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Blogs comment on Planned Parenthood's 100th anniversary, Polish women's continued fight for abortion rights and more

Read the week's best commentary by bloggers at Huffington Post blogs, Bustle and more.

ABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT:

"On its 100th anniversary, a reminder of why Planned Parenthood is so vital," Catherine Pearson, Huffington Post blogs: On Planned Parenthood's 100th anniversary, Pearson outlines reasons why the organization, which conservative lawmakers have sought to defund, "is so essential." Pearson writes, "If Planned Parenthood's impact was measured in terms of patient volume alone, it would be enormous," citing internal figures that show "[s]ome 2.5 million women and men visit Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers every year." Pearson also draws attention to the volume and varying forms of care provided at Planned Parenthood, noting, for example, that "[i]n 2014 to 2015 alone, Planned Parenthood affiliates prevented 578,681 unintended pregnancies via contraceptive services, and supplied 931,589 emergency contraception kits." She adds, "Women go to Planned Parenthood for pregnancy tests and prenatal care. They go to treat urinary tract infections. For HPV vaccination. For colonoscopies. The list goes on and on," including abortion care, "an essential part" of the organization's services. Pearson states that Planned Parenthood "helps women (and men) regardless of their income," citing estimates from the Guttmacher Institute that "more than a third of women who got contraceptive care from safety-net health centers in this country" in 2010 "received their services from a Planned Parenthood site." Noting further that Planned Parenthood "respects women's autonomy," Pearson concludes, "Lauding an organization for simply respecting women's agency is absurd," yet given recent attacks of women's health care rights, "it is remarkable that Planned Parenthood has never wavered in its mission to empower patients to make informed, independent decisions about their own bodies" (Pearson, Huffington Post blogs, 10/16).

What others are saying about the abortion-rights movement:

~ "Protests for the Planned Parenthood anniversary shouldn't overshadow the good they've done," Abby Johnston, Bustle.

~ "The best 100 years strong tweets celebrate Planned Parenthood & its true mission," Cate Carrejo, Bustle.

~ "11 Planned Parenthood memes & tributes you can share on its 100th anniversary," Natasha Guzmán, Bustle.

GLOBAL ISSUES:

"Polish women's fight against abortion ban is not over," LJ Quirk, Huffington Post blogs: Although abortion-rights rallies held earlier this month appeared to successfully end Poland's attempts to impose a total abortion ban, "Poland's journey is still not over," Quirk writes. She explains that in response to the protests, the government is taking "a new approach ... to tighten laws regarding women's bodies and restrict access to abortion." She quotes Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the country's ruling party, who said he intends to propose a ban on abortion care "'even in pregnancies which are very difficult, when a [fetus] is sure to die, strongly deformed.'" Calling out Poland's efforts to "mak[e] ... wom[e]n suffer through an unviable pregnancy" and "den[y] women full bodily autonomy in 2016," Quirk concludes, "The world should not turn a blind eye to ... Polish women's plight. The fight is still not over" (Quirk, Huffington Post blogs, 10/17).

REPRODUCTIVE COERCION:

"What women need to know about reproductive coercion," Anna Almendrala, Huffington Post's "Healthy Living": Almendrala speaks with Heather McCauley, a social epidemiologist and an assistant professor of human development at Michigan State University, about McCauley's research on reproductive coercion. According to Almendrala, "Reproductive coercion is a specific type of intimate partner violence in which one partner forces unprotected sex in order to increase the chances that the other partner will get pregnant against her will." McCauley explained, "'The thing about reproductive coercion is that many women still don't recognize this behavior as abuse ... If you were to ask them if they experienced abuse or coercion in their relationship, they would probably say no.'" In her most recent research, McCauley focused on birth control tampering and pregnancy coercion, detailing how the former "is coercive, whether that includes pregnancy pressure -- an abusive partner might use threats to leave if a woman doesn't get pregnant," while the latter "is that physically abusive manipulation of condoms to promote a pregnancy." McCauley acknowledged that there are few interventions that address men's role in reproductive coercion, but she outlined a few strategies for women, including universal education about such behaviors at clinics, direct assessments of the patient and "connecting women to resources," such as domestic violence advocates (Almendrala, "Healthy Living," Huffington Post, 10/15).