Governor Gray Davis of California signed into law yesterday measures to protect women’s reproductive health by increasing clinic safety and accessibility to emergency contraception. California, which has the highest rate of anti-abortion clinic violence of any state in the nation, will now require more training for law enforcement on clinic violence and how to guard against it. The new law, a state version of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), makes attacks and threats of violence against clinics and clinic workers a state crime. In further opposition to anti-abortion activists, Davis also authorized pharmacists to provide emergency contraception. These pharmacists, however, will be subject to training courses and must be overseen by physicians.
Davis also signed legislation giving gays and lesbians more domestic partner rights. Partners, who register with the California Secretary of State, will now have more property and medical rights as well as the right to adopt a partner’s child and the right to sue for wrongful death. Although the bill faced major opposition, Davis defended his position, stating, “This bill is about responsibility, respect, and most of all, about family – and its about time.” There are already more than 16,000 registered partners in California who will benefit from this new law.
Media Resources: LA Times, 10/15/01; Washington Post, 10/15/01
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. . . .