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Houston Breakthrough 1977-09
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Houston Breakthrough 1977-09 - Page 4. September 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 22, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3036/show/3015.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(September 1977). Houston Breakthrough 1977-09 - Page 4. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3036/show/3015

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1977-09 - Page 4, September 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 22, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3036/show/3015.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Houston Breakthrough 1977-09
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date September 1977
Description Vol. 2 No. 8
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 25 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 4
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_531d.jpg
Transcript hospital board meets this month: Will area women "We have got to mobilize the silent majority in this country, who assume that because the Supreme Court said a woman could get an abortion that she could get one. If she's a poor woman she may not be able to get one now." —Judith Widdicomb, President —National Abortion Federation By Gertrude Barnstone The Supreme Court apparently saw nothing inconsistent about defending a woman's right to an abortion (1973), while denying poor women the means to get one (1977). And, in the Court's defense, President Jimmy Carter apparently saw nothing incongruous in saying the rich have always been able to afford things the poor could not. With the Court's decision and the President's sanction, Congress, not surprisingly, finds itself deadlocked over the issue of federal funds for abortions for the indigent. But the question of whether Houston area poor women will still have the choice of terminating a pregnancy will be decided in Houston by seven members of the Harris County Hospital District Board of Managers. At present, indigent women continue to get abortions at Jeff Davis Hospital, but the county hospital's board has yet to take action on the abortion question. Sarah Weddington successfully argued the 1973 Supreme Court case granting women the right of free choice Barbara Schachtel and six other county- hospital board members will decide if poor women will continue to have the right to / an abortion. Anti-abortion Lobty "...The most effective national group in the country these days is the anti-abortion lobby. Any journalist, for example, will tell you that merely suggesting a pro- abortion sentiment in the paper will visit a hernia upon the neighborhood mailman. In the past week since I wrote about the Supreme Court decision, the mail has been replete with pictures of pickled fetuses, dire warnings of hellfire and suggestions that the world would be a better place if my mother had aborted me. 'This is a tiny smidgen of what happens to legislators. They regularly receive batches of letters from, say, one small town in Ohio, all written in the same terminology by people, none of whom supposedly knows the others. This is what is known—but rarely mentioned in the civics class- as pressure. "On the whole, legislators re spond to pressure the way a leg responds to a sharp rap upon the knee...". Ellen Goodman Houston Post, July 8, 1977 in favor of Hyde earlier. The matter went to a conference committee, where the two houses were fighting it out. But, meanwhile, the House's side prevails, with Medicaid abortions suspended at least until the end of the month. By then, the House- Senate conferences hope to agree on a new measure to send back to their respective memberships. If they don't, there will be votes a- gain on Hyde in each house. Anti-abortion forces will deluge members with "right to life" letters if recent history is any guide. The well-organized grassroots effort has enjoyed victory of late, despite polls which show a n ajority of Americans-67 percent in one poll, 81 percent in another —favor a woman's right to choose abortion. Still, Congress-especially the House-usually gauges public opinion by its own mail. "By relying on the courts to do their work for them, the (pro- abortion forces) loftily have a- bandoned the processes of democracy to the ardent right-to-lifers," an editorial in the New Republic pointed out recently. ABC newsman Frank Reynolds made a similar observation. At the conclusion of his report on the passage of the Hyde Amendment, the network reporter told a nationwide audience, "American women may very well be living in the last days of an era in which they have come to take for granted their right to abortion on demand." I fear that the court's decisions will be an invitation to public officials, already under extraordinary pressure from well-financed and carefully orchestrated lobbying campaigns, to approve more such abortion restrictions. — Justice Thurgood Marshall Harris County Attorney Joe Resweber's office has told the board it can legally continue offering abortions in the first trimester to women who meet the district's economic criteria. "There exists no mandatory requirement for providing or not providing non-therapeutic abortions," the legal opinion says. While some observers believe the board will avoid the issue as long as possible — perhaps as late as the March budget- making session — action could come at any one of their monthly meetings, possibly as early as September 22, the date of the next board meeting at Jeff Davis Hospital. Speakers on both sides of the abortion question are scheduled , to. appear. Those favoring free choice for all women hope to rally supporters to attend the 3 p.m. meeting. A newly formed chapter of the Medical Committee for Human Rights, a national organization dating to the civil rights days of the 1960's, plans to circulate petitions urging the board to continue giving poor women the choice of abortion. The group, comprised of nurses, medical students and doctors, plans to center its drive at area colleges and med ical schools. Persons interested in more information may call Virginia McGuffin at 527-9920. Houston women have fared better than those in St. Louis, where the mayor has ordered a halt to all abortions at city hospitals — even for women who can afford them. And the county supervisor has ordered the suspension of the county's program for referring indigent women to abortion clinics. In Austin, Brackenridge Hospital, a city facility, will use city and county funds for abortions for low income women. The hospital board adopted a resolution drafted by member Sophie Weiss to provide them "in order to assure that clinic card patients continue to have available a full range of medical and social services comparable to those available to the non-indigent." San Antonio's Bexar County Hospital District will use county funds for abortions for "very indigent women." The governing board of what used to be called the Texas State Department of Public Welfare (now renamed the Department of Human Resources) accepted measures restricting abortions recommended by Dr. Emmett Greif, its deputy commissioner for medical administration. While HEW requires only one physical to certify an abortion is needed to protect a woman's health, the Board agreed with one of Greif's rules requiring a second doctor's opinion in some cases. The whole tangle of opinions and votes and pending decisions began when the U.S. House of Representatives responded to the Court's June 20 decision that abortion funding be allowed but not required by passing the Hyde amendment. It called for a complete ban on the use of federal funds for abortions. The Senate, however, refused to go that far but voted for ending federal funding "except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to full term or where medically necessary, or for the treatment of rape or incest victims." Texas' senators, Democrat Lloyd Bentsen and Republican John Tower, both voted for the measure sponsored by Republican Edward Brooke, the Senate's only black member. In the House, Barbara Jordan, Bob Eckhardt, and Jack Brooks voted against Hyde. Houston's conservative Republican representative, Bill Archer, voted for it. And the area's newest House member, Bob Gammage, was absent for the final vote but voted Insurance against sex/marital bias In 1975, Judith Guthrie first met with Texas Insurance Commissioner Joe Christie, to discuss the elimination of sex bias in state insurance regulations. Faced with the possibilities of change through legislation or amending the regulations Guthrie, a former state president of WEAL, decided changing the regulations would be most efficient. Christie and his legal staff cooperated on the project. A year later, the proposed rules were published; WEAL, TWPC, and NOW submitted supporting legal briefs. Guthrie and former State Representative Sarah Weddington of Austin testified before the State Board during the October 1976 hearings together with representatives from the insurance industry who spoke in opposition to the insurance reforms. The State Board firmly supported the new regulations and, in subsequent conferences, differences were worked out between the women's groups and insurance companies. The regulations were adopted in June of this year. Guthrie discusses these new regulations and their effect on women in her article below. — Editors. by Judith K. Guthrie The details of insurance regulation excite few people outside the business itself. So, it should come as no surprise that, with little fanfare, the Texas State Insurance Board recently adopted an important new set of rules dealing with sex and marital status discrimination. As with most issues that have an economic impact on the public, women have been "sheltered" from most useful knowledge of insurance. This has allowed the industry to perpetrate some rather peculiar policies and practices when it comes to insuring women. The new rules passed by the State Board June 30 and set to be come effective the first of next year will go a long way toward eliminating much of the discrimination now existing. The regulations affect several major areas of underwriting. Availability of policies may not be denied on the basis of sex or marital status. This means that companies can no longer refuse to cover women with any kind of insurance when men under similar circumstances are insured. For example, middle-aged and older women sometimes find it difficult, if not impossible, to purchase health insurance. Now, if companies are insuring men at the continued on p. 16 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH SEPTEMBER 1977 PAGE 3