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Women’s Lobby Loses Birth Control Battle, Wins Stimulus War

Feminist outrage is making headlines today as women’s groups react to President Obama’s last-minute move to to eliminate a portion of the stimulus package that would have made it easier for states to expand birth control coverage through Medicaid.

The loss of the birth control provision came as a blow to Planned Parenthood, which had lobbied forcefully for it.

Despite the news, as I reported today, there is still plenty of reason for the feminist lobby to be pleased — billions and billions of them, in fact.

The bill allocates billions of dollars for education, health care, direct aid to needy families and support for state governments to maintain social programs — all items on the feminist wish list. Stimulus money will create or preserve jobs for teachers, librarians, nurses, and childcare workers around the country.

The outcome of the House bill contrast with feminist fears from just a few weeks ago, when it seemed that stimulus job creation would be confined to the male-dominated construction and energy industries. But the bill allocates only five percent of the stimulus for infrastructure, according to The Boston Globe, a figure that shrank progressively as the details of the stimulus were hashed out:

“Priorities changed,” [Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.)] said. “Someone says, ‘How about food stamps, how about early childhood education?’”

We also haven’t seen the last of the Medicaid family planning expansion. The Senate is expected to take up a stand alone version of the family planning expansion next week.

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