The Hill reports that the Senate Democratic leadership "says it has found a wedge issue to strengthen the party's position on abortion rights."
Expanded access to contraceptives and sex education will serve as wedge issue.
Democratic strategists say the time is right for action because women who support abortion rights but are not politically engaged are alarmed by the confirmation of Samuel Alito as Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement on the Supreme Court and by the passage of legislation strictly curbing the availability of abortion.
The Prevention First Act is sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), one of few congressional Democrats considered anti-abortion. The bill, which Reid introduced at the start of the Congress, has the support of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), presumptive front-runner in the 2008 presidential primary and 21 other Democrats.
The bill would prohibit group health plans from excluding contraceptive drugs, devices and outpatient services if they cover the cost of other prescription drugs and outpatient services. It would also require the secretary of health and human services to disseminate information on emergency contraception to healthcare providers and require hospitals receiving federal money to provide emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault.
The bill would also mandate that federally funded programs provide information about contraceptives that is medically accurate and includes data on health benefits and failure rates.
Well, welcome to the new millennium!
Finally, the Democrats in the United States of America talk seriously about joining the rest of the developed world by signing on to accessible birth control and sex education! Medically accurate sex education, what will they think of next?
Obviously, the time was right for this legislation a very long time ago. And just maybe it would have happened a very long time ago, if Dems weren't always so busy running away from any and all women-centered issues. Remember 2004? That was the year when Bush talked more about women-centered issues than Kerry. Of course, it was only talk, but during presidential campaigns, talk is kind of important.
A good example is this state's Democratic (sic) Governor Phil Bredesen. It's always been said that Phil is pro choice (Probably his wife, Andrea Conte, who shows serious feminist leanings, has a whole lot to do with Phil's alleged pro choice position), but good luck finding a news report in which Phil admits it. And good luck finding any official act supporting the allegation that Phil Bredesen is pro choice.
Phil's way of telling us that he's pro choice is to let anti choice legislation - like the 'Choose Life' specialty license plates bill - become law by not signing it. Afterall, if Phil vetoed a rightwing bill, he might damage his large popularity ratings with Republicans.
Meanwhile, Bredesen has alienated and angered his democratic base.
Governor Bredesen is one scary 'pro choice' democratic governor, and if the House passes the draconian anti choice SJR 127, Bredesen will be almost as unhappy as pro choice women. Because if he lets this one become law, he may as well make it official and change parties.
Take Action Against Anti-Choice SJR 127
Rabid TN Senate Says Yes to Abortion Ban
The List: Six Dems for Misogyny
Reproductive Rights Feminism Abortion Pro Choice SJR 127 Tennessee Phil Bredesen Democrats Birth Control Sex Education