Thursday, October 25, 2012

PA Legislators send message to babies: Don't be born poor!

Pennsylvania's General Assembly brings the crazy this session! Wow.

A bipartisan group of State Representatives submitted House Bill 2719 to the Human Services Committee, presumably so they could serve newborn humans by punishing them for having parents who brought them into the world. Here are the relevant provisions.
  1. If you get pregnant while receiving TANF (f.k.a. welfare), your benefit does not go up.
    In determining the amount of assistance payments to a recipient family of benefits under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program, the department shall revise the schedule of benefits to be paid to the recipient family by eliminating the increment in benefits under the program for which that family would otherwise be eligible as a result of the birth of a child conceived during the period in which the family is eligible for benefits under the TANF Program . . .
  2. Lest you think these legislators have no heart, they have included an exception for mothers who conceive as a result of rape. But Ladies, you better bring a copy of the police report!
     Elimination of benefits under subsection (d) shall not apply to any child conceived as a result of rape or incest if the department: (1) receives a non-notarized, signed statement from the pregnant woman stating that she was a victim of rape or incest, as the case may be, and that she reported the crime, including the identity of the offender, if known, to a law enforcement agency having the requisite jurisdiction.
  3. Even if you are a child who has become pregnant as the result of incest, you still better bring papers. Yes, even if you are below the legal age of consent.
    In the case of incest where a pregnant minor is the victim, to the county child protective service agency and stating the name of the law enforcement agency or child protective service agency to which the report was made and the date such report was made.
Okay, PA. We get it. You really don't want to pay for poor women to have more children. But can we stop all the Reagan-era hyperventilation about "welfare queens" for five minutes and discuss the actual facts?

Welfare benefits that could support/"trap" a family in poverty disappeared when Bill Clinton was president, replaced by Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) which has a lifetime limit of five years and a work requirement of 30 hours per week.

The average benefit in Pennsylvania is $403 per month for a family of three, hardly enough to keep a family clothed and sheltered, even if they also receive food stamps.

Only 17% of Pennsylvania families with incomes below the poverty line actually receive any cash benefit under this program.

To be eligible for TANF in Pennsylvania, the total value of your assets other than your house must be less than $1,000.

I am so bloody tired of hearing about the "Culture of Dependence."  The American oil industry receives $7 billion in tax breaks per year. And we're teaching a new mother a lesson by withholding $50 from her newborn?

WTF?

Today's $5 goes to Pathways, PA, a charity that works with disadvantaged women and families to help them stay together and move toward self-sufficiency.

     
     
     
     

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Arizona and Indiana strive, but can't compete with Texas in the War on Women

Not that they aren't trying. They really do give it their all.

Forgive me for laying this out like I'm explaining it to my 8-year old - I just read the comments sections of the news articles on this story. Getting a headache from all the ignorance.

Medicaid is a federal program to subsidize healthcare for needy citizens in partnership with the states. The states take the money subject to federal regulations. One of these rules provides that,
Any individual eligible for medical assistance (including drugs) may obtain such assistance from any institution, agency, community pharmacy, or person, qualified to perform the service or services required . . . 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(23)
Hmmm, sounds like Planned Parenthood, right? Because Planned Parenthood is qualified to dispense birth control and perform Pap smears. Among Medicaid recipients alone, 9,300 Hoosiers and 3,000 Arizonans received services at PP in 2010.

How are those Arizona and Indiana legislators going to show that they hate women abortions more than the next guy? How about passing a law that is totally unconstitutional? Yes, of course it will be overturned on appeal. But at least those heathen abortionists will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to attack it.

Thus, these states have each enacted laws barring Medicaid reimbursements to any healthcare provider that performs abortions or is affilliated with an abortion care provider. This week, two separate federal appeals courts ruled that this was an illegal restriction, upholding the temporary stay that had been granted when the laws were enacted. Because providing abortions does not magically make a doctor unqualified to provide a breast exam.

(Dis)honorable mention for Oklahoma, who, "withdrew federal funding to three Planned Parenthood clinics in Tulsa that for 18 years has allowed them to provide food and nutritional counseling to low-income mothers." Nothing says respect for the sanctity of life like letting poor kids go hungry!

Texas, however . . . Wow! Those people are stone, cold crazy. They already said no, thanks to the federal Medicaid dollars, since taking the money would have forced them to reimburse Planned Parenthood. And if the fifth Circuit Court of Appeals forces them to include PP in the Texas Womens Health Care Program, they will shut the whole program down.

Arizona and Indiana may force providers into court to defend their rights. But Texas  will cut 115,000 women off from services altogether, rather than reimburse Planned Parenthood. That is an impressive level of hatred. Texas is king of the ladyhaters, no contest!

Today's $5 goes to Planned Parenthood, USA. I only wish they could afford to spend all of it on healthcare, not litigation.




Saturday, October 20, 2012

Yours In Scouting

Writing this blog sometimes sends me down the rabbit hole into the wacky Wonderland of the interwebs. Because I loaded and unloaded 59 cases of cookies for my daughter's Girl Scout Troop yesterday (ouch!), I googled "conservative case against girl scouts." There are some CRAZY people out there!

I'm not linking to them - it's just too stupid. I'll summarize their arguments for you.
  1. Teenagers should never be given any information on their dirty, dirty bodies. Sexuality is BAD. In a few instances, some older Scouts have been given information from Planned Parenthood which did not convey disapproval of premarital sex. Eeeeeek!!!!
  2. Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) has been taken over by "radical feminists" who promote gay rights, Title IX, access to contraception and safe abortion, universal healthcare, and the Equal Rights Amendment. (Oh, where are my smelling salts!)
  3. Girl Scouts USA is associated with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which is associated with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). IPPF actually provides teenagers with honest information about sex. So ... GSUSA is pro-masturbation and abortion?
  4. WAGGGS has partnered with the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) to advocate on issues such as domestic violence and reproductive health. GSUSA is friends with WAGGGS, who is friends with YWCA. Oh, where does it stop?
  5. GSUSA has Michelle Obama as its Honorary President. (As was Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan . . .) Michelle Obama is "radically pro-abortion," a condition which is transmissible through Thin Mints.
I would be totally thrilled if my daughter could earn a Reproductive Health Badge as a teenager. How awesome would that be if she could get a patch for understanding how to take care of herself as a growing woman? But I'm happy enough that my little Brownie is learning to set goals, think independently, and advocate for herself as the equal of any boy. Which is, at bottom, the real case against Girl Scouts.

All the bullshit opposition boils down to one thing: if you actually acknowledge girls' ability and rights to make their own choices, well, they just might do it. And then, where would we be?!?! I can't wait to find out. Today's $5 is for the Girl Scouts. Thanks for believing in my kid.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"If" you're going to have women in the workforce?

Remember when Barbara Bush went to visit Katrina refugees in Houston and said, "So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway. So, this, this is working very well for them." And we all thought, "Hmmmm. Maybe it's time to stop putting Grandma on a live mike without a script." Because she had no idea how racist and dismissive her comment sounded.

I was reminded of that during the debate on Tuesday when Romney said,
I recognized that if you're going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. She said, I can't be here until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o'clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let's have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.
Forget about the "binders of women" for a minute. Can we just unpack this quote?

Bully for you, Governor, that you hired a female chief of staff. But was she the only person in the office with school-aged kids living at home? Seems unlikely. Seems like the underlying assumptions of this statement are:
  1. Women in the workforce is a more recent invention than the iPhone.
  2. Women bear sole responsibility for childcare.
  3. Men with small children require no accommodations for family time, because this is just not their department.
  4. Being female is an impairment to working which will require employers to make accommodations, as they do for persons with disabilities.
  5. These accommodations for family time are a gift from employers to employees, not something which should be enshrined as a legal right.
Gee, thanks.

Does he think he invented flex-time? Atlantic's piece by Anne-Marie Slaughter, Why Women Still Can't Have It All was the most clicked on story they've ever run. Work-life balance - it's even bigger than yoga, Mitt!

Does it even have to be said that men and women both bear responsibility for raising kids? That women will never reach professional parity if they are treated like oddballs who can't really pull their weight? That this attitude also stigmatizes men who want to take an active role in their children's lives?

Sadly, yes. Today's $5 is for the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Actually, I can handle the truth

No normal, decent person is one thing, okay? I've got some shit I'm conservative about, I've got some shit I'm liberal about. Crime, I'm conservative. Prostitution, I'm liberal!
--------- Chris Rock

This is exactly how I felt today reading a couple of articles in the New York Times.

The first reports a study from the Journal Pediatrics which demonstrates that vaccinating your daughter against HPV is not a short-cut to the land of clear heels and tramp-stamps.
Looking at a sample of nearly 1,400 girls, researchers found no evidence that those who were vaccinated beginning around age 11 went on to engage in more sexual activity than girls who were not vaccinated. 
I know some parents worry that, absent the threat of cervical cancer, girls won't keep their knees together. I guess these are the parents who tell their teenagers to drive without seatbelts, so they'll be extra careful and not make any mistakes behind the wheel. But my son wears a helmet to football, and I'll be getting the HPV vaccine for my kids.

So far, so liberal.

Then I read an article about hospitals ditching the formula samples they've given out forever in maternity wards, and I'm starting to feel a little like Ron Paul. Even though I was a walking cafeteria for years. Even though I know that breast milk is better for kids. Even though the smell of formula makes me nauseous. Even though I know that Enfamil just wanted to get me and my babies hooked on that easy meal before my milk came in.

Because breastfeeding is so damn hard. Because your baby will be just fine with formula. Because most mothers have to go back to work around the time that nursing becomes easy. Because it took three days for my milk to come in, by which time my first baby was starving. Because babies with jaundice often need supplementing with formula.

But most of all, because locking up the formula is like putting the cookies on a high shelf. Don't treat women giving birth like children. Mothers who bottle-feed aren't stupid or uninformed. They've made a perfectly legitimate decision and shouldn't be subjected to a walk of shame to get food for their babies. It's bad enough that Marisa Mayer is taking conference calls from the delivery room. Can we stop making new mothers feel like a failure before they even leave the hospital?

Oh, noes! Am I a libertarian?

Nah, I'm still a big government liberal. Never fear.

Today's $5 goes to the American Social Health Association. Because we're big girls, and we can handle the truth.
 

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Ladyparts Vote

Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: Vote like your lady parts depend on it.

Have you seen this one?

It appeared briefly on the Obama campaign's Tumblr feed, but was removed within a few hours. Cue the conservative outrage that women are being reduced to voting vaginas. Which is rich, coming from groups trying to legislate what we ladies do with our nethers.

Last week, Romney told the editors of the Des Moines Register that, "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda." This means exactly nothing - I'm assuming the Governor is aware that the legislative branch has primary responsibility for drafting legislation.

Yes, he does claim to be contemplating some very specific abortion legislation.
I’ve said time and again that I’m a pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately is [sic] to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also I’ve indicated that I will reverse the Mexico City position of the president. I will reinstate the Mexico City policy which keeps us from using foreign aid for abortions overseas.
And watching Reince Priebus trying to defend this to CNN's Soledad O'Brien is pretty funny.
But let's say that the difference between joking and lying is whether anyone believes you. Who believes that a President Romney would not pursue an anti-choice agenda? Such a kidder, that guy!

I don't think he's kidding about his intent to de-fund Planned Parenthood, though. Or his plan to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, aka Mexico City Policy, which bars funding for any overseas NGO that even mentions, much less performs abortion.

Anti-choice activists want to stop payments for gynecological or family planning care to Planned Parenthood and other women's healthcare non-profits because they believe that any money from the government frees up more private funding for abortion services. I do understand the fungibility argument. If my mom pays for my kid's art class, it's really a gift to me, since it frees up the tuition money for something else.

(Just like any support we give to Pakistan/Saudi Arabia/Egypt/Uganda allows their government to spend more money on schools that exclude girls and radicalize boys. Of course, no one is contemplating cutting foreign aid - only women's health is treated like a simplistic moral issue where no real world harm will come from taking a radical position.)

I guess it's just a question of priorities. If I pay for the art class myself, my family will still eat. If Planned Parenthood closes, and there's no replacement provider for pap smears, American women will die of cervical cancer. If the US government stands on principal and refuses to fund a program which provdes abortions, more women will go without birth control and give birth to children they cannot take care of.

Let's talk numbers. US International Family Planning Assistance is $610 million this year. According to the Guttmacher Institute, for every $10 million we cut:
  • 520,000 fewer women and couples would receive contraceptive services and supplies;
  • 150,000 more unintended pregnancies, including 70,000 more unplanned births, would occur;
  • 70,000 more abortions would take place (of which 50,000 would be unsafe);
  • 400 more maternal deaths would occur;
  • 50,000 more DALYs [healthy years of life] would be lost; and
  • 2,000 more children would lose their mothers.
Which all seems kind of bad, no? But those anti-choice politicians will certainly have made their point! Even if the numbers of abortions actually rise.

I will be voting like my lady parts depend on this election. Because they do. And I'll be sending today's $5 to Population Action International, which funds development programs based on positive outcomes, not politics and ideology.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

International Day of The Girl

Happy International Day of the Girl!

I love living in Maryland. Try not to be jealous that your governor isn't cool enough to sign this proclamation.

Recognition by the United Nations and the State of Maryland of International Day of the Girl is the culmination of efforts by the group School Girls Unite. SGU was founded in 2004 by a group of middle school girls in America who came to understand how fortunate they were compared to most girls their age in the developing world. The girls worked hard to fight against the lack of educational access and child marriage in the developing world, and particularly in Mali. As part of their campaign to raise money and awareness, they lobbied the UN to establish this, the first International Day of the Girl to promote
that empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals,including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the activesupport and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community...

Their families must be so proud of them! Today's $5 is goes to School Girls Unite. I hope my daughter grows up to be as strong an advocate as these girls.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mommy Math

Last night, I attended a debate on Maryland referendum issues hosted by the League of Women Voters. It was great to be with a group who does so much to support civic engagement. Yesterday's $5 is for the LWV.

Being at the debate reminded me how bloody sick I am of the Mommy/Daddy political dynamic around social issues. You know the script.
Mommy: It would be fundamentally equitable and better for society as a whole if we spent a little money on this school/drug rehab/public park/preventive care/job training.
Daddy: You may feel it's the best thing to do, but we have to balance our budget. If you would stop being so emotional and look at the math, you would see we just can't afford it.
Which is crap, of course. Yes, there are budgetary constraints. But what "Daddy" really means is, "Other things are more important than your feel-good program." You can only say "we can't afford it" if you pretend that tax revenues and how we spend them are decided before the discussion, so whatever Mommy is advocating is a luxury on top of the necessary expenses.

Take this quote from former Senator Alan Simpson, co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission:
Could you please cut out the babble? Would you quit talking about the poor, the vulnerable, the veterans, the old ladies going over cliffs, the hospices, the bedpans? I mean, what the hell? We all know, all of us know, that that's the people you want to take care of.
Yeah, who wants to hear about that crap?

Luckily, there are good people like Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes who do want to hear about those vulnerable people. Instead of sending women to prison and forcing their kids into foster care, Hynes spearheaded a program to allow a few women to live in a supervised, residential placement with their minor children. Women living at Drew House have a history of homelessness, substance abuse, or mental illness and are supported in their transition back to independent living upon completion of their sentences.

The New York Times ran an interesting piece on Drew House last year. Apparently, addressing people's serious, underlying emotional and substance issues is more effective at reducing recidivism than the "Don't Do the Crime if You Can't Do the Time" approach. Moreover, the cost was $34,000 per year for a mother and two children, compared to $129,000 for incarceration and foster care. In other news, having a moral compass does not interfere with the ability to do math.

Today's $5 is for the Supportive Housing Network of New York, the non-profit which manages Drew House.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Seriously, Todd! No means no!

Why is Todd Akin stalking me? Todd, you can't keep saying this crazy sh*t every day to get into my blog. We really need to see other people.

Oh, okay, just one more time.

Todd Akin's spokesman Rick Tyler confirms the candidate's continuing belief that doctors are performing fake abortions.
There's ample evidence that abortion doctors on any number of occasions have deceived women into thinking that they're pregnant, and then collect money for a procedure that they don't perform. And I say they don't perform it because obviously the women weren't pregnant.
 
Did I ever tell you about the time I had three babies in three and a half years? Funny story.

Number of times I went to the doctor to find out whether I was pregnant? ZERO. Number of times I put a rabbit on deathwatch after injecting it with my pee? ZERO.

I did what every woman in America does when she thinks she's pregnant - I peed on a stick. Has Todd Akin never heard of the home pregnancy test? Does he really think that women are making an appointment, crossing a picket line at Planned Parenthood, and paying someone to draw blood? Instead of spending $8 at any drug store?

Forget about the doctors. NFW women are getting fooled into having abortions when they aren't actually pregnant. Does he think we're brainless incubators?

Please, tell us about this "ample evidence." A 1978 investigative piece for the Chicago Sun Times? And a Planned Parenthood director who became a paid speaker at conservative conferences after she described an abortion of a sentient fetus that never happened? That same lady who filed the whistleblower suit alleging PP submitted false Medicaid claims? You know neither Texas nor the federal government thought this suit had enough merit to join it, right?

Okay, after the obligatory joke about the "legitimate rape"of the facts, I'd like to quote Abby Johnson, the "whistleblower" seeking to recover millions for herself in that lawsuit.
In support of Congressman Todd Akin, I can attest that when I served as director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas, we often scared women into getting services they did not need - including abortion - so we could collect the fees. This included women who were not pregnant and women who were in the process of miscarrying.
 
This is the part that makes me the angriest. Because I think what she's talking about is a D&C, a medical procedure to dilate the cervix and scrape leftover tissue out after a miscarriage or when part of the placenta is left in the uterus after delivery. Because a D&C is also a procedure which can be used for an abortion, and because most Americans can be counted on to plug their ears when they hear about surgery on ladyparts, Akin and Johnson are getting away with demonizing women and their doctors for making sure that they don't suffer infections and internal bleeding. Gee, they really do care about women!

Damn, now I'm all mad again. Today's $5 is for Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

D is for Data and It's Good Enough For Me

I for one don't need a study to tell me that women make good health choices when given the right facts and tools. But since the world is full of people trying to make women's health decisions for them, I do love me some data.

Today's AP reports a study by Doctor Jeffery Peipert at the Washington University Medical School examining the ways that women's behavior changed when cost was removed as an obstacle to accessing birth control.

When cost was an issue, 28% of women chose birth control pills, for about $15-50 per month, with an 8% failure rate per year. Less than 6% chose Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC), that is hormonal implants or IUDs.

When cost was not an issue, 70 % of women chose (LARC), upfront cost between $500 and $1000, failure rate less than 1% per year. Just 11% chose the Pill.

You will be shocked, shocked, to find that these women had fewer pregnancies and abortions than women who had to fork over cash each month and then remember to take a pill at the same time every day.
The effect on teen pregnancy was striking: There were 6.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in the study. Compare that to a national rate of 34 births per 1,000 teens in 2010. There also were substantially lower rates of abortion, when compared with women in the metro area and nationally: 4.4 to 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the study, compared with 13.4 to 17 abortions per 1,000 women overall in the St. Louis region, Peipert calculated. That's lower than the national rate, too, which is almost 20 abortions per 1,000 women.
Seems like irrefutable evidence that the mandatory insurance coverage of birth control under the Affordable Care Act will actually reduce abortions and unintended pregnancies, right? Obviously, anyone who opposes abortion will be jumping right on this wagon.

The AP was kind enough to contact Jeanne Monahan of West Wingnutistan the Family Research Council, for her considered opinion.
Additionally, one might conclude that the Obama administration's contraception mandate may ultimately cause more unplanned pregnancies since it mandates that all health plans cover contraceptives, including those that the study's authors claim are less effective.
The only way this makes an iota of sense is if you believe that we'll all just keep our knees together if we can't get birth control. No, stop laughing! I think that's what she's really saying.

Data rides to the rescue again! When Massachusetts implemented Commonwealth Care, the model for the Affordable Care Act, the abortion rate fell almost 14% between 2006 and 2008. BTW, the Massachusetts insurance plans paid for contraception AND abortion for poor women.

Who knew numbers could be so sexy? So, today I'll donate $5 to the Guttmacher Institute, the best source for women's health statistics. Because women don't need a bunch of BS about abortion causing depression, or the pill causing infertility. Just the facts, please. We'll make the right decisions.



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Particle Board, YES! Ladies, NO!





Can we talk for just one more minute about Ikea airbrushing the women out of the Saudi Arabian edition of its catalogue? While I won't be planning a trip to the Kingdom any time soon, I do think the reaction to this has been knee-jerk and unreflexive.

Take this comment from the Swedish Gender Equality Minister Nyamko Sabuni:
And if there is any country in the world that needs to know IKEA's values, it is Saudi Arabia. Therefore it is a pity that it is there they choose to abandon part of their values, in this case equality. 
You know what Ikea values? Selling furniture. Their management may have a secondary wish to run an egalitarian company. But their job is to move as much particle board as possible.

Why did people consider it a gaffe when Mitt Romney said, "Corporations are people?" Because people are complex creatures with multiple motivations. Corporations exist solely to maximize profit. So, why would we expect Ikea to do something that would hurt its bottom line?
 
Should Ikea support the right of women to go sleeveless by printing this page in the Saudi edition of its catalog, only to have it censored before publication?
 

 
There is no arguing that Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive nations in the world for women. Apart from being banned from driving, Saudi women are forbidden to work or travel abroad without permission of a male "guardian." It is nonsensical to expect Ikea to publish advertisements which will directly hurt sales of their product.
 
BUT .  .  .
 
Ikea went further than crafting their advertising to suit local tastes. They also deleted the photograph of designer Clara Gausch, while leaving her three male colleagues. 
 
 
WTF? If the Saudi market couldn't bear to see a successful designer with two X chromosomes, they could have done away with the whole page. Deleting the female designer while leaving her male colleagues is denying her attribution based solely on her gender. This is qualitatively different because Gausch is the creator of these products, not a prop arranged to maximize sales.
 
Ikea released a statement saying, "We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group values.” What else could they say when these images were publicized by every major western news outlet?
 
So, what's a feminist to do? In a nutshell, American governments prop up the Saudis because we want their oil. Saudis use their oil wealth to create a country which oppresses women. It's a problem. So, today's $5 goes to Renewable World, which works to create renewable energy sources in poor communities worldwide. I know it's only a few drops of oil less, but we have to start somewhere.
 
 
 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Trust Women in Kansas

Feeling cautiously optimistic about this story from the Wichita Eagle.

In 2009, radical anti-choice protesters finally shut down the only facility providing abortion within a two-hour radius of Wichita. Firebombing, shooting, and daily harassment hadn't worked. But murder did.

The clinic finally closed when doctor George Tiller, the only provider of late-term abortions to women in Kansas, was shot point-blank in the head while standing in his church. It has been shuttered since then, forcing women to drive hours and confront a 24-hour mandatory waiting period to access health care.

This week, we learn that associates of Dr. Tiller are trying to reopen the clinic. Over the past two years, Kansas has enacted a series of TRAP (Targetted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws, which impose onerous restrictions unrelated to quality of care on these provders. While Kansas is temporarily enjoined from enforcing these laws by the federal court, the state government will place every hurdle they can in front of the Trust Women Foundation, owner of the clinic building.

Dr. Tiller wore a "Trust Women" button every day. In his honor, I'll donate $5 to the Trust Women Political Action Committee, which supports women's rights in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska.