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Today’s Lady News: Wisconsin Women Say They Were Not “Allowed To Speak” At Church Meeting

  • Leaders of a church meeting at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Baraboo, Wisconsin, have been accused of not allowing women to speak during a discussion about firing the principal of the church’s school. The principal, John Hartwig, was fired on Sunday; Hartwig had been vocal about his belief that women should be treated more respectfully within the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Church. Women who were at the meeting to discuss Hartwig’s firing said their questions during the meeting had to be asked by men. On Tuesday, the reverend of the church released a statement, saying, “We have a wide number of households and a representative spiritual leadership of males who were asked to speak on behalf of their families so the meeting would not be over five hours.” [WISC Madison]
  • Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief foreign correspondent, was recently hired by ABC News to host the Sunday morning talk show “This Week.” But in an online chat with readers, The Washington Post‘s TV critic, Tom Shales, criticized “that hair of hers — yipe.” Shales added, “What’s the deal with that, as David Letterman might say.” [Washington Post]
  • Three female police officers with the Syracuse police department have been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in sexual discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits against the city. The victims said they were denied promotions and increases in pay and their accusations of sexual harassment weren’t taken seriously by superiors. The lawyer for all three women said, “[Syracuse PD has] got a serious problem that they refuse to address. They’re in denial.” [Syracuse.com]
  • The state of Washington has banned the shackling of pregnant women prisoners during labor, childbirth, and post-delivery recovery. Guards will also be banned from the women’s room during labor or childbirth unless requested by the medical staff. Six other states also have an anti-shackling law regarding women in labor. [Seattle Times]
  • The mother of a 15-year-old student at Ballard High School in Seattle is furious the school health center helped her daughter arrange an abortion. Ballard High allegedly provided the student with a pregnancy test — she was given a pass, put in a taxi, and taken to an abortion clinic during school hours. The mother had signed a consent form for her daughter, but says she did not know it included consent to abortion. However, there is no parental consent or parental notification law in Washington State. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
  • Yuyang David Bai , 20, of Miami University in Ohio is currently on trial after he was allegedly caught assaulting an intoxicated 18-year-old girl by a police officer who was searching a campus building. The officer said while he searched the campus building he heard a woman’s voice say, “No. Please stop. I don’t want it to go there.” He then heard a male voice say, “Why not? Come on. Why?” The officer said he then flipped a light on in the room and found Bai in a sexually suggestive position with the alleged victim. Bai is also accused of assault on a police officer and aggravated assault for trying to grab the officer’s gun. The alleged victim had been examined earlier in the evening at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital for underage intoxication. [Cincinnati.com]
  • New guidelines released yesterday by the Journal of the American Medical Association say women should exercise for one full hour every single day to maintain a level weight during their lifetime. Some experts disagree, however, and say 35 minutes of exercise should suffice. Most Americans gain about 1.5 pounds per year after age 25. [L.A. Times]
  • Thirty-two percent of births in the United States were done by Cesarean section in 2007, the country’s highest rate ever, experts say. Critics say Cesarean sections, which pose health risks to mother and baby, are being over-performed on women who do not actually need the surgery. [New York Times]
  • Novelist Anna Quindlen and The New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean tell The Atlantic magazine what books, newspapers, and blogs they are reading. [Quindlen's "What I Read"; Orlean's "What I Read"]

INTERNATIONAL

  • A study by the pro-choice, U.S.-based Center for Reproductive Health said women and girls in Kenya are relying on unsafe “back alley” abortions because of the country’s strict abortion laws. Kenyans have terminated — or attempted to terminate — pregnancies with metal wires and knitting needles, the study found. Social workers in Kenya say one-third of maternal deaths in the country are caused by unsafe abortions. [CNN]
  • Poor women are 20 percent more likely to die from breast cancer within a decade of their diagnosis than wealthier women, according to a study of 127,000 women presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Spain. [Times of London]
  • A former child actress, Sarah Monahan, who was on the Australian show “Hey Dad!” from 1987 until 1994, has alleged she was molested by a man who worked on the show. Monahan said she did not speak up about the sexual abuse at the time because she was “paying the rent” for her family. [Perth Now]
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