Politico (Washington, DC)
The Democratic-controlled West Virginia legislature has sent a bill to the desk of Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, a notable moment for a movement led thus far by Republican-controlled states. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is “supportive” of a the anti-choice bill and is considering backing a similar federal ban in the Senate.
KVJS (Jefferson City, MO)
The Missouri House has given first-round approval to anti-choice legislation that would impose an additional requirement on minors who seek abortions.
Washington Post (Washington, DC)
A Kansas judge has overturned the state medical board’s revocation of a doctor’s license over her referrals of young patients for abortions.
News OK (Tulsa, OK)
An anti-choice bill to further restrict the legal use of abortion inducing drugs, the safest and earliest method of the procedure, in Oklahoma has overwhelmingly cleared the Oklahoma House.
Pew Research Center (USA)
According to new data, among American Catholics nearly eight-in-ten say the church should allow Catholics to use birth control, while roughly seven-in-ten say the church should allow priests to get married and allow women to become priests.
Boston Globe (Boston, MA)
Physician counters claims that anti-choice laws lead to lower abortion rates: ”I hope that Republicans and Democrats alike will support this downward trend by championing access to birth control and comprehensive sexuality education rather than eroding access to safe, legal abortion.”
The Register Herald (Charleston, SC)
An anti-choice bill that will criminalize a doctor who performs an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, with no exceptions, passed the South Carolina Senate Committee on the Judiciary Thursday evening on a muffled, split voice vote.
This week, we noticed the following statement on our Facebook page, “You have what is called personal responsibility. Take care of yourself and keep your pants on if you can’t take care of yourself.” Personal responsibility, we agree, is absolutely important. This week, we are taking this opportunity to underscore that taking personal responsibility for your actions requires the knowledge and resources to make smart decisions, and explore how the “keep your pants on” mentality is hurting young people and causing more problems. There is nothing more empowering for America’s teens than comprehensive sex education that includes lessons on abstinence as well as preventive health measures.
Like it or not we live in a time when teens are bombarded with images, songs, television programs and commercials that often have sexual undertones. Parents do their best to shield their kids from things that seem age inappropriate but when top rated shows highlight teen pregnancy, commercials for Viagra are a constant and record breaking songs touting ‘hey sexy ladies’ are played every where from the radio to major sporting events we have to face it, information about sex is everywhere. We have a responsibility to arm our kids with the facts and ensure they understand what personal responsibility is all about.
As of this year, only 22 states ensure that sex education be taught in public schools. And of those, only 18 require that information about contraception be included. These numbers emphasize the fact that there is so much more we as a nation can do to promote the truth, explain why abstinence is very viable option and also ensure that protection and contraception can prevent infection and teen and unplanned pregnancy. The nation will likely remain divided on the difficult issue of abortion for the foreseeable future, but standing together on the issue of comprehensive age appropriate sex education is a necessary and logical solution in our modern day.
Comprehensive, or abstinence-plus, sex education, teaches teens how to prevent the spread of infections or unplanned pregnancies in the case that they do have sex. But in fact, studies have shown that students who go through comprehensive sex -education in school delay sex longer than those who only learn abstinence. This kind of basic information empowers individuals for the rest of their lives and facilitates responsible decision-making. We cannot preach prevention if we do not teach it.
A number of states in recent years have had enormous success with their comprehensive sex education programs, leading to drastically lower rates of teen pregnancy. Some states, however, are lagging behind. In South Carolina, lawmakers are wavering over updates to a 26-year old sex education law. The controversial new proposal, though, is far from radical; the law would require that students be taught medically accurate information about prevention. Kansas is also reevaluating its sex education program, and not in a good way. An extremist lawmaker has proposed a bill that would limit which students receive sex education, even though the program that is currently taught is already described by experts as inadequate.
If you think that rolling back sex education programs or requiring abstinence-only curriculum will benefit a single person, just look at the facts:
Fact: The two states with the highest rates of teen birth mandate abstinence-only education.
Fact: Students who receive abstinence-only education are no less likely to engage in sexual activity. Studies have shown that students who go through comprehensive sex -education in school delay sex longer than those who only learn abstinence.
Fact: 80% of the most popular abstinence-only programs provide students with false or inaccurate information.
It is far past time that we recognize the responsibility we have to our children to provide them with comprehensive sex education. This is not an issue of pro-choice versus anti-choice, or of traditional values versus modern society. At it’s most elemental level, if you want to see fewer abortions, fewer teen births, and fewer sexually transmitted infections, then speak up for comprehensive sex education.
Blaming people for not taking responsibility doesn’t work. Stepping up and demanding adequate education does. It’s certainly time that common sense trumped extremism.
Politico (Washington, DC)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) came up short Thursday in her yearlong campaign to overhaul military sexual-assault policies, falling five votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)supported the bill but also supports moving forward with consideration of the competing but less-sweeping bill written by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA)
New study results find that providing women no-cost access to contraceptives does not increase their number of sex partners or their risky behavior, and does reduce unintended pregnancy and abortion rates.
New York Times (New York, NY)
There were 44 family planning facilities that performed abortions in Texas in 2011, abortion providers said. After the two closings on Thursday, there are now 24, they said. When the law is fully implemented in September, that number is expected to drop to six.
KSPR News (USA)
Among a list of “wasteful spending” that the President would slash if he gets his way on the budget is the current funding for abstinence only education. By cutting the abstinence grant, the country would save $5 million.
Anti-choice extremists in Texas are once again trying to use scare tactics to manipulate elections. But mainstream Republicans are standing up and voters are standing with them! Texas State Representative Sarah Davis is a commonsense Republican who was vocal in her opposition to the big-government anti-choice regulations that passed in 2013 saying, ”just as much as I’m opposed to the overregulation of industry, I’m opposed to the Legislature practicing medicine.”
Although she was targeted by anti-choice groups such as Texas Right to Life, this Tuesday Representative Davis took more than 70 percent of the vote in her Houston District. “I ran my campaign on the same theme as the previous two cycles: standing for personal freedom, individual responsibility and limited government,” Davis said. ”Those are the principles I was elected on, and they are what the voters of District 134 value from their leaders.”
Remember, these same anti-choicers are celebrating the news today that two reproductive health clinics will close in Texas because of extreme legislation they claimed would help women and families. The reality is they are now forcing more and more families from cost-effective clinic based health care to seek out more costly and less available healthcare. No matter how they try to spin their propaganda the truth is the anti-choice agenda is big government intrusion that is neither fiscally conservative or socially responsible.