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feminist wire | news of the week



4/18/2014
Texas Hospitals Revoke Admitting Privileges to Abortion Providers
Reproductive health access in Texas continues to vanish in the wake of HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that, among other things, requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges in order to keep their clinics open.

4/18/2014
Dartmouth President Calls For Changes In Wake of Federal Sexual Assault Investigation
Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon gave a powerful speech Wednesday night calling for significant changes on campus in light of its high rates of sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and discriminatory social scene. "Darmouth's promise is being hijacked by high-risk and harmful behaviors, behaviors that are hurting too many of our students, dividing us as a community and distracting from our important work of teaching and learning," Hanlon said.

4/17/2014
Federal Court Permanently Blocks North Dakota's Extreme 6-Week Abortion Ban
A federal district court permanently blocked one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation yesterday, calling it "invalid and unconstitutional." The North Dakota law, HB 1456, directly challenged Roe v.

4/17/2014
Supreme Court of India Recognizes Transgender Rights
India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that official documents must allow transgender people to identify as a third gender and directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people, known as hijras, in welfare programs such as education, health care, and job programs. "All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender,'" said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who petitioned the court.

4/16/2014
Female Afghan Parliamentarian Injured in Shooting Attack
Maryam Koofi, a member of Afghanistan's Parliament, was wounded in a shooting yesterday.

4/16/2014
10-Year Old Girl Banned from Boys Basketball Team Will Now Play
Ten-year old Albuquerque, New Mexico fourth-grader Jaelyn Bates plays on the Frey Academy Basketball team, and her coach, Kevin Frey, thinks she's pretty good.

4/15/2014
Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women
Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency." Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor.

4/15/2014
Activist Monica Jones Found Guilty of Walking While Trans
Trans woman, student, and sex work activist Monica Jones was found guilty Friday of "manifesting prostitution" by a Phoenix, Arizona judge after she accepted a ride with two undercover police officers in May 2013.

4/14/2014
Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services
President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius. Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA.

4/14/2014
Advocates Ask Court To Reconsider Texas Admitting Privileges Case
The Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the ACLU of Texas filed a petition last week asking the full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reexamine the constitutionality of the admitting privileges requirement contained in HB2, Texas' omnibus anti-abortion bill. "We're asking the court to acknowledge what is crystal clear--this law hurts women," said Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director.

4/11/2014
Philippines Supreme Court Upholds Law Promoting Reproductive Health Access
The Philippines Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the country's Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, also known as the RH Law, is constitutional.

4/11/2014
Tennessee Legislature Approves Measure Criminalizing Pregnant Women
The Tennessee state legislature passed SB 1391 Wednesday, a bill that allows women who suffer from drug-related pregnancy complications to be charged with assault and potentially imprisoned. The bill would permit women to be charged with assault - theoretically up to the point of aggravated assault, which incurs a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison - if they have pregnancy complications after using illegal drugs or deliver children with "neonatal abstinence syndrome." The original bill allowed women to be charged with homicide if her fetus or baby died, but was later amended.

4/10/2014
Ninth Circuit Blocks Arizona Restrictions on Medication Abortion
In a victory for Arizona women, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has blocked the state's restrictions on medication abortion. The Ninth Circuit issued a temporary injunction late Tuesday preventing Arizona from enforcing new regulations which would have prevented access to medication abortion after seven weeks and forced doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering the medication. "The appeals court has recognized that Arizona women should not be denied access to critical reproductive care while yet another clearly unconstitutional attack on their health and rights makes it way through the courts," said David Brown, a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is challenging the law with Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Arizona and the Tucson Women's Center. The two clinics filed their legal challenge after the Arizona Department of Health Services issued regulations implementing the medication abortion restrictions that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law in 2012.

4/10/2014
Women's Rights Groups Pressure Walmart to Improve Pregnant Worker Policies
Following a class action lawsuit filed by A Better Balance, the National Women's Law Center, and local counsel,Walmart has updated its worker accommodation policy to explicitly make women eligible for a reasonable accommodation if she experiences a temporary disability caused by pregnancy.

4/9/2014
Senate Republicans Filibuster Paycheck Fairness Act
The Senate blocked efforts to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) by a 54-43 vote today along strict party lines, with Republicans and moderates - including Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) - voting no.



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