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Today’s Lady News: France May Not Ban The Burqa After All

  • A committee in France’s Parliament will stop short of recommending a ban on Muslim women wearing burqas at all places in France. Instead, the committee will only suggest body-covering veils be banned in public facilities, like on public transport or in hospitals. Muslim students have already been banned from wearing headscarves in the classroom since 2004. [Wall Street Journal]
  • According to new data from the Guttmacher Institute, teen pregnancy rose three percent from 2005 to 2006. The increase was mostly concentrated among 18- and 19-year-olds. Overall, abortions among teenagers rose one percent as well. [Time]
  • Speaking of teen pregnancy, even though the entire story is completely untrue, Lifetime’s made-for-TV-movie “The Pregnancy Pact,” about a group of teenaged girls who decide to get knocked up together, was the highest-rated among women ages 18 to 34 since 1994. I actually couldn’t watch more than 30 minutes of it before I had to stop! [Variety]

  • Kentucky’s State Senate recently passed a bill which would require a doctor to give a woman an ultrasound 24 hours before she has an abortion. According to the bill, the doctor must explain “the dimensions of the embryo or fetus and the presence of external members and internal organs, if present and viewable.” Refusing to provide a woman with an ultrasound could land a doctor a $100,000 fine. [Courier-Journal]
  • Veteran photographer Mary McLoughlin is suing the New York Post newspaper for sexism and ageism. McLoughlin’s primary claim is that the executive photo editor kept a “harem” of younger women and treated his “harem” and other females on staff differently. [Gawker]
  • More terrible cyberbullying: Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old girl in South Hadley, Massachusetts, committed suicide earlier this month. After her death, other students told school officials that Prince, whose family had recently emigrated from Ireland, had been teased incessantly on Facebook and over text messages. [ABC News]
  • Aww, cute! This 78-year-old woman still attends political protests after all these years. [Washington Post]

INTERNATIONAL

  • A recent study of Canadian women, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that during childbirth, poor women are less likely than wealthy women to have an epidural shot, despite the fact Canada has universal healthcare. [Reuters]
  • The owner of Club Physical gyms in New Zealand has apologized for sending out an email newsletter which claimed that drinking soy milk would be “feminizing” and make men gay. [Advocate]
  • A British judge overturned a court order banning Simon Heaton, 17, from being identified as the rapist of a 9- and a 10-year-old girl. Heaton allegedly sexually assaulted the nine-year-old while out on bail for his attack on the 10-year-old. Heaton will serve at least eight years for the two attacks. [Times of London UK]
  • Moscow’s Mayor Yury Luzhkov has banned a gay pride parade in the city, calling it “Satanic” and comparing homosexuality to a “social plague” like drug abuse. [ABC News]
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