A Chicago doctor and a women’s health clinic have filed a lawsuit in Illinois over a “parental notification law.” If the law goes into effect on Nov. 3, it would require a doctor to tell the parents before performing an abortion on girls under age 18. Girls can bypass notifying their parents by going before a judge, but the judge has 48 hours to rule. Parental notification also isn’t required in the case of a medical emergency or if the girl declares in writing that she is the victim of sexual abuse. [Chicago Tribune]
School officials in Huntington Beach, California read aloud the child rape scene in Maya Angelou’s autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by way of encouraging the city council members to ban it. Book banning? In California? In 2009? Seriously? [Jezebel]
The enforcement of an awful Oklahoma law set to begin on Nov. 1, which would require physicians to provide detailed information online about women who have had abortions, has been delayed until Dec. 4, due to a judge’s temporary restraining order. Pro-choice critics say the info posted online (race, education level, etc.) could easily identify a woman who lives in a small town. [Ms. Magazine]
Almost 100,000 Italian women have signed a petition saying they were offended when Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told female politician Rosy Bindi that she was “more beautiful than intelligent.” [BBC] In the grand tradition of jerks worldwide, Berlusconi told everyone to chill out because he was just kidding and then asked Bindi to make him a sandwich.
Women in Kuwait are finally now allowed to get a passport without their husbands’ permission, reversing a 1962 law which required hubbys’ signatures. Depressing. [London Guardian UK]
Maine voters will decide on Nov. 3 whether or not to repeal a same-sex marriage law which redefines marriage as “the legally recognized union of two people” regardless of their gender. The L.A. Times says the Maine residents who oppose gay marriage are taking a page from California’s Proposition 8 battle. [L.A. Times]
Dr. Luis Zayas, a psychologist at Washington University, has suggested that a young Latina woman’s relationship with her mother is linked to the likelihood the girl will commit suicide. He concluded this after studying 200 NYC-based Latinas over the course of five years. The Latino blog Guanabee is not buying it. [Guanabee]