Today’s Lady News: Pentagon To End Ban Against Women On Submarines

  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates sent Congress a letter on Friday in which he announced he will repeal the ban on female soldiers in submarines and going forward, all the subs owned by the U.S. military will have to be retrofitted to add sleeping quarters for women. Women have only been allowed on the Navy’s surface ships, such as aircraft carriers, since 1993. [Los Angeles Times]

  • Virginia politician Bob Marshall had to defend himself today before the state’s General Assembly over his comments last week that disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have abortions. Since making the comment that “when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” advocates for the rights of disabled people and women’s rights advocates have called for Marshall to resign. [Washington Post]
  • Here are some leg-crossing quotes from vaginal plastic surgeons at the first-ever Global Symposium on Cosmetic Vaginal Surgery. [Women's Media Center]
  • Former WABC sports anchor Marvell Scott has been charged with raping a 14-year-old working as a prostitute in Times Square in NYC. Scott, who found the girl through a pimp in June 2008, was charged with statutory rape, patronizing a prostitute, and endangering the welfare of a child. [New York Post]
  • Alaska’s Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to a ballot initiative that would change Alaskan law so that parental permission is required for abortions for girls under age 18. [Anchorage Daily News]
  • A group called Child Rearing Against the Patriarchy — or CRAP! — has released a feminist ‘zine for kids called Spratz! with stories featuring strong females (“The Tough Cinderella”), cartoons, and a quiz. One weird thing, though, is Spratz! makes a passing mention of pornography, which might be a bit too much for the kiddies, I think. [Jezebel]

INTERNATIONAL

  • The United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board released a report today stating that the use of date-rape drugs (like Rohypnol) is on the rise worldwide. [BBC]
  • Spain passed sweeping changes to the country’s previously strict abortion laws today: Women, ages 18 and up, can now have an abortion up to 14 weeks, and 16- and 17-year-olds may terminate a pregnancy with a parent’s permission. [MSNBC]
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