved and invariably he will be completely out of the picture/unavailable/say no/make excuses/etc.
- Week 14 comes and the price goes up $250.
- Now she needs even more money.
- I can try to contact local or national funds, but because of the economy being so bad many funds are low/out of money.
- Patient is now 16 weeks along; no clinics in her area will now see her because she is too far along for them.
- In addition to getting the money together, she must also figure out extended child care for her children because her procedure will now be multiple days. She also needs a hotel.
- She tries and tries to get the money but it just isn’t happening.
- She is now 18 weeks and cannot be seen in her state because of the state’s gestational limits.
- She must now travel a couple hundred miles to a clinic that will see her. So in addition to child care, hotel, etc she has to factor in travel costs. Additionally, she has to wait 24 hours once she sees the clinic staff once because her state has a law that she has to wait 24 hours after the initial consultation, just so she has time to think about it. She has clearly not had it on her mind, so. Thank God.
- Many clinics have laws that require the second opinion of another doctor who agrees the woman can have the abortion. Because at this point, she is probably just pulling everyone’s leg, right? This usually involves a fee and can be a logistical nightmare.
- If she can get the money, funds can help out, a miracle of child care/transport, etc happens, AND she makes it to the clinic, she can finally get her abortion.
- Let’s keep our fingers crossed she doesn’t have a negative blood type, because once she gets to the clinic and they do the blood testing, that will be an additional fee. Let’s also hope she doesn’t have a sonogram and turns out to be a few days farther along that we thought; that will cause the price to up as well.
Sounds so easy and fun, right? No wonder so many women get late term abortions.
With more and more states banning abortions after 20 weeks, they are only making it harder for these women to get to a provider that can help them. Making it harder for women to attain a later term abortion isn’t going to make them go away; it’s just going to cause more women to self-abort or do other desperate things.
A federal judge has halted enforcement of a law cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana and other entities that provide abortions.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on Friday night means Planned Parenthood, which stopped serving its 9,300 Medicaid patients last week after running out of donated funds, can again see those patients. The judge also enjoined a part of the law that would have taken effect July 1, requiring doctors to tell patients seeking abortions that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks or less.
Both were part of an anti-abortion bill that passed the Republican dominated legislature with significant support and was signed into law by Mitch Daniels. Pratt’s injunction means the two provisions cannot be enforced while she is hearing a lawsuit, brought by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, arguing that those parts of the law should be struck down.
Many Planned Parenthood of Indiana clinics have made the tough decision to close for one day on Wednesday, June 22nd.
“A measure state lawmakers approved in April and Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law in May would block Medicaid funds and other government dollars from going to Planned Parenthood because the organization offers abortions at some of its clinics.
Even though abortions are not covered under Medicaid, the legislators who supported the measure said they do not want to risk taxpayer dollars being entangled with the service.
“The state’s request is putting an undue burden on women by causing further delays. Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted,” Cockrum said.”
The closings will ensure that the clinics have enough funds to remain in operation until the end of this month, when Judge Tonya Walton Pratt is expected to determine a ruling as to whether this new law violates federal law.
“Meanwhile, another step the organization is taking to reduce costs is laying off two sexually transmitted disease prevention specialists at its Muncie office, until further notice.
The money it expects to lose is $1.3 million in Medicaid dollars, plus another $150,000 for sexually transmitted disease prevention. That adds up to a third of its total budget.”
Planned Parenthood of Indiana will stop seeing Medicaid patients after Monday because of an Indiana law that cut the provider’s funding.
PPIN went to court last month to prevent Indiana from cutting funding to the state’s largest reproductive health care provider. U. S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said she would make a decision on whether to enjoin the law by July 1.
“Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted,” Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of PPIN, said in a statement. The Medicaid funds stopped May 11, the day Republican Governor Mitch Daniels signed a law that restricts abortions and cuts federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood performs abortions, but even before the Indiana law passed, federal money could not be used to pay for abortions. Indiana cut Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood that covers other reproductive health services, including contraception and cancer screening.
After Monday, PPIN said it will have run out of the donations it used to pay for existing Medicaid patients after the bill made national news… If the judge doesn’t make a favorable ruling by July 1, PPIN said it will start closing health centers and reducing staff.
North Carolina and Kansas have also restricted funding to Planned Parenthood, but their actions do not affect payments from the federal Medicaid program. Indiana blocks both state and federal payments.
Ideologues: Your actions have real life consequences. Observe above. The money you blocked paid for zero abortions. It DID pay for preventative care, cancer screening, and reproductive care. It DID give people all over Indiana access to care they couldn’t otherwise afford.
Now, I’m going to use language here you may understand better. Planned Parenthood also provides services that have nothing to do with no-no parts, naughty bits, or whatever you call them. Here’s a short list:
- Anemia testing
- cholesterol screening
- diabetes screening
- physical exams, including for employment and sports
- flu vaccines
- help with quitting smoking
- high blood pressure screening
- tetanus vaccines
- thyroid screening
Expect an increase in emergency room visits, Indiana. Any of the pro-lifers want to step up and help pay for these things? Hmmm? It’s the pro-life thing to do, right?
APNewsBreak: HHS rejects Indiana Medicaid plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Health and Human Services Department is telling the state of Indiana that its Medicaid plan, which bans funding to Planned Parenthood, is illegal and must be changed.
In a letter sent to Indiana’s Medicaid director, and obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Medicaid Administrator Donald M. Berwick says Indiana’s plan will improperly bar Medicaid beneficiaries from receiving services. Berwick writes that federal law requires Medicaid beneficiaries to be able to obtain services from any provider qualified to provide services.
The notification comes after Indiana passed a law banning federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and as other states consider similar bans. Indiana can change its plan to conform with federal law, or the state could face penalties.