Roundup: Remembrances of Sen. Kennedy Highlight Civil Rights Accomplishments

Remembrances of Sen. Ted Kennedy highlight his civil rights accomplishments; Miami appeals court hears arguments on anti-gay adoption laws; will health care reform include coverage for contraception and fertility treatments?

Remembrances of Sen. Ted Kennedy Highlight His Accomplishments on Civil Rights
Among the excellent remembrances of Sen. Ted Kennedy, Nina Totenberg’s on NPR
was one of the most thoughtful and substantive.  Totenberg reminded
listeners that Kennedy played a leading role in sinking Robert Bork’s
Supreme Court nomination when the nomination was widely considered
impossible to defeat and that Kennedy, as early as 1965, as chairman of
the Immigration Subcommittee, re-wrote immigration laws to remove the
bias in favor of European immigrants.

Miami Appeals Court Hears Arguments on Anti-Gay Adoption Laws
Miami appeals court will rule on the constitutionality of the ban on
gay adoption in Florida, the Miami Herald reports.  Lawyers for the
state’s Department of Children and Families are defending the ban,
arguing that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting children
from homosexuality. The Herald explains, "DCF is appealing a November ruling by Miami-Dade
Circuit Judge Cindy
Lederman that declared the 1977 statute unconstitutional. Lederman’s
ruling allowed foster parent Martin Gill of North Miami, who is openly
gay, to adopt two half-brothers the agency placed in his care in
2004."  Lawyers for a gay foster parent who seeks to adopt his foster children argue that the ban is rooted in anti-gay bias.

Will Health Care Reform Include Coverage for Birth Control and Fertility Treatments?
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
examines whether contraception and fertility treatments will be covered
post-health care reform.  While the Department of Health and Human
Services will ultimately decide which specific procedures are and
aren’t covered, the Plain Dealer reports, "Health care experts say a
revamped system is more likely
to pay for birth control than high-tech fertility treatments
like in-vitro fertilization because it’s more common
for insurance plans to cover birth control."  The Plain Dealer cites a
Guttmacher Institute study that found that 90 percent of employer-based
group health insurance plans cover a full range of contraceptive
options: "Private insurance coverage for contraception will continue
after health care reforms pass, predicts Adam Sonfield, a
co-author of the Guttmacher study, who has analyzed the
health care reform bills before Congress."  Infertility treatments,
however, are less likely to be covered: "Infertility treatments are
less commonly covered by
insurance, although some plans cover surgery to clear
blocked Fallopian tubes and prescription drugs to induce
ovulation as part of their regular surgical and prescription
drug coverage."

Other News to Note

August 26: HuffPo: Anti-Abortion Activist Randall Terry Thrown Out Of Health Care Town Hall (VIDEO)

August 26: Seattle Times: Wash. man accused of abortion clinic threat

August 26: WSJ: Does Health Care Cover Abortion?

August 26: KETV 7: Bellevue Prepares For Abortion Protests

August 27: Denver Post: Wash. man indicted for threats to hurt Boulder doctor’s family

August 26: American Prospect: Will Health Reform Mean Easier Access to Abortion?

August 27: Herald Sun: Vatican paper slams pro-choice Kennedy

August 26: Maryland Gazette: ‘Roe’ in abortion case kicks off campaign in Severn

August 26: LifeNews: Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups Take Divergent Stand on Ted Kennedy’s Legacy

August 26: Foreign Policy: Clinton opposes sex-selective abortions

August 27: Foreign Dreams: Pro-Choice Leaders Pay Tribute to Sen. Kennedy’s Legacy of Support for Women’s Equality and Privacy

August 26: NYTimes: Terminating an Adoption

August 26: Courthouse News Service: Abortion Protesters Can’t Block Handicapped Ramp

August 25: Choices Campus Blog: It’s Her Decision

August 26: Socialist Worker: Defending clinics in Kentucky

August 25: Newsweek: Plan B’s Complicated History

August 26: Fox 4 KC: Kansas abortion battle now playing out at Nebraska clinic

August 25: Feminists For Choice Blog: Protect Abortion Rights in Nebraska

August 26: LA Times: Abortion foes turn on each other over the Operation Rescue name