Today’s Lady News: What Is A “Necessity Defense”?

  • Yesterday a judge in Wichita, KS, ruled on the “necessity defense,” which anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder has tried to use to justify murdering Dr. George Tiller, who performed abortions. The judge said he would allow limited use of the “necessity defense,” which means Roeder’s lawyers can present evidence and argue that Roeder killed Tiller because he honestly believed he was saving the lives of unborn babies. That means, hypothetically, a jury could find Roeder guilty of manslaughter, but not premeditated murder. []
  • DoubleX rounded up the most memorable moments for feminists this decade, starting with the Britney Spears’ “Oops…I Did It Again” video back in May 2000. [DoubleX]

  • 25-year-old athlete Ashley Kumlien is running across the country to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis, a disease afflicting her mom. Way to make me feel like a lump. [L.A. Times]
  • The AP named Serena Wiliams the 2009 Female Athlete of the Year. That’s cool, but I’m not sure how I feel about Zenyatta, the first female horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, winning runner-up. The #2 female of the year is … a horse? [AP]
  • Philanthropist Teresa Heinz Kerry announced she has breast cancer. Heinz Kerry, 71, is the wife of the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry. []
  • A lesbian lawyer filed a $50 million lawsuit against the firm that fired her, alleging sexual harassment and sexual discrimination. Julie Kamps claims that colleagues made sexual jokes about her and she was let go when she complained. [New York Daily News]
  • Dustin Lance Black, who won a Best Screenplay Oscar for “Milk,” a film about the gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, had his film banned last year at Hope College. A student invited Black to personally screen “Milk” at the small Christian school in Michigan, but then Hope College’s dean called Black to tell him his film and his “advocacy” weren’t welcome at the school. Read Black’s incredible essay on the Daily Beast to find out what happened next! [Daily Beast]
  • The Chicago Tribune has a great piece about gays and lesbians who stay in the closet over the holidays. [Chicago Tribune]

Yesterday in Today’s Lady News, we learned some uncomfortable new facts about America’s teen pregnancy rate.