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News Round-Up – 3/1/09

March 1, 2009

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius selected to head Health and Human Services. Frankly, I’m glad to have all the Bredesen talk put to bed.

No Conspiracy Theories Needed: Abortion Foes Cry Racism at Religion Dispatches – “In order to attract a different demographic of supporters, the anti-abortion movement has adopted the theory that reproductive freedom is actually a plot to rid America of its black and brown citizens.”

Anti-Breastfeeding Bingo and Bad Science on Booze and Pregnancy at Hoyden About Town.

Moue Magazine on why domestic violence is not appropriate entertainment.

From the New York Times – Obama Set to Undo ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers

Via the Labor Nurse, I found out about this list from ICAN of whether individual hospitals across the U.S. allow, ban, or have a de facto ban on VBACs. I’d like to know more about how they verified each one (who they spoke to, for example), but it’s a good starting point.

From the Austin Statesman, Texas schools flunking sex ed – “…researchers documented at least one factual error in the materials received from 41 percent of the school districts. The study’s authors found instances in which districts used what they called sexist, religious and shame- or fear-based techniques during instruction.” [thanks to Polly for pointing me to this]

From my larger workplace, Breast milk’s ability to fight respiratory viruses investigated, including discussion of sex-based differences in outcomes.

Renee at Womanist Musings is still accepting submissions for the next installment of the Tell It WOC Speak blog carnival.

I missed it until now, but Republican Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia introduced the HR 227, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, “To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.” It has been referred to committee. This is the same thing Ron Paul had introduced in 2005 and 2007.

The Tennessee Files
Juana Villegas de la Paz, the Davidson County, TN woman whose treatment in custody and courage to speak out about it affected change for all pregnant women in custody in this county, is being deported. Aunt B has comments on the disappearing of “problem” people.

Aunt B has clearly been on a roll this week – she also points us to this humorous legislative response to the bill in Tennessee that would amend the state constitution to state that nothing therein protects or secures the right to an abortion. HRJ 127 “Adds new provision to Article I to provide that nothing in Constitution of Tennessee secures or protects right to a vasectomy.” B has more commentary here, and also takes another state legislator to task for a bill addressing domestic violence and custody arrangements.

Via WPLN, Health Examiners Find Reports of Adverse Affects from TVA Coal Ash Spill. A blog has also been set up, the Tennessee Coal Ash Survivors Network, and is highlighting health problems following the environmental disaster.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sheila permalink
    March 3, 2009 1:16 pm


    Do you know if there is an open comment period in response to Obama’s announcement of rescinding the HHS reg?


  2. March 3, 2009 7:26 pm

    Sheila, great question. It seems to be at the OMB for review with the title “Rescission of the Regulation Issued by the Department of Health and Human Services on December 19, 2008, Implementing the Church Amendments (42 U.S.C. 300a-7), Section 245 of the Public Health Service.” I can’t see a way to link directly to it, but if you go to and select Department of Health and Human Services as the agency, you’ll see it. I think it would have to get through that process and then the proposed rule (rescinding the old rule) would be published opening a comment period. I’m not certain whether there are any changes in the process when it’s a rescission, though.

  3. Sheila permalink
    March 4, 2009 10:30 am

    Thanks, Rachel. From what I was able to gather yesterday, I think we are in the waiting period for the official notice of the rescission which will trigger the 30-day comment period. Someone from HHS leaked to the press last week that this notice would be released this week. In the meantime, I will keep an eye on it at

  4. March 4, 2009 11:15 am

    I wonder whether they’ll lose my comment this time around?

  5. April 15, 2010 9:49 am

    Generally I don’t post on websites, but I’d like to say that this article really compelled me to do so! Thanks for your perceptive article.


  1. Black Women’s Health Imperative on Obama’s Plans for the HHS “Conscience” Rule « Women’s Health News

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