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Afternoon Roundup: Kanye West's Abortion Tweet Annoys Lily Allen (And Many Others)

Kanye West's bad-mood-producing abortion tweet; NYC's racist, anti-choice billboard; the Tea Party's "we're not interested in the culture wars" culture-war agenda setting thus far; and midwifery saves money!

  • Kanye West delved into the world of abortion on Twitter yesterday with this tweet: "an abortion can cost a ballin' nigga up to 50gs maybe a 100. Gold diggin' bitches be getting pregnant on purpose. #STRAPUP my niggas!" Yeah, it's tough to be Kanye West having sex with women, with simply no control over what they do to him. I mean, why can't we women just be inflatable dolls, there for his "ballin'" pleasure alone. We have to go and have those damn human bodies which, often, have the ability to get pregnant...At least he's encouraging condom use. Lily Allen was clearly annoyed, tweeting back to West: @kanyewest never has a tweet put me in such a bad mood. This is wrong on so many levels." Thanks, Lily!
  • In the heart of Soho, in downtown NYC, a billboard appears this week. It features a young, African-American girl and says, "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb." Yes, you read correctly. Apparently, African American women who are able to become pregnant are inherently hazardous. It was an ad placed by a typical anti-choice, (and, in my opinion, racist group) Life Always, in order to target women of color in a campaign aimed at shutting down Planned Parenthood, of course. LaMar Outdoor Advertising, owner of the billboard space, agreed today, however, to take the billboard down, as many are calling it out and out racist. According to the Women of Color Policy Network, "Following a letter to Peter Costanza, Vice President and General Manager of LaMar Billboards, written by the Women of Color Policy Network, NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Mr. Costanza responded affirmatively that they would remove the billboard."
  • Will the Tea Parties rise up against gay rights?, asks Alex Pareene in this excellent article on Salon today. But what he's really saying is, of course they will. Because, he says, Tea Partyers, are conservative Republicans. They aren't some sort of "indie backlash,"

And once they get into power, as they have shown in the last month, they attempt to smash unions, ban abortion, redefine rape in order to make it more difficult to safely get an abortion, take a hatchet to women's reproductive health access in general, pass increasingly onerous and insane laws punishing undocumented migrants and those suspected of being undocumented migrants, propose unconstitutional legislation designed to combat birthright citizenship (the practical result of which would be to vastly increase the number of "illegal immmigrants" in the country), name a national gun of Arizona shortly after a deadly mass shooting, and otherwise do and say things that horrify and alarm reasonable Americans.

  • Idaho legislators have introduced a bill to allow women who use Medicaid to have the option of using a midwife. Lawmakers say it will save the state a considerable amount of money since approximately 40 percent of births in the state are covered by Medicaid now. A hospital birth costs Medicaid $6,000 while a midwife-assisted birth is estimated to cost Medicaid $1500. There are nine other states which already allow midwife-assisted births to be covered under Medicaid. Washington State is one of those states and it's seen a significant cost savings. According to Miriam Perez, writing on RH Reality Check, "Washington Department of Health cost benefit analysis showed that licensed midwifery care saves the state $3.1 million per biennium in cost-offsets to Medicaid when low-risk women give birth with licensed midwives instead of in the hospital."


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