Today’s Lady News: Nebraska To Require Mental Health Screening For Abortion

  • Nebraska lawmakers gave final approval to a bill today that will require mental health screening for women seeking an abortion. The language of the bill specifies doctors need to ascertain whether a woman has been pressured into ending her pregnancy. The bill is expected to receive Gov. Dave Heineman’s signature soon. [Washington Post]
  • Mattel, Inc., the maker of Barbies, says a coordinated effort by adult female computer programmers flooded the vote for the doll’s next career. Little girls voted for Barbie’s next career to be “news anchor.” But a viral campaign from that implored adults, “Please help us in getting Barbie to get her Geek on!” helped make “computer engineer” Barbie’s next job. [Wall Street Journal]
  • Maternal deaths have dropped in the past 18 years, from half a million per year in 1980 to less than 350,000 in 2008. It’s not all good news, though. More than half of all new moms died in six countries: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [BBC]

  • Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Pawlenty has declared April to be “Abortion Recovery Month,” taking a cue from a similar declaration in Texas. Abortion rights supporters called it “pure politics.” [Minnesota Independent]
  • Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Trenton, NJ, Mayor Doug Palmer appeared at an anti-violence rally this weekend after a 7-year-old girl in Trenton was gang raped. Police say the young victim had been sold to men and boys at a party by her 15-year-old sister. [NPR]
  • Three minors have been charged in recent assaults on middle age and elderly Asian women in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood. The two 15-year-old boys and 12-year-old girl will face hate crime charges. [Newsday]
  • Women, including the wives of players, are leading the fight to change the National Football League’s concussion policies, which includes the claim that there is not a connection between football players and dementia. [New York Times]


  • Meet Yassmine el Ksaihi, 24, administrator for a large mosque in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Even in Europe, it is unusual for a young Muslim woman like el Ksaihi to handle mosque finances and hire the imams to lead the worship. [AP]
  • The Miss Great Britain Pageant will now allow single mothers and divorcées to compete. [Jezebel]
  • India is renovating one of its women’s jails to become the country’s first “open prison” for women. Female inmates will be allowed to roam the farmland grounds and will be paid for the work they do outdoors. [BBC]
  • Jack Tweed, 22, the widower of the late reality TV star Jade Goody, has been accused of raping a 19-year-old woman while his friend held the door shut. Tweed and his friend, Anthony Davis, 25, deny the charges that they met the young woman at a London night club and brought her back to Tweed’s home, where she was raped. [BBC]
  • Women governmental employees in Canada outnumber their male colleagues, holding 55 percent of positions. Plus, 43 percent of executive positions in the government are held by women. [Montreal Gazette]