Roundup: FOCA a “Mythical Abortion Bill,” Says TIME

TIME calls FOCA a "mythical abortion bill;" possible heads of FDA on reproductive health; getting to the heart of Quiverfull; Tennessee considers legislation to monitor pregnant women; Oklahoma state panel votes on ban on sex-selective abortions; examining scope, impact of egg-as-person legislation.

Amy Sullivan Calls FOCA a "Mythical Abortion Bill"
Head over to TIME and read the full piece
— Amy Sullivan finds the Catholic Church engaged in a "well-oiled
lobbying campaign" against the Freedom of Choice Act at a moment when
the country’s crises are many but the chance of FOCA passing is nil:

The U.S. Catholic Church’s crusade against the Freedom of Choice Act
(FOCA) has all the hallmarks of a well-oiled lobbying campaign. A
national postcard campaign is flooding the White House and
congressional offices with messages opposing FOCA, and the Catholic
bishops have made defeating the abortion rights legislation a top
priority. In the most recent effort to stop the bill, Cardinal Justin
Rigali of Philadelphia sent a letter to every member of Congress
imploring them to "please oppose FOCA."

There is only one hitch. Congress isn’t about to pass the Freedom of Choice Act because no such bill has been introduced.

Sullivan quotes James Salt of Catholics United:

James Salt, director of organizing for the progressive organization
Catholics United, thinks the USCCB has been prodded into focusing on
FOCA by misinformation from right-wing groups. "These right-wing
organizations are deliberatively misleading people in order to stoke
the culture war," says Salt. "They’re using this as a fundraising tool,
as a way to gin up their relevancy. And unfortunately some of these
groups have the ear of certain bishops."

Possible Heads of FDA on Reproductive Health

At TAPPED, Dana Goldstein looks at the record and priorities of two likely candidates for head of the FDA: "former New York City health commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who also served as an assistant HHS secretary in the Clinton administration, and current Baltimore health commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, formerly a health policy advisor to Rep. Harry Waxman."  Specifically on reproductive health credentials, Dana writes, "The good news is that both Hamburg and Sharfstein have excellent
records on reproductive health, and a host of other issues. In the late
1980s, Hamburg,
a pharmacology expert, worked on HIV/AIDS research at the NIH. In 1993,
she was President Clinton’s pick to be the first ever federal AIDS
coordinator. Pregnant at the time, she turned the job down. As New York
City health commissioner in the 1990s, she created a successful program
to assist tuberculosis patients in accessing and properly taking their

Getting to the Heart of Quiverfull

Kathryn Joyce previews her new book, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, at Babble, pointing out that the questions most Americans ask about intentionally large families are not the questions that get at the heart of the Quiverfull movement:

When people talk about large families in U.S. culture today – a topic given a lot of play following the Duggars’ latest birth and the recent octuplets delivered to California mother Nadya Suleman, a number of recurring
questions crop up: Is it environmentally irresponsible for parents to
bring so many children into the world when each increases their carbon
footprint exponentially? Are parents of such large families expecting
government assistance in our already-strained financial times? How can
they give quality attention to each child, or even begin to consider
college costs?

These are interesting discussions, but not the most important thing to
understand about the Quiverfull movement. In order for a woman to be
Quiverfull, she must embrace a life of absolute submission and
obedience to God, her husband, and the cause of Christian revival –
winning the culture wars – by having more children than the "other
side." At the heart of this call is Quiverfull’s insistence that
women’s individual rights and desires are of secondary importance to
the larger cause.

Tennessee Considers Surveillance of Pregnant Women
At Women’s Health News, Rachel Walden posts a new bill being considered by the Tennessee state legislature that would enable the state to drug and alcohol test pregnant women who "meet a certain criteria."  Tiny Cat Pants describes:

This bill would make manditory drug testing for women who don’t act
right during pregnancy.  If you don’t get pre-natal care, the State
wants the right to drug test you.  If you don’t come in for prenatal
care promptly once the fetus is viable, they want the right to drug
test you.  If you don’t get the right kind of prenatal care, they want
the right to drug test you.  In other words, if you act in any way
“abnormal,” the going assumption is going to be that you must be on

Oklahoma State Panel Votes on Ban on Sex-Selective Abortions
"An Oklahoma state legislative panel approved a bill on Tuesday that prohibits using abortions for purposes of sex-selection," reports The bill now heads to the full House for a vote.  Rep. Dan Sullivan, bill sponsor, admits he isn’t sure that sex-selective abortion is happening in Oklahoma.  How could doctors tell whether women were seeking abortions in order to select sex?  The article doesn’t make it clear.

Examining Scope, Impact of Egg-as-Person Legislation
AFP examines
the scope and likely impact of egg-as-person legislation passed
yesterday in the North Dakota House and rejected by Colorado voters in
November:  "Pro-choice groups have warned
that a law passed by legislators in the US state of North Dakota
recognizing the "personhood" of a fetus would not only outlaw abortion
but could also bar access to birth control.…If
passed, it would be used to challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe
versus Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States and
gave the country some of the least restrictive abortion laws in the
world, experts said."

Other News to Note

Feb 18: WVLT: Condom sales on the rise

Feb 18: UPI: TLC not planning octuplet mom show

Feb 18: CNN: Sex ed in lawmakers’ sights

Feb 18: AP: Panel hears testimony on contraceptive insurance

Feb 18: AFP: Spanish deputies take first step towards abortion reform

Feb 18: LA Times: On Amanda Palmer’s sunny, cheeky single about date
rape and abortion

Feb 18: Rocky Mountain Activist: Birth Control Protection Act

Feb 18: Beliefnet: Sebelius to HHS: Pro-lifers on alert?