Today’s Lady News: Lilith Fair Drops Reproductive Rights Group Off Charity List

  • Lilith Fair has dropped the National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice North Carolina, as well as several so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” from its Choose Your Charity Contest. Four days ago, the women’s music festival listed NARAL, several maternity homes, and several CPCs, as potential grantees of the charity contest. Abortion supporters complained, saying that CPCs (which often are located near abortion clinics) provide inaccurate information to women to dissuade them from having an abortion. Today, Lilith Fair announced it would be dropping the CPCs, as well as NARAL, from the list. However, at least one women’s health center that provides abortion was left on the list. [Reproductive Health Reality Check]
  • Next week, Austin, Texas, will consider a proposed ordinance for so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” which will require them to notify visitors that they don’t make referrals for contraception or abortion. If the ordinance passes, Austin would become the second city, after Baltimore, Maryland, to require CPCs to clarify that they do not provide medical services. [Austin Chronicle]
  • More women than ever will be orbiting in space on Monday morning, after NASA launches three women on the shuttle Discovery. One woman is already circling the Earth in a Russian capsule. Two of the women will become the 53rd and 54th women in space. [AP]

  • President Obama spoke about “flex time” issues at the Forum for Workplace Flexibility on Wednesday with First Lady Michelle Obama, who told a story about bringing a baby Sasha along on a job interview because she could not find a babysitter. A report on workplace flexibility says almost two-thirds of American families have two working parents or one single parent, but less than one-third of full-time employees report their work time is flexible. [ABC News]
  • President Obama also delivered a proclamation for Sexual Assault Awareness month: “”Every day, women, men, and children across America suffer the pain and trauma of sexual assault. From verbal harassment and intimidation to molestation and rape, this crime occurs far too frequently, goes unreported far too often, and leaves long-lasting physical and emotional scars … Survivors too often suffer in silence because they fear further injury, are unwilling to experience further humiliation, or lack faith in the criminal justice system. This feeling of isolation, often compounded with suicidal feelings, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, only exacerbate victims’ sense of hopelessness.” [Hollaback NYC]
  • The ombudsman for National Public Radio conducted a study of the number of women “experts” versus male “experts” who appear on air and it’s not pretty: Of 12 outside commenters who were paid to appear on air at least 20 times in the past 15 months, only one (Cokie Roberts) was a woman. Men also far, far outnumber women as sources in stories. However, NPR’s ombudsman acknowledged the lack of diversity in the media often reflects who is considered an “expert” or “source” in the outside world. [NPR.org]
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton penned a piece for the Times of London on how equality for women worldwide is vital for world security. [Times of London UK]
  • Five moms in Kettleman City, California, who had either miscarried or given birth to children with birth defects, have banded together to put pressure on the Department of Public Health to deal with a nearby toxic waste facility. [Los Angeles Times]
  • A Nebraska bill that will ban abortions after 20 weeks (which, according to the bill’s sponsor, is when a fetus can feel pain) has gotten its first round of approval. Two more rounds of debate are necessary before the bill would get the governor’s signature. [KPTM]
  • The first person in line outside the Chicago Apple Store to buy an iPad? A 25-year-old woman. [Chicago Sun-Times]

INTERNATIONAL

  • The Vatican’s bioethics official is pleased that two recently elected Italian politicians have vowed to halt the distribution of RU-486, the abortion pill. RU-486 can be administered by doctors in Italy, but not sold in pharmacies. [AP]
  • Why do women become suicide bombers, such as this week’s bomber in the Moscow subway system? A foreign affairs reporter for The Toronto Star seeks to explain. [Toronto Star]
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