Opinion | Sex- Trump and Cecile – by Gail Collins – NYT

“Cecile Richards just finished her Planned Parenthood farewell tour. Lots to reminisce about. But let’s start with her famous meeting with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

It was after the election, and Javanka wanted to share their great idea for bridging the gap between Planned Parenthood and the new Republican administration.

“You have to give everybody a chance,” Richards said mildly.The couple proposed that Planned Parenthood simply give up abortion services, and then let Jared lobby Congress for more family planning funding. It was a little like suggesting to Mark Zuckerberg that he could get past his business problems if he dropped the part about being on the internet.

“I guess I was just shocked at how naïve they seemed,” Richards mused in a recent interview.Ivanka, Richards recalled, also felt “I didn’t appreciate” her father’s supportiveness during the presidential debates. Donald Trump did indeed say “millions of women” were helped by Planned Parenthood, before adding that he would defund it anyway “because I’m pro-life.” Details, details.

Richards, 60, has had a long career in organizing and politics. She took over Planned Parenthood 12 years ago when George W. Bush was president. He was a strong abortion opponent, but from her current perch, it definitely seems like the good old days.

“Look, the Bush administration was not friendly to reproductive rights,” she said. “But they weren’t ideologues. They didn’t try to dismantle family planning.””

David Lindsay: Makes you want to laugh and cry. Thank you Gail Collins.

Here are the most popular comments, which I also endorsed:

albval
Oakland, CA

I work for Planned Parenthood. Cecile is a beloved hero.

She is brilliant, measured, and empathic. She wants only the best for women–all women (and men). All races, all income levels, all creeds. She wants us to have health care, and choices–whatever choices are best for us, individually.

Why is this a controversial concept in 2018?

NM commented May 11

N
NM

Ms. Richards, like the employees and volunteers of Planned Parenthood, has a level of courage and selflessness unimaginable to Trump and far right ideologues who self righteously deny people crucial medical services, including family planning.

RKD commented May 11

R
RKD
Park Slope, NY

Support Arpaio, beat up on Richards. Defund Planned Parenthood and also CHIP & SNAP so there’re more babies w/ less support. This regime is not just hypocritical but illogical & unreasonable. I really enjoy donating to Planned Parenthood in Pence’s name – makes it feel as if I’m having fun as well as doing good.

Socrates commented 11 hours ago

Socrates
Socrates
Downtown Verona. NJ

Thank you for your service, Cecile Richards, in the face of America’s Christian Crusaders’ Endless War On Poor Women.

Unwanted pregnancy is four times as common – and unwanted birth is seven times as common – among poor women as among non-poor women.

After implementing its Family Planning Initiative, teen births and abortions dropped by nearly half in Colorado when poor women had access to no-cost/low-cost long-acting IUDs.

And Colorado saved $66 million in public assistance it would have spent on hospital bills and welfare payments.

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/cfpi-report

Colorado Republicans briefly defunded program because it was successful, it made sense and saved the state millions, but they miraculously came to their senses and restored funding.

But most lunatic conservatives still can’t stand poor women.

“How shocking Colorado legislators care naught about the health risks for our daughters and granddaughters,” said Leslie Hanks, spokesperson for American Right to Life. “They care not a whit about their physical, emotional, nor spiritual health.”

Yes, Ms. Hanks, if those legislators had showed a deeper and more passionate commitment to forced pregnancies and Christian Shariah Law, America’s poor women would be so much better off.

The #1 cause of unwanted pregnancies and high abortion rates is conservative Christianity and Trumpian politics.

As Michelle Wolf said, Ivanka is “about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons.”

Nice GOPeople.

 

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The Abortion Case That’s Really About the First Amendment – By ROBERT McNAMARA and PAUL SHERMAN – NYT

“The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday in a case that pits abortion-rights advocates against religious groups dedicated to steering women away from abortion — including, some say, by outright deception.

But that is not why the case is important.To be sure, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra has all the hallmarks of a classic culture-war throwdown. The case centers on California’s attempt to force so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which exist primarily to dissuade women from having abortions, to display prominent advertisements detailing the availability of state-funded abortions.

As The Times’ Adam Liptak put it, succinctly: “The centers say the law violates their right to free speech by forcing them to convey messages at odds with their beliefs. The law’s defenders say the notices combat incomplete or misleading information provided by the clinics.”

In certain ways, the case has played out just as one might have expected: The Conference of Catholic Bishops has lined up on one side and Planned Parenthood on the other. Most people’s opinions on abortion rights and their opinions on the correct outcome in this case are probably pretty closely linked.

But that link shouldn’t be inevitable. We filed a brief in this case supporting the First Amendment rights of crisis pregnancy centers, even though we also personally support abortion rights (our firm shares our view of the First Amendment, though it takes no position on abortion).”David Lindsay: Sad, but probably true. I found no fault in the logic of these lawyers.

They argued:

“Sometimes, government officials use their newfound powers to silence speech they find politically uncongenial. For example, after the American Medical Association adopted a policy urging doctors to discuss gun ownership with their patients — either to talk to them about gun safety or, perhaps, to dissuade them from owning guns at all — the Florida Legislature, spurred by gun-rights advocates, rushed to prohibit doctors from doing so. In court, Florida defended the law as a regulation of unprotected “professional speech.” It took five years of litigation, in the face of repeated court rulings upholding the ban, before the law was finally struck down in 2017 by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Other times, officials simply try to silence speech that is embarrassing. When an Oregon man named Mats Järlström, who we have represented, wrote to his state engineering board to complain that traffic engineers had made mistakes in how they calculated the timing of red-light cameras, the board fined him $500 for doing the underlying math without an engineering license. (As it happens, the physics professor who initially came up with the formula for timing red-light cameras thought that our client was probably right, but that made no difference to state officials.)

And these threats to free speech extend far beyond traditional professions like doctors or engineers. Regulators have invoked the idea of professional speech to crack down on everything from everyday advice about healthy eating to private citizens’ testimony at public city-council hearings. One court even held the professional-speech doctrine applies to fortune tellers; in another case, city attorneys said it should apply to tour guides telling ghost stories. It turns out that there really is no such thing as just a little bit of censorship.”

dl: I’m not happy about the Pro life clinics, but they aren’t the only choice for advice in California. On the good side, they provide an outlet for their hard core believers. The reason they should be regulated, is that environmental scientists are saying things like we need to set aside half the planet for non human life, most of which is going extinct, and that extinction threatens our future existence. Some scientists argue well that though humans now are 7.5 billion, the proper sustainable number of humans for a safe clean quality of life and environment is probably 4 billion. Abortions might be terrible, but over population leading to civil war, starvation and massive die offs of human population centers is probably much worse. Medical triage is also mean and horrible, but it saves the largest number of human lives.

 

The Trump Administration’s Backward Attitude Toward Birth Control – The New York Times

“Women’s progress in America has been inextricably tied to the availability of birth control. Landmark Supreme Court decisions in 1965 and 1972 recognizing a constitutional right to contraception made it more likely that women went to college, entered the work force and found economic stability. That’s all because they were better able to choose when, or whether, to have children.

A 2012 study from the University of Michigan found that by the 1990s, women who had early access to the birth control pill had wage gains of up to 30 percent, compared with older women.It’s mind-boggling that anyone would want to thwart that progress, especially since women still have so far to go in attaining full equality in the United States. But the Trump administration has signaled it may do just that, in a recent announcement about funding for a major family planning program, Title X.

Since 1970, the federal government has awarded Title X grants to providers of family planning services — including contraception, cervical cancer screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted infections — to help low-income women afford them. It’s a crucial program.Conservatives — often male ones — like to argue that Title X improperly uses tax dollars to subsidize women’s sex lives, and that some forms of birth control can be obtained inexpensively.”

The Gathering Threat to Abortion Rights – The New York Times

“People who care about basic American freedoms should be grateful to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, for one thing: He has given liberals another good reason to flock to the polls in November.

Mr. McConnell is set to hold a procedural vote this week on a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy. The so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, is part of a long-term legislative effort by the anti-abortion movement to gut Roe v. Wade and severely curtail abortion access nationwide.Twenty-week abortion bans, enacted in more than a dozen states and struck down in two, violate the Supreme Court’s standard that abortion can be restricted only when a fetus is viable outside the womb. Many, including the one being considered by the Senate, are based on claims not supported by most scientists about when a fetus feels pain.”

Legal Fight Could Make Kentucky Only State With No Abortion Clinic – The New York Times

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As states across the nation enact increasingly aggressive restrictions on abortion, perhaps nowhere has the political climate shifted as much as here in Kentucky, where the E.M.W. Women’s Surgical Center, a squat tan brick building on Market Street, is the state’s sole abortion clinic.Over the past year, Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican who calls himself “unapologetically pro-life,” has blocked a new Planned Parenthood clinic from performing abortions, shuttered E.M.W.’s satellite clinic in Lexington and threatened to close the existing one in Louisville. Backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the clinic has sued the state; a trial is set for September.

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Consider the chapter in Freakonomics, (the first book) on the discovered correlation between the rise in legal access to abortions in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the dramatic decline in crime rates in the 1990’s, but only in the states that really made abortions available to poor people.

from freakonomics.com: “These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head.”

One of the many tragedies of the this war over a woman’s right to control her own reproduction, is that overpopulation is the great elephant in the room. We have gone from 2 to 7.5 billion people in just 100 years, and we humans, in our growth rate, are the new asteroid hitting the planet’s ecosystems.

To Win Again, Democrats Must Stop Being the Abortion Party – The New York Times

“When I came to this country from Ireland some 45 years ago, a cousin, here 15 years before, advised me that Catholics vote Democratic. Having grown up in the Irish Republic, I was well disposed to Republican Party principles like local autonomy and limited government. Yet a commitment to social justice, so central to my faith, seemed better represented by the Democratic Party. I followed my cousin’s good counsel.

But once-solid Catholic support for Democrats has steadily eroded. This was due at least in part to the shift by many American Catholic bishops from emphasizing social issues (peace, the economy) to engaging in the culture wars (abortion, gay marriage). Along the way, many Catholics came to view the Democrats as unconditionally supporting abortion.”

The author is right. Democrats have to be polite and respectful of people they disagree with. Obama understood this.

Here is comment I support, one of the few I read that didn’t inflame their opponents:

John Quinn

Detroit 4 hours ago

I suspect most Americans are both pro-choice and pro-life, and there is no contradiction in that. It’s like blasphemy and the First Amendment: many of us oppose blasphemy and also oppose any effort by the government to prevent blasphemy. The political problem with abortion, as with so many other issues, is unnecessary but carefully nurtured polarization. The author is right. Democrats might well be the governing majority if they rejected the polarization on this issue.

John Quinn
Detroit

Medicaid Funding to End for Planned Parenthood in Texas, State Says – The New York Times

“In a critical step in a longstanding fight, Texas formally said on Tuesday that it was ending Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood, a move the group said could affect 11,000 patients.

The office of inspector general for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission issued a final notice terminating Planned Parenthood’s enrollment in the state-funded health care system for the poor. If it is not stopped, the termination will be effective in 30 days.

Planned Parenthood officials said on Tuesday night that they would continue to provide birth control, cancer screenings, H.I.V. tests and other care to Medicaid patients and seek an injunction in federal court to stop the state. The group sued the state in 2015 after a preliminary notice was filed, but the court case has lingered pending further action by the state.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/us/texas-medicaid-cut-planned-parenthood-funding.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Chasing Abortion Rights Across the State Line – by Linda Greenhouse – The New York Times

“……Lloyd Gaines was a graduate of Lincoln University, Missouri’s state university for black students, who were excluded from the University of Missouri. He wanted to become a lawyer, but Lincoln University had no law school. He applied to the University of Missouri’s law school, for which his academic record qualified him, but his race did not. His application was rejected, and he was advised to apply for the scholarship that a state law made available to black students forced to leave the state in order to pursue their educational goals. In the language of the statute, university officials “shall have the authority to arrange for the attendance of negro residents of the state of Missouri at the university of any adjacent state to take any course or to study any subjects provided for at the state university of Missouri, and which are not taught at the Lincoln university, and to pay the reasonable tuition fees for such attendance.”

Mr. Gaines declined the offer. Represented by Charles Hamilton Houston, a pioneering lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P., he went to court. He lost in the Missouri Supreme Court, which noted that he could attend law school with full tuition paid and with only minor inconvenience at the state law schools of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa or Illinois, all of which accepted black students.

“We think that these matters are beside the point,” Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote for the United States Supreme Court, overturning the state court’s ruling. “The basic consideration is not as to what sort of opportunities other states provide, or whether they are as good as those in Missouri, but as to what opportunities Missouri itself furnishes to white students and denies to Negroes solely upon the ground of color.” The chief justice went on to say that each state was “responsible for its own laws establishing the rights and duties of persons within its borders,” and that “it is an obligation the burden of which cannot be cast by one state upon another, and no state can be excused from performance by what another state may do or fail to do.” ”

…….. .

“The Gaines case is not well known today outside of Missouri, where the state university has a scholarship in his name and 10 years ago awarded him a posthumous honorary degree. But it has been rediscovered in the recent litigation over state restrictions on abortion. Two years ago, a federal district judge in Alabama, Myron Thompson, invoked the case in striking down the state’s requirement that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Because most hospitals in Alabama refused to give admitting privileges to doctors who performed abortions, the requirement would have closed three of the state’s five abortion clinics. The state argued that women could go elsewhere. But “the state could identify no precedent for a court to consider conduct outside the political boundaries of a jurisdiction in order to justify the constitutionality of actions by that jurisdiction,” Judge Thompson wrote, citing the Gaines case.”

Source: Chasing Abortion Rights Across the State Line – The New York Times

The Abortion Map Today, by LInda Greenhouse – The New York Times

“IN his smart opinion piece last week, “A Mason-Dixon Line of Progress,” Timothy Egan noted the “retreat to bigotry” sweeping across the old South as politicians clinging to the past (under the banner of religious freedom) line up to authorize discrimination against gay people. The column prompted me to think about whether the battlegrounds in the never-ending abortion wars display a similar geographic concentration.The answer is that to a startling degree they don’t. The battleground is much bigger. With the exception of the West Coast and most (but not all) of the Northeast, recently enacted abortion restrictions can be found almost everywhere.Since 2011, 10 states, from the Canadian border to the Great Lakes to the Southwest, have each imposed 10 or more new barriers to access to legal abortion. An additional 21 states have enacted between one and 10 restrictions — the lower number in some cases simply reflecting a state’s creativity in having already adopted a long menu of anti-abortion measures.”

Source: The Abortion Map Today – The New York Times

Trump and Abortion, by Nick Kristof – The New York Times

“Many Americans are ambivalent on abortion. But Trump has now turned the attention back from the fetus to the woman. And remember that three in 10 American women get an abortion at some point in their lives.Second, the data suggests that one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of abortions would be to increase the availability of publicly funded family planning. In 2013, publicly funded family planning prevented two million unintended pregnancies, including almost 700,000 abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.”

Source: Trump and Abortion – The New York Times