Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 17, 2008

REVERSING BUSH ON ABORTION RIGHTS.... It's unclear exactly what will take immediate priority on Barack Obama's to-do list after his inauguration, but it seems clear that Americans won't have to wait too long before seeing progress on issues relating to science, health, and reproductive rights.

This includes undoing Bush's "right of conscience" regulation, which has not yet been finalized, but it goes further. The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama is closely reviewing reproductive-health issues, identifying Bush measures in need of reversals.

On abortion and related matters, action is expected early on executive, regulatory, budgetary and legislative fronts.

Decisions that the new administration will weigh include: whether to cut funding for sexual abstinence programs; whether to increase funding for comprehensive sex education programs that include discussion of birth control; whether to allow federal health plans to pay for abortions; and whether to overturn regulations such as one that makes fetuses eligible for health-care coverage under the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Women's health advocates are also pushing for a change in rules that would lower the cost of birth control at college health clinics.

The reversal on research using embryonic stem cells should come fairly quickly in the new administration, and expect early action on dropping the "global gag rule" and restoring federal funding for family planning to the United Nations Population Fund (which is way overdue).

Action on the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, is probably less likely. The right is gearing up for it -- Family Research Council considers it the "No. 1 concern" -- but abortion-rights supporters are directing their attention elsewhere. The WSJ noted, "A coalition of nearly 60 liberal and women's groups submitted a list of 15 requests for action in the Obama administration's first 100 days, and FOCA isn't on the list."

Something to keep an eye on.

Steve Benen 4:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (8)

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whether to overturn regulations such as one that makes fetuses eligible for health-care coverage under the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Change the word "fetuses" to "pregnant women", and what's the argument for reversing it? Or does the word substitution have a significant effect?

Posted by: Danp on December 17, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Using "fetuses" endows a child in the womb with healthcare rights. Makes for a slippery slope that ends up criminalizing any damage done to a fetus in utero. Basically, not only does abortion become illegal, but it makes it illegal for a mother to smoke or drink while pregnant.

Posted by: Michigoose on December 17, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think with the recent "battle" to prevent a reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine, you needn't actually be pushing something for the wingnuts to be completely fired up to attack it. Like the Fairness Doctrine, FOCA battles are just another way of parting the credulous from their cash.

Posted by: The Critic on December 17, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

It is a sad state when progress means "this outlined agenda."

We must of course encourage responsible sexual relationships, birth control and commitment to raising the children in this nation in a stable home.

I was of age,19, when Roe vs Wade passed, and we and my peers did not view this as a victory. We understood our role in being responsible for our actions and the consequences of bringing life into this world.

Doctor's and women within the framework of a better legal framework must decide if a woman has a health reason to terminate a pregnancy.

Women have lost many former social contract benefits by men being able to demand termination of pregnancies.

This is not a woman's right, this is what some woman want as their right.

Posted by: Sroblz on December 17, 2008 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Women have lost many former social contract benefits by men being able to demand termination of pregnancies.

You're under the impression that men always paid their child support in the days before legal abortion? Men never deserted their families, never to be seen again? This only started happening when abortion was legalized?

Otherwise, I'm not sure what "social contract benefits" you're picturing here. Men have always been free to desert women without social penalty.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on December 17, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin reads Benen's Political Animal! And contributes her own, inimitable, comments to it (as Sroblz, @18;55)! Who'd'a thunk???

Posted by: exlibra on December 17, 2008 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

Whenever the Sroblz's of the world have an unwanted pregnancy, 99% of them obtain an abortion. See, it's OK when they obtain one because they have responsible sex lives and make responsible decisions, unlike the heathen masses.

Abortions for ME but not for THEE....

Posted by: SB on December 19, 2008 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I have two points to make:

1) For a medical person to refuse a service that a patient needs for a normal life is unethical as hell and that medical person needs to find some other line of work if they aren't willing to help their patients. If Bush's rule is not or cannot be reversed, then a reasonable response would be to make that medical worker legally and financially responsible for his/her refusal to give a day after medication in case of rape or anyother act of unprotected sex, refusal to sell or distribute contraceptives, or anything similar. I suspect that a lot of them would all of a sudden lose their "values."

2. As far as the "values" of the holier than thouers, there is a reason why Catholics have the highest rate of abortions of the three major religions in the US (Jews, Protestants, Catholics.) Even though they wouldn't think of doing an abortion, when it's come to Jesus time and they are the ones pregnant, they go running off to an abortion clinic. I once heard a nurse with a Planned Parenthood clinic outside a city where one of the fundamentalist colleges is located talking about how several months after school started, they would get a steady stream of college girls coming for abortions. It seems that abstinence doesn't work and the girls were not about to give up their futures for some nebulous "value" that was perpetrated on them by some patriarch.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on December 19, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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