The women's World Cup championship game, held on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, was the most-watched soccer event ever on a U.S. television network, not to mention the most-watched women's sporting event of all time, with an audience of more than 40 million people.
The game brought in 4% greater ratings than the men's World Cup games hosted in the U.S. in 1994 and more than twice the viewers for last year's men's World Cup match. This attention was much greater than the U.S. women's team received in 1991, when they returned from China as victors, but barely received any television coverage.
The women are currently fighting for the creation of a women's professional soccer league, and the U.S. Soccer Federation has developed a study to evaluate that possibility. The general secretary of the Federation, Hank Steinbrecher, commented that "The goal is to take what we've learned about women's equity, what we've learned about women as equal partners and not subordinates, and export it around the world. I think we're on the edge of a cutting revolution."
The greater equity women receive in sports today is largely due to Title IX. Instituted in 1972, Title IX prohibits discrimination of women in sports in federally-funded educational institutions. This translates into more money and time being donated to women's sports, allowing women's teams to become more successful. However, implementation of Title IX varies from one institution to the next, and women's sports continue to face many challenges.
Jeff Marquis, who attended the championship game with his daughter, said "When they were growing up, I don't think I ever imagined that they'd have equal opportunities to play sports. But even before this thing exploded, she [his daughter, Brittany] had many of the same things [his son] got out of sports -- a network of friends, the confidence, the power."
Media Resources: Nando Times and AP - July 12, 1999
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .