Roundup: Bristol Palin on Today Show, Good Morning America

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Roundup: Bristol Palin on Today Show, Good Morning America

Emily Douglas

Bristol Palin: "ambassador for abstinence" or for safer sex?; Obama, Clinton sound different themes on abortion and reproductive health; "Choose Life" license plates pass Texas House; what conscience clauses really do.

Bristol Palin: "Ambassador for Abstinence" or for Safer Sex?

Not only did Bristol Palin recently appear on the Today Show, she was also on Good Morning America — where her enthusiasm about safer sex was more muted.  On the Huffington Post, Rachel Weiner even calls her an "ambassador for abstinence."  Weiner adds:

Palin was less forthcoming on this issue than her ex. "Regardless of
what I did personally, I just think that abstinence is the only way you
can effectively, 100% foolproof way you can prevent pregnancy," she
responded. Asked how she squared her own experiences with her new
campaign, she added, "I’m not quite sure, I just want to go out there
and promote abstinence and say, this is the safest choice. This is the
choice that’s going to prevent teen pregnancy and prevent a lot of

Obama, Clinton Sound Different Themes on Abortion and Reproductive Health

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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At the FundamentaList, Sarah Posner picks up on some differences within Obama’s administration:

Since becoming the Democratic nominee, Obama has declined to deploy the rhetoric used by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in framing
abortion as an issue of women’s moral agency or even as one of
reproductive health. In response to a question on the topic at his
press conference last week, Obama uncomfortably labeled it a "moral
issue." When faced with discontent from his evangelical center-right
allies over his repeal of the global gag rule, Obama failed to explain why its repeal promotes not abortion but reproductive health worldwide. 

Choose Life License Plates Pass Texas House

"Choose Life" license plates come one step closer to becoming available in Texas, the reports. "Money from the “choose life” plates would go to centers that offer
counseling and other services to pregnant women who are considering
giving their children up for abortion [sic]. Supporters of abortion rights
say those centers are unregulated, spend too much money on
administration and sometimes give inaccurate information."

What Conscience Clauses Really Do

The San Francisco Chronicle offers a comprehensive examination the likely effects of the Obama administration’s rescinding of the HHS provider conscience expansion and on the nature of conscience-based exemptions from professional obligation:

Advocates of the Bush regulation say it created clearer systems to report moral discrimination…

But opponents of the Bush regulation say it might have threatened
the rights of those who have different views on medical issues than
religious conservatives. They say the Bush regulation potentially
infringed on their right to provide abortions, vasectomies and
contraceptives – as well as information about them.

It is unclear, for example, whether abortion services providers
would be viewed as discriminatory if they refused to hire people who
didn’t believe in abortion, said Lilly Spitz, chief legal counsel for
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. She said the regulation
also potentially threatened the organization’s ability to vet

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said his
organization wholeheartedly supports long-held protections for
individual health care providers to recuse themselves based on

But, he said, giving entire hospitals or health care systems the
blanket protection called for under the Bush plan threatens the freedom
of nurses or doctors to give services they believe patients need.


Other News to Note

May 5: BeliefNet: "You were right"

May 5: Pro-life doesn’t mean conservative: Rep. Chris Smith and the future of the Republican Party

May 5: SMC Collegian: License plate messages censored

May 5: Women and Hollywood: Presentation from Panel on Abortion in Popular Culture

May 4: Globe and Mail: My teenage daughter’s pregnancy

May 5: Daily 49er: Anti-abortion group should attempt ‘Plan B’ before offending women

May 5: Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Contraception is rational solution

May 5: New Zealand Herald: Appeal court can’t fix fundamentally flawed abortion law

May 5: LifeNews: Children’s Author Judy Blume Seeks Donations to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

May 4: Pew Survey: Guys, Guns and Abortion

May 5: MedScape Today: Simultaneous Administration of Mifepristone and Misoprostol for Early Medical Abortion Increases Risk for Surgical Intervention

May 5: Delaware Online: Two UD Philosophy Professors Debate Abortion

May 5: CNN Political Ticker: Obama proposes $63 billion to battle disease abroad

May 5: NYTimes: New Births, Old Wounds