Saturday, April 08, 2006

Politics of Abortion

Democrats Wedge Issue: Expand Access to Contraceptives and Sex Education

Daily Kos

The Senate Democratic leadership says it has found a wedge issue to strengthen the party's position on abortion rights, which top strategists think has become a liability in recent years.

The wedge is legislation expanding access to contraceptives and sex education, which polls show a majority of Americans support but which Democrats are betting will be difficult for social conservatives in the Republican base to accept.

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 there.

Meanwhile, in Kansas, the hard-right of the GOP is pushing the opposite agenda.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Board of Education will meet in Wichita to discuss a proposal to mandate nine weeks of abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum in grades six through nine.

Planned Parentood of Missouri and Kansas says "We agree that abstinence is the best method and should be the foundation of any sex ed curriculum. However, it is not a perfect world, and our young people need all the information to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies and diseases."

And, the Kansas House passed by a77-48 vote Senate Bill 528 a measure that would require.according to PP, " teachers to provide medically inaccurate information, including the misnomer that the morning-after-pill is an abortion method. In fact, emergency contraception, an FDA approved contraceptive, is simply a high dose of birth control pills."

During the debate State Representative Deena Hurst commented that it was "odd that the schools [following a new mandate by the state Board of Education] must have parents opt their children into sex education, but parentswill have to opt out of the portion required by this amendment."

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