Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby, and it’s sister company Mardel, Inc., will defy a federal law that requires employee health care plans to provide insurance coverage for types of contraception that the firm’s owners consider to be “abortion-causing drugs and devices,” an attorney for the company said Thursday. Hobby Lobby has decided that providing birth control, specifically Plan B, or the morning after pill, to their employees through their insurance is in violation of their religious freedom under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
Recently a pharmacist at the Walgreens Pharmacy at 10300 Central Ave SE in Albuquerque, NM, refused to fill customer Susanne Koestner’s prescription for birth control because it was “against his religion.” The ACLU of New Mexico has stepped in and posted a petition online for those of you who would like to sign it.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico says Koestner’s difficulty getting birth control medication amounts to sex discrimination because Mononessa is a contraceptive for females.
Today was to be my day of catching up on some doggie graphic work and some new websites, but I keep coming across more and more websites and publishings about the war the GOP has declared on Women’s Rights. One minute I want to scream to everyone the unrighteousness behind these bills. Then the next minute, I want to pack up myself and my dogs and move into a cave in the Northern Territories – with high speed internet, of course. I’m sure I can find a cave, but since I seriously doubt I’ll find one with high speed internet, or even in an area where a wireless card will work, then I must do the former of the two options. More…
On Wednesday, March 21st, Arizona state Democratic lawmakers organized a news conference to discuss Debbie Lesko’s HB 2625 which allows any employer to opt out of providing contraception to their employees based upon their own religious beliefs. There has been a large outcry over this House Bill not only in Arizona but throughout the entire United States as the War on Women grows more heated every day.
To: Debbie Lesko, Majority Whip
House of Representatives
1700 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone Number: (602) 926-5413
Fax Number: (602) 417-3109
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
From: A US-born, free citizen of the United States who is gravely concerned about your support of our First Amendment Rights as well as Women’s Rights
With all the recent news of the insanity spreading like a viral disease throughout our country, the War on Women has begun. I have always seen and believed that there are some rather ignorant people in both of our parties, but this year is much different. The Republican Party wins hands down. Bills are erupting all over the country, states ticking off one-by-one with their own bill which in some manner violates women’s rights.
Annabel Lee of Double Dip Politics has written a most phenomenal article where she loosely portrays herself as an attorney defending American woman. It is an honor to to feature this post as my guest post today – but please, do not stop reading her work here. Go check out Annabel’s site… her writing is impeccable in every area. The content, choice of words and grammar, as well as expressing her views fairly – which is often a very difficult task to accomplish. Personally, I know I go off the deep end from time to time, and I can just hear people’s eyeballs rolling in the heads after I hit “publish.”
PERSONAL VIEW: In 1981, when I was but 16 years old, like most girls my age, I became sexually active. However, unlike a few of my friends – I did not want to become pregnant. My parents were “old school” and approaching them would be like walking up face to face to a hungry lion with a slab of meat in my hands. Just was not an option. But Planned Parenthood was. I choose wisely, called the clinic and made my appointment. Shortly thereafter, I walked out with birth control pills in my hand, and never regretted that day.
Because I made this choice, and Planned Parenthood provided me with this option to do so, I went on to college, graduated, and became a productive member of society. Had it not been for this clinic I would have most likely become pregnant, as hormones were raging and I would have not stopped having sex with my boyfriend. Thankfully, I was never put into a position of either having to choose an abortion, or live on welfare as an unwed teenage mother.
Thank you Planned Parenthood.
Cutting off funding will not stop abortion. It will only move it into the back rooms, STD’s will increase, and women will have a harder time finding health care.
Indiana is poised to become the first state to cut off all government funding for the Planned Parenthood organization, providing a significant victory for the anti-abortion movement but presenting a political predicament for the state’s governor, Mitch Daniels, as he considers running for president.
The Indiana House voted 66-32 Wednesday to approve a bill cutting the $3 million in federal money the state distributes to the organization for family planning and health programs.
The measure also ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy unless there is a substantial threat to the woman’s life or health and requires women seeking an abortion be told that life begins at conception and that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital. The Senate approved the measure earlier this month.
The action opens a new legislative front in the conservative assault on Planned Parenthood, which has been targeted for its abortion services. Efforts to cut off federal funds in Congress failed this month, but bills are moving in a number of statehouses.
Indiana’s measure is now in Daniels hands, which could force him to make a decision between the state’s fiscal interests and a prime goal of his party’s social conservatives.
If he signs the measure, Indiana risks losing $4 million in federal grants for family planning services. If he vetoes it, Daniels could antagonize ardent social conservatives already wary of his public statements about the importance of focusing on economic issues this year.
But signing it also could provide Daniels with the political cover he needs from those who question his commitment to social conservative causes. He could point to it throughout the presidential campaign as evidence that opposition to abortion rights and other social causes are part of his political makeup.
A Daniels spokeswoman said the governor would not comment until the bill arrives on his desk for action. He’ll have seven calendar days once he receives the bill to take action. He also could allow it to become law without his signature once those seven days pass.
Daniels has said he will decide on a run for president after the Legislature adjourns, which is expected Friday.
Planned Parenthood says abortions account for just 3 percent of the services it provides. Planned Parenthood clinics across the country perform 1 million screenings for cervical cancer, 830,000 breast exams and some 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. Abortion-rights supporters say cutting funding for Planned Parenthood would primarily hurt poor women who often have few choices for health care.
Conservative lawmakers say, however, that any money the organization receives at least indirectly supports abortions.
“If we’re buying the roof over their head or their paper clips, we’re still subsidizing abortion,” said Republican Rep. Matt Ubelhor, who sponsored a bill to ban state grants or contracts to Planned Parenthood of Indiana.
Planned Parenthood officials urged Daniels to veto the bill and said they would go to court to challenge the funding cut-off.
Indiana social agencies say federal law doesn’t allow states to choose which medical providers receive payments from Medicaid, which pays Planned Parenthood of Indiana about $1.3 million a year.
Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures see state action as an effective new tactic against Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. The push has been intensified since last fall’s midterm ballot elected more Republican governors and larger Republican majorities in many statehouses. Other tough restrictions on abortions have already been approved in many conservative states.
Abortion-rights supporters expect they’ll be fighting the de-funding issue in other state legislatures.
“These battles have been going on for decades,” said Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state legislation for the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research organization that supports abortion rights. “They rise and they fall, but right now they seem to be the worst that we’ve seen.”
In North Carolina, the proposed state budget includes a ban on state contracts with Planned Parenthood for teen pregnancy prevention and family planning. In Texas, the Republican-controlled House stripped more than $60 million from the state budget for family planning services, shifting some of the money to anti-abortion programs and crisis pregnancy centers. Last year, New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, cut $7.5 million from the state budget for 58 clinics specializing in women’s reproductive health.
Indiana’s Ubelhor said he campaigned on de-funding Planned Parenthood last year, when he defeated an incumbent Democrat and helped Republicans gain control of the Indiana House. He said state legislatures shouldn’t wait on Congress to act. “I think as a state we should do as much as we possibly can,” he said.
Sue Swayze, a legislative lobbyist for Indiana Right to Life, said she expects more state action.
“I think it will give folks who might otherwise have been reluctant to either face the controversy, period, or to put their state on the line, motivation to know that there is some support in Congress for it,” Swayze said.
Nash said abortion rights supporters will argue that the measures hurt state budgets as well as women’s health.
“Those efforts are not in the interest of public health, they are ideological,” she said.
Although the issue could be politically awkward for Daniels, whose term ends next year, it should be welcome for Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, who is considering a run for governor. Pence, a Republican, led the drive in Congress to block Planned Parenthood funding.