This weekend, many celebrated the passage of the health-care reform bill in the House of representatives, despite the approval of an amendment that will restrict availability of coverage for abortions, which many plans now cover. The amendment will prohibit federal funds for abortion services in the public option. It also prohibits individuals who receive affordability credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions.
Although pro-choice House members voted for the bill in order to keep it moving, they are vowing it will be stripped out in the Senate and conference committee. On MSNBC Rep. Wassmerman Schultz says "Well that language, she's right, is very, very troubling. It was extremely painful for me to have to vote for a bill - to feel compelled to vote for a bill - that had that type of restriction on a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices. I am confident that when it comes back from the conference committee, that that language won't be there and I think that we're all going to be working very hard - particularly the pro-choice members - to make sure that that's the case."
Meanwhile, over in the White House, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is as tight lipped about the amendment as he was about Sotomayor's views on choice, never weighing in on the debate. Add this up with 64 democrats voting in favor of an amendment sponsored by a democrat in a democratic controlled House to take away my right to pay for an abortion with my own funds and I'd say we are in trouble. Regardless of how pro-choice our President claims to be, I wouldn't put my eggs in his basket. I think he'd rather push through a historic health-care reform bill and worry about "women's issues" later.
Events Coordinator - The Events Coordinator is responsible for working with the Events Director and the entire staff at NDN to execute all of the organization's events, as well as all department-specific events. Key areas of responsibility include:
Managing all aspects of NDN events and meetings
Designing and executing pre and post production of events
Working with Communications Department to draft language and manage marketing campaign for all events
Working with Development Department to design and execute development strategy for all events
Working with Communications Department to run livecast and other technological aspects of NDN events
In addition to being friendly and outgoing, successful applicants will have great attention to detail, organizational skills and a positive attitude. Web experience is a plus. Salary commensurate with experience.
How to apply: To apply for the Events Coordinator position at NDN, please send a resume and a cover letter indicating your availability to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next month NDN will be in Pittsburgh, PA for Netroots Nation. NDN is a premiere sponsor of Netroots Nation and will have a panels at the conference this year. Netroots Nation amplifies progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate.
NDN's panel entitled America's Millennial Makeover will be on Friday, August 14 at 4:30 p.m., where NDN President Simon Rosenberg will be speaking with NDN fellows and co-authors of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube and the Future of American Politics, Morley Winograd and Michael Hais. Every four decades, America’s demand for change puts in motion a political realignment or makeover. Like all others before it, this realignment results from the coming of age of a new generation of young Americans and the emergence of new online organizing tools. Almost everything about American politics and government—voting patterns, the fortunes of the two political parties, the issues that engage the nation, and our government and its public policy—will change because of these two forces.
We are excited to offer NDN friends a $50 discount off the standard registration rate. Click here to register now as space is filling up. Click on the standard registration and use promo code NDN.
We are looking forward to seeing you there, it is going to be a great conference!
Last week in the House of Representatives the House Energy and Commerce Committee made some important votes regarding the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. Two amendments were introduced in Committee. One which would extend abstinence only education - a program which has been proven to be ineffective in preventing abstinence and unintended pregnancies. Congressman Terry Lee (R-NE) submitted the amendment to fund the program through 2012. The amendment failed by a vote of 29-26.
Congressman Lois Capps (D-CA) submitted an amendment to include a Healthy Teen Initiative to the bill. The Healthy Teen Initiative would expand the limited scope of the President's original language which excluded information about the prevention of spreading sexually transmitted diseases. The amendment passed by a vote of 33 to 23!
Both of these votes are a great leap forward in improving the Health Care Reform bill. This is a big win for teens and the uninsured.
Next month NDN will be in Pittsburgh, PA for Netroots Nation. NDN is once again a premiere sponsor of Netroots Nation and will have a panel at the conference this year. Netroots Nation amplifies progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate.
NDN's panel entitled America's Millennial Makeover will be on Friday, August , where NDN President Simon Rosenberg will be speaking with NDN fellows and co-authors of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube and the Future of American Politics, Morley Winograd and Michael Hais. Every four decades, America’s demand for change puts in motion a political realignment or makeover. Like all others before it, this realignment results from the coming of age of a new generation of young Americans and the emergence of new online organizing tools. Almost everything about American politics and government—voting patterns, the fortunes of the two political parties, the issues that engage the nation, and our government and its public policy—will change because of these two forces.
For the entire agenda for the conference, here. Other NDN staff will be at the conference and we are anxious to meet you so please click here to register for this great event before it is too late!
The FY2010 Appropriations Bill in the House of Representatives proposes to lift a special prohibition on the use of locally raised funds for abortion. In a statement Congressman José E. Serrano, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, said the bill takes steps to reduce "undue congressional interference in local affairs and [eliminate] restrictions on the District that do not apply to other parts of the nation."
The bill would also discontinue the ban on Washington using federal money to register same-sex domestic and partners and providing them with benefits as well as bans on other funding related social issues.
Because Congress ultimately controls the District of Columbia, conservative members have played politics with abortion funding for years and the current bans have been in place since the days when Repulicans ruled the House. Democrats are in for a fight from the republicans who want to keep the bans in place.
In the meantime, the Senate has not yet taken up their version of the Appropriations Bill, however, it is said they will run into staunch opposition if they eliminate the funding bans.
Today, the FDA approved the first generic version of Plan B emergency contraception. It will be available by prescription only for women 17 and younger. Currently, Plan B, the brand name drug, is available to women without a prescription to women 18 and older and soon, it will be available without a prescription to women 17 years of age.
At present, the generic drug, which is made by Watson Laboratories, will not be made available without a prescription because Duramed Pharmaceuticals has a patent on Plan B's nonprescription sales until August 24 of this year. After the patent expires, Watson Laboratories will have to seek FDA approval for nonprescription use of the generic product.
It has been a long slow road getting to where we are today in providing this important drug to women. The option of a lower cost, generic version will now prove invaluable to women and families.
Last month California's Supreme Court ruled to uphold Proposition 8, the November initiative that amended the California Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. A gay couple married under California law prior to the passing of Prop 8 is now challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. DOMA is the federal law that protects the rights of states to not recognize same-sex marriages and denies same-sex couples federal benefits.
In response to the court challenge, the Department of Justice presented a brief defending DOMA. According the the New York Times, in the brief the DOJ claims that it is reasonable for the states to favor heterosexual marriages because they are "traditional and universally recognized form of marriage." The Justice Department goes on to compare same-sex marriage to incest, stating that states do not have to recognize marriages between cousins or an uncle to a niece!
This is the same administration that works for our President who claimed he would work hard to over turn the Defense of Marriage Act. Americans, gay and straight, voted for Barack Obama because they understood he believed in equality, because we felt that he believed it was time for everyone to be treated like human beings, not like incestious people who deserve less than their neighbors.
Our gay friends and family and gay Americans everywhere deserve better and Barack Obama promised it to them. What a shameful way to usher in Capitol Pride Week last week.
The panelists will discuss how among the most disruptive developments of the early 21st century is the way the American people themselves are changing. Driven by vast waves of recent immigration, and the rise of the Millennial Generation, the largest generation in American history, America is undergoing one of its most profound demographic transformations in its history. For those advocating the use of new tools it is essential that they also understand how different - and more racially diverse - the audience they are trying to reach is becoming from any previous group of Americans who have come before. Simon and Morley will explore these changes in a powerful set of data-driven presentations.
Also speaking at PDF are some of NDN's good friends including Joe Rospars, Founding Partner of Blue State Digital. Joe did an event with NDN in March where he and Simon discussed how the Obama campaign used new media and the internet to change politics here and around the world. NDN good friend Alec Ross, Senior Advisor of Inovation at the Department of State will also be a keynote speaker. Alec, co-author of NDN's paper "A Laptop in Every Backpack" did an event with us in July of 2007 where he discussed the influence of new information technologies in the workplace. To see when Joe and Alec are speaking and to find a full agenda of the conference please visit the PDF Conference site where you can also register.
We hope to see you there, you won't want to miss this amazing conference!
President Obama has appointed Alexia Kelly as the Director of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services. Kelly was the co-founder and executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), which supports reducing access to abortion care and services. While in the leadership at CACG Kelly characterized abortion to war and torture. This is not the same message the administration sent when they appointed Kathleen Sebelius!
As Catholics for Choice points out, Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for providing and expanding access to key sexual and reproductive health services. As such, we need those working in HHS to rely on evidence-based methods to reduce the need for abortion. We need them to believe in men's and women's capacity to make moral decisions about their own lives. Unfortunately, as seen from her work at CACG, Ms. Kelley does not fit the bill.
I am loath to compare our supposedly pro-choice President to our very anti-choice last President, however, this reminds me of Bush appointing Karoak as HHS deputy assistant secretary of population services back in 2006, an equally anti-choice appointment to what needs to be a department that serves women's health, not chips away at it. True, it will be our saving grace, that Kathleen Sebelius is no Mike Leavitt and that Kelly must report to her, however after the Sotomayor appointment and now this, I fear in what direction our administration is heading when it comes to choice and women's health.