Friday, April 13, 2012

Headlines - Friday April 13

"Look, I know what it's like to struggle. Maybe I haven't struggled as much financially as some people have, but I can promise you that I've had struggles in my life. And I would love for people to understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people that are struggling, and that's why we're running."
Let me say out the outset that I have compassion for a struggle that I know she's had—living with Multiple Sclerosis, a monster of a disease. For that struggle, Ms. Romney you have my empathy.

But when you talk about economic struggle? Let's just be absolutely clear as to what the Romney-Ryan budget would do to women who do know what it's like to struggle financially. The budget your husband has embraced will shred every bit of support women and their families need through every stage of life.

  • At least $291 billion will disappear from WIC, nutrition assistance, Head Start, child care, job training, Pell Grants, and more programs that support struggling families.
  • $134 billion from SNAP, or food stamps, will mean something like 8.2 billion meals not served, in a single year; food out of the mouths of children and the elderly, a disproportionate number of which are female.
  • $2.4 trillion from Medicaid and other health services will mean mothers will have a harder time finding medical care for themselves and their children, and for their elderly parents, again which are disproportionately female.
  • 56 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are women, and the Romney-Ryan voucher plan will make them pay more and more each year out of their own pockets, to try to keep their medical care.
If Mitt Romney really has compassion for the people who struggle, for women who struggle, he'll not push policies that will make their lives demonstrably and horribly worse. There's not an ounce of compassion in this plan he's endorsed.

According to Jan Brewer and the deep thinkers in the Arizona legislature:

Life starts earliest in Arizona, which now defines gestational age as beginning on the first day of a woman's last period, rather than at fertilization. In practice, that means the state has banned abortions after about 18 weeks (20 weeks from the last menstruation) except in the case of medical emergencies. While that provision has been much discussed, abortions after that point account for only about 1 percent of the procedures currently performed.

The stipulation likely to be most widely felt is what experts are calling an effective shutdown of medication abortions. These nonsurgical abortions are usually performed within the first nine weeks of pregnancy, and account for between 17 and 20 percent of all abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-rights advocacy group. While women often take the pills at clinics and in their homes, the bill now mandates that a medical provider must have hospital privileges within 30 miles of where the procedure takes place. Many times clinics or homes are not within 30 miles of hospitals, and the distance prevents providers from other cities or even states from caring for women, says Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. Another factor that could contribute to what Nash called a "shutdown" of medication abortions is that the law requires abortion pills to be administered using outdated protocols, confusing providers and obscuring proper use of the drugs.

Now that Arizona has decided to separate being pregnant from when you actually become pregnant, every single woman is, according to the law, pregnant the moment they begin their last period, and will remain officially pregnant until the beginning of your very next period. There will apparently be a 1 day window in between these two events in which you are not officially pregnant.

Down the rabbit hole we go.


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