Morning Roundup: Conservatives Stonewalling and Progressives Play Offense

What is Lester Crawford hiding? The former FDA commish that specialized in delaying and denying OTC access to Emergency Contraception has refused to be deposed in hearings and says he will invoke 5th Amendment privileges in a law suit relating to the delays. On Friday, Newsday reported that White House appointment calendar logs show a meeting between Jay Lefkowitz while in the Domestic Policy office of the White House, and Mark Mclellan at the FDA " re: Plan B submis. " Attorney's are seeking access to more documents in a case that has already clearly established the Bush Administration's politicization of the FDA delays on Plan B.

Morning Roundup: Two Bacteria Concern Researchers, Colombian Women Win Right

Researchers from the FDA, CDC and NIAID gathered in a secure auditorium in Atlanta yesterday to further their scientific understanding of the cause of seven deaths among women, some of which have been linked in the media and by abortion opponents to Mifeprex, the prescribed abortion medicine. While the linkage to hot-button issues like abortion has grabbed headlines, the two bacteria (Clostridium sordellii and Clostidium difficle) have caused infections and deaths in at least 11 other women, twice as many as have died of infection after taking the prescribed abortion medicine.

NEWS FLASH: “Lose Your Coverage Bill” Defeated

This just in from Marilyn Keefe from NFPRHA who was our Guest Blogger earlier in the week on HIMMAA:

Minutes ago, the Senate voted to kill the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2005 (HIMMA, S. 1955), a bill that threatened to weaken key protections for health consumers by preempting state consumer protections, including those guaranteeing coverage of contraception, cancer screening and treatment, and maternity care. The vote was 55-43, 5 less than the 60 required to invoke cloture (which ends debate and allows a vote on the bill). The vote was largely along party lines, with all Democrats voting "NO" except Ben Nelson from Nebraska and Mary Landrieu from Louisiana. Lincoln Chafee from Rhode Island was the sole Republican voting "NO" on cloture.

Morning Roundup: Toxic Shock, Contraception Emergencies Declared

Divisions in both parties, plummeting polls and the role of reproductive health in America are all in the news, with the biggest story being today’s confab of the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to discuss complications resulting from differing delivery methods of Mifeprex, the prescribed abortion medicine. According to News Medical Net, the “manufacturer Danco has said about 575,000 women have taken it since its approval and there is no evidence linking it to the deaths and has repeatedly said the pill is safe.” Toxic shock, the cause of the women’s death, can occur during pregnancy, after childbirth, miscarriage or termination of a pregnancy. See Fact v. Fiction for more information. Paul Chesser writes for the American Spectator in an anti-sex screed against the recent Guttmacher Institute report Abortion in Women’s Lives and concludes, “There's no reason everybody else should have to pay for the sex poor people want and the pregnancies they don't want.” Check out Reckless Rhetoric for more evidence of “enlightened” thinking like Mr. Chesser’s.

Words Can’t Explain

So, umm... I don't really know what to say about this, except that it's a sculpture of Britney Spears. Naked. Holding onto a wolf's head. Crouched on a carpet. As she gives birth. (And apparently, the baby's head is visible on the real sculpture)


Oh. I was forgetting something: it's part of a "Pro-Life" art exhibit in New York City.

More On CDC Censoring Sex Ed

Not for the topics presented, but increasingly more controversial is the follow-up to the CDC’s National STD Prevention Conference. It’s yet another blatant illustration of how some on the right favor ideology over scientific data.

In an attempt to get to the bottom of last-minute conference changes, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) demanded an explanation from the Administration today. He states, “In effect, it appears presentations at a public health conference were censored because they criticized abstinence-only education. This attempt at thought control should have no place in our government.”

The Rumor Mill: No Condoms From The US

Supposedly, Laura Bush will head the US delegation to the UN session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS in New York late this month.


In advance of the First Lady’s visit, the Administration is doing all that it can to make sure she is well received (not!) by blocking various words and phrases from inclusion in the political declaration -- including all reference to condoms. Funny, the Rumor Mill thought the Administration supported ABC?

Morning Roundup: Rebukes, Inquisitions, Censorship

Anti-abortion forces were thwarted by the Minnesota Senate yesterday in their efforts to defy a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision granting access to a full range of reproductive health options to low-income women. The Senate removed all funding for Health and Human Services thus removing the amendment promoted by right-wing activists.

International Roundup: News on Newborn Health and on HIV Prevention

A new, comprehensive report on child health from Save the Children draws attention to the simple yet unmet needs that make the difference between life and death in much of the developing world. Reporting in the International Herald Tribune highlights the report’s conclusion that the hours after birth are the most critical for protecting children. This report raises the nearly seamless issue of gaping needs for adequate maternal health care around the world. For more on that front, see our recent blog entry on maternal mortality.