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House Committee Votes to Reinstate Global Gag Rule (Again) and Other Misogynistic Amendments

8:23 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson for RHRealityCheck.org. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

A central motto of today’s GOP and Tea Parties appears to be: Never let evidence get in the way of efforts to pass a law undermining women’s access to healthcare.

An addendum to this motto appears to be: Never let an opportunity pass to deny funding to or politicize services providing care to the poorest and least-enfranchised women in the world, most particularly those who suffer high rates of maternal death due to lack of access to family planning services and high rates of complications of pregnancy and unsafe abortion.

In keeping with this, just weeks after publication of a major report underscoring the benefits of robust U.S. investment in family planning worldwide, the GOP-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee voted in the early hours of the morning today to reinstate the Global Gag Rule (GGR) as part of the draft Fiscal Year 2012 State Department Authorizations Act, except this time with broader and more damaging implications than ever before.

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For Latinas, The IOM Recommendations on Women’s Health Represent a Big Win

8:09 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Maria Elena Perez for RHRealityCheck.org. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Women are cheering this week’s recommendation by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to eliminate costly insurance co-pays for birth control. It’s a signal that there is a growing public recognition that preventive care is more than just the provision of services at the doctor’s office. For millions of Latinas, birth control, by definition, is prevention. But, while the media has focused extensively on the birth control recommendations, the full set of recommendations detailed by federal health officials paints an even brighter picture for our community: Latinas made major gains not only in controlling our fertility, but equally importantly in keeping ourselves and our children healthy.

The IOM is made up of a powerful group of scientists and public health leaders that has enormous sway in the government’s approach to health care. It’s no surprise then that health professionals looking at the country’s essential needs recognized what many have not: removing societal barriers to health care, such as those faced by many Latinas, are critical public health priorities.

Virtually every one of the IOM recommendations will greatly benefit Latina women.

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Unhealthy Coverage: How the Media Loses Its Way on Health Care

8:24 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Sarah Seltzer for RHRealityCheck.org – Information, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

"Blaming the media" is a catch-phrase that is used in almost cliché-level proportions. But when it comes to health care, a new study indicates it may be appropriate to fault media coverage for a lack of public knowledge about health care policy–and by extension the false perception of reproductive rights as ideological "hot rods" rather than women’s health concerns.

A recently-released Pew Research study conducted with the Kaiser Family Foundation monitored health coverage from January 2007 to June 2008 to determine which subjects got the most coverage, and in which media. The study was designed to be particularly broad-ranging–rather than, for instance, analyzing how TV news covers breast cancer, the study looked at how television, radio, print, online outlets and other forms of media covered everything heath-related, from specific diseases to health policy and more.

What were the results? According to the report, "News about health occupies a relatively small amount of American news coverage across all platforms: 3.6% of news during 2007 and the first half of 2008." In a list of most frequently covered topics, health came in eighth–far above religion, education and celebrities, but below the economy, crime, foreign affairs and politics.

These results, while Read the rest of this entry →