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Spin Control

Posts tagged: contraception

AG: Public hospitals have to follow abortion law

OLYMPIA – Public hospitals that provide maternity services must also provide access to contraception and abortion, even if they contract with a private company that bars such services, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Wednesday.

In a formal attorney general’s opinion, Ferguson said state law, approved by voters in 1991, requires a public hospital offer “substantially equivalent” abortion and contraceptive services if they provide maternity care.

Private hospitals, including those run by the Catholic Church which has religious objections to contraception and abortion, have no such obligation, he said. . .

National rally draws more than 100 in Spokane

More than 100 protestors gathered Friday at the federal courthouse in Spokane to protest new federal health insurance rules.

Robin Luciani, the local rally captain for the Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom, said 110 people came to the Spokane event to protest a federal decision announced earlier this year related to contraception.

The rally and dozens of others across the country were organized by the Coalition to Stop the Heath and Human Services Mandate, which is made up of dozens of religious groups and organizations opposed to abortion rights.

Note to Sen. Murray: About that ‘50s reference. . .

Sen. Patty Murray, in the state Senate wings on Monday.

Sen. Patty Murray is getting some mileage out of a recent e-mail she sent out as head of the group that raises money to elect or re-elect Democrats to the Senate.

In it, Murray denounces both a comment by a prominent Rick Santorum supporter on “old-style”  birth control and an all-male panel discussing contraception in a House Committee.

I feel like I woke up this morning on the set of “Mad Men.” Republicans have set their time machine for the 1950s – back when, according to one prominent Republican, women could just “put aspirin between their knees” to avoid getting pregnant.

According to a follow -up from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Aspirin Agenda appeal  was a big hit on the money-raising circuit. Murray got mentioned on Meet the Press in a discussion of the controversy which is sometimes framed as being over contraception and other times being about  religious freedom.

Talking heads can argue that point on TV through the election if they want. It's your typically breathless, the sky is falling, “please give us your money before some deadline passes” appeal for campaing cash.

But Spin Control wants to point out one slight flaw in Murray's e-mail.

“Mad Men” is not set in the 1950s. It is set in the 1960s.

True, the '50s is probably considered a more Republican decade, with Ike in the White House, Joe McCarthy in the Senate and men in gray flannel suits. The '60s is probably viewed as the more Democratic decade, with JFK and LBJ, Civil Rights and anti-war protests, flower children, hippies and yippies.

But the adventures of Don Draper, et al, start in 1960, when the ad firm is hired to work on the presidential campaign of a young candidate, a World War II vet that many people see as his party's next generation of leaders. Richard Nixon.

Just sayin.

The full e-mail is inside the blog, for those who aren't on the DSCC list.

Special Session Day 1: Saving money with more contraception?

OLYMPIA — Washington state could save about $4.5 million over the next two years by supplying more women with better birth control, a Senate panel was told Tuesday. But a critic of the proposal to spend more state money on a family planning program suggested it will actually lead to more unplanned pregnancies, not fewer.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee is considering a proposal to spend an extra $900,000 on the Take Charge Program, and receive nearly $9 in federal money for each dollar of state money, it could cover women up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level. The state currently covers only women below 200 percent of the poverty level for a program that includes exams, PAP smears and birth control. Under federal law, the money can't be used for abortions.

By expanding the program, the state could expect to avoid paying for about 712 unplanned pregnancies in uninsured families,which cost the state about $17,000 each, officials with the Department of Social and Health Services said. About half of all births in Washington are paid for by the state, DSHS officials said.

When some senators questioned whether women in that group couldn't afford their own contraceptions, health officials said they could, but are likely to use less expensive and less effective birth control. “You get what you pay for,” Dr. Laurie Cawthon, an epidemiologist for DSHS, said.

But Joseph Backholm of the Family Policy Institute contended more birth control will create problems, not solve them. It will lead to more risky sex, more pregnancies and more sexually transmitted disease, he said.

Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley, said it sounded as if Backholm was saying there'd be less risky behavior if the state didn't provide contraception, and when he said that wasn't correct, she asked what he thought the state should do.

“Ultimately, to my mind, it's a character issue,” Backholm replied.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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