Who are the activists behind the Virginia ultrasound bill?

"Earlier this year, Republicans in the Virginia legislature proposed a new law that would require a woman to get an ultrasound before having an abortion. Many noted the measure would require women to have a transvaginal probe—and a national outcry followed. But the Virginia law was merely the latest in a recent onslaught of state-level anti-abortion measures. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 2011 saw 92 anti-abortion provisions enacted in 24 states. (The previous record was 34 in 2005.) Among the anti-abortion measures passed last year were ultrasound laws, bans on abortions beginning as early as 20 weeks, onerous rules mandating the size of exam rooms and hallways, and restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion—just to name a few."

- Eliza Gray, The Saleswoman

Photo courtesy of Take Part

What’s behind the increasingly disturbing war against women’s rights?

"Taken individually, these incidents all seem like isolated events. Taken together, they start to look like a disturbing trend. Increasingly, what we are seeing from the right when it comes to women’s issues is not conservatism but radicalism: a bid to roll back the gains and freedoms that feminism has managed to earn for women."

—The Editors, “The Increasingly Disturbing War Against Women’s Rights

How does the United States rank globally in terms of abortion laws?

The numbers may change soon, when the state of Mississippi decides on abortion in the upcoming November election, when the state votes on Initiative 26. Proponents of the bill call it the “Personhood Amendment.”

"The courts probably wouldn’t let such a law stand. Plus there’s always the possibility that such a restrictive measure could backfire on its supporters politically. Even in Mississippi, a state where opposition to abortion is notoriously high, I suspect most voters will get antsy about laws that curtail access to birth control. But the mere appearance of the initiative is a sign of the times — and, from my perspective, not an encouraging one."

- Jonathan Cohn, “Mississippi v. Birth Control

A detailed, interactive version of the map may be found here, from the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Photo courtesy of Good.

Are Republicans really willing to let women die?

Last night, Senate Republicans voted down the President’s jobs plan, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor has stated publicly that he refuses to even have House Republicans allow a vote on the American Jobs Act. So what are House Republicans working on instead of the Jobs Act? An extreme, savage bill that would actually let women die.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi addressed the bill, HR 358, ironically titled the “Protect Life Act” in an impassioned speech today.

Opponents have rechristened the measure the “Let Women Die” bill because it would allow hospitals that receive federal funds to turn away a woman seeking an abortion in all circumstances, even if an abortion is necessary to save her life.

Are Republicans serious about jobs, or are they distracted by other legislation?

You decide.

Video Courtesy of the ThinkProgress

An abortion provider on Rick Perry’s unprecedented laws in Texas:

“You have to have this conversation while [this probe] is in your vagina, its not like we can have pleasantries. You have to have a scripted conversation provided by politicians where you have to put your hands over your ears. That is not how we practice medicine. We try to make sonograms comfortable when it is required for a medical procedure, so this really has the effect of harassment.”