Roundup: World AIDS Day, FOCA and the Fallout, South Dakotans in the Common Ground, Personal Takes on Adoption and Surrogacy

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Roundup: World AIDS Day, FOCA and the Fallout, South Dakotans in the Common Ground, Personal Takes on Adoption and Surrogacy

Emily Douglas

More on FOCA and Obama; South Dakotans took the common ground on abortion; take action on the HPV vaccine requirement for immigrant women; personal takes on surrogacy and adoption.

World AIDS Day ‘Round the Web
Today is World AIDS Day, and in addition to Rewire’s features
addressing many different aspects of the epidemic and the opportunities
President-Elect Obama has to turn around our nation’s response, a couple more posts from around the web:

At Feministing, Miriam Perez wonders whether the Product (RED)-ification of HIV/AIDS advocacy is for the better.

At OnTopMag, a look at the history of the epidemic and those who have fought back.

More on FOCA and Obama
Last week Melinda Hennenberger suggested that passage of the Freedom of Choice Act would force Catholic hospitals to provide abortion services, a claim I argued was patently falseDana Goldstein followed up
with more on what passage of FOCA would mean for President-Elect Obama
— whether it would cost him the political capital and Catholic support
Hennenberger claims it would.  Dana says it wouldn’t cost Obama nearly
as much as Hennenberger and, on Sunday, Washington Times columnist Jeffrey T. Kuhner said it would.  Writes Dana,

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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…there is no evidence that lay Catholics are as incensed about
Obama’s pro-choice stance as the all-male priesthood and church
leadership is. Polls show
that, like most Americans, a majority of Catholics believe abortion
should remain generally legal. Only about a quarter of Catholics agree
with the bishops that all abortions should be outlawed. And 52 percent
of Catholic women — the voters who swung from George W. Bush to Obama — say they prefer a hospital that provides abortion to one that doesn’t. I think Henneberger has overstated the potential political fall-out
of Obama signing FOCA into law. Undoubtedly, religious conservatives
and hardened abortion opponents will be outraged. But those aren’t the
folks who brought Obama to power, and they aren’t the folks who’ll keep
him there if he wins reelection in four years.

South Dakotans Took the Common Ground

By rejecting a near-total
ban on abortion in the state, South Dakota voters took a moderate,
common ground approach on abortion, says a Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorial:

Earlier this month, South Dakotans weighed in again after months of
rallies, get-out-the-vote efforts and TV ads. Again, they decisively
rejected an abortion ban, this time by a margin of 10.4 percent. The
measure was likely one of the best opportunities for overturning Roe
for some time, particularly now that President-elect Barack Obama’s
choices will shape the court going forward. The state’s political
experts are still analyzing this latest defeat. But it’s clear that the
ban’s opponents ran a different and highly effective campaign —
University of South Dakota political science professor emeritus Don
Dahlin called it "masterful.” It not only connected with voters, but
it suggests that future debates in South Dakota and elsewhere can and
should move beyond absolutes and old rhetoric.

Take Action on HPV Vaccine Requirement for Immigrant Women
In September, Jessica Gonzalez Rojas and Emily Alexander wrote on Rewire
about a new Citizenship and Immigration Services requirement that
immigrant women seeking an adjustment of status must obtain the HPV
vaccine. At Our Bodies Our Blog, Rachel Walden points to a National Women’s Health Network
call for individuals to contact their
Senators and Representatives to request that they support “removing the
HPV vaccine from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
requirements for the adjustment of status” and suggesting a core
message that “I, along with the National Women’s Health Network,
support providing women with all possible tools to prevent cervical
cancer but strongly oppose the USCIS HPV vaccine mandate.”

Personal Takes on Surrogacy and International Adoption

In the New York Times Sunday Magazine,
Alex Kuczynski talks openly and personally (and problematically) about
her experience working with a surrogate mother to bring a
genetically-related child into her life.

At the Minnesota Women’s Press, Katie Leo talks about her decision not to seek a child through international adoption.