Yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry vowed that he would do everything in his power to end abortion access.
At a press conference by Texas Right to Life, Rick Perry told attendees "Let me be clear, my goal - and the goal of many of those joining me here today - is to make abortion at any stage a thing of the past. But while Roe versus Wade prohibits us from taking that step, it does allow us, the states, to do some things to protect life if they can show there is a compelling state interest. I don't think there's any issue that better fits the definition of a compelling state interest than preventing the suffering of our state's unborn."
While at the press conference, Perry bragged about his previous actions to restrict abortion access, such as defunding Planned Parenthood and requiring mandatory ultrasounds for women who want to have an abortion. He also endorsed legislation that would ban an abortion past 20 weeks into the pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest, though no such legislation has been proposed in Texas yet.
"This session, I'm calling on the legislature to strengthen our ban on the procedure, prohibiting abortion at the point a baby can feel the pain of being killed. We have an obligation to end that kind of cruelty," he said.
Pro-choice activists are already concerned about the implications of Governor Perry's words. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-choice Texas told the Houston Chronicle "This proposed abortion ban is a cruel attempt by anti-choice extremists to curb access to care for women in the most desperate of circumstances." Bebe Anderson, the U.S. legal director for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Huffington Post "There is no denying that Governor Perry and the state legislature's unprecedented and unrelenting assaults on women's reproductive rights in 2011 are causing hardship for women in Texas every single day. And now the governor has made it clear that Texas women will once again be public enemy number one in 2013."
Media Resources: Houston Chronicle 12/11/12; Huffington Post 12/11/12; ThinkProgress 12/11/12; Feminist Newswire 10/26/12, 1/12/12
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .