Today’s Lady News: Woman Claims She Was Fired After Testing Positive For Breast Cancer Gene

  • Pamela Fink of Connecticut filed a complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming she was fired from her job after she tested positive for BRCA2, the breast cancer gene. Fink claims that her company, MXenergy, violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act when she elected to have a double mastectomy on her breasts after learning BRCA2 gave her an 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer. Fink claims she received glowing reviews as recently as last August, but her responsibilities were slowly going away and reviews became negative after she returned from medical leave. [Connecticut Post]
  • Florida’s Senate voted yesterday on a bill to require that pregnant women seeking an abortion in the first trimester pay for and then view an ultrasound; Florida’s House approved the bill today. The bill also requires doctors and nurses to describe the stage of fetal development shown in the sonogram; women aren’t required to watch if they can show evidence of rape, domestic abuse, or incest. Abortion rights supporters say this bill unfairly penalizes lower-income women who seek abortions because the sonogram alone can cost between $200 and $1,000. The bill now heads to Governor Charlie Crist, who some say will veto it. [SunshineNews, Orlando Sentinel]

  • The American Prospect magazine counts the number of politics writers on The Washington Post’s politics page: of 27 columnists and reporters, three are black men and three are white women. [Prospect]
  • Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spoke to a crowd of 1,500 recently for Heroic Media, a nonprofit that buys ads that try to dissuade women from having abortions. However, Heroic Media requires that journalists attending the event pay $50 per ticket, which is not an industry practice (i.e., journalists have tickets comped when covering any and all events). [Austin American Statesmen]
  • Lesbian student Ceara Sturgis, at Wesson Attendance Center in Wesson, Mississippi, says she was erased from her school yearbook. Sturgis had known since October 2009 that her senior photo would be cut from the yearbook because she wore a tuxedo, rather than the traditional dress. But Sturgis says she is surprised that she was cut entirely from the yearbook. “They didn’t even put her name in it,” said her mother, Veronica Rodriguez. [My Fox Tampa Bay]
  • It’s the birth control pill’s 50th anniversary! Time magazine discusses the paradox of the Pill. [Time]
  • Lawmakers in Kansas’ House of Representatives were unable to get enough votes to override the governor’s veto on an abortion-related bill. The bill would have required doctors to give the state more data about abortions performed after 21 weeks of pregnancy. [AP]
  • A District Judge in Kentucky reduced the charges against two 18-year-old high school girls who were accused of trying to kill a lesbian classmate. Cheyenne Williams claims Ashley Sams, Corrine Schwab and a 17-year-old student took her into the woods under the pretenses of hanging out, but then told her they were going to kill her. However, the judge reduced the charges against Sams and Schwab from attempted murder and kidnapping to fourth-degree assault and menacing, which are misdemeanors. Gay rights advocacy groups said they are convinced the assault on Williams was a hate crime. [Lexington Herald Leader]
  • On Wednesday South Carolina’s State Senate couldn’t pass a total ban on state-insured abortions, meaning the state will still cover abortions for employees who have been victims of rape or whose health would be at risk without the procedure. [Myrtle Beach Sun News]
  • Fast Company blogger Allyson Kapin explains why more women-led startups aren’t funded by venture capitalists or angel investors: too few women investors, lack of mentorships for women, a male-dominated culture, and many, many other problems … [Fast Company]

  • … and then Jezebel attempts to explain it, too. [Jezebel]
  • Hawaii’s House of Representatives approved same-sex civil unions yesterday, sending the bill to Governor Linda Lingle. Gov. Lingle has said she is not sure whether she will veto or sign the bill. [AP]
  • A 34-year-old sex offender in Lincoln, Nebraska, was sentenced to six-to-12 years in prison for having phone sex with a 12-year-old girl he met on MySpace. Jeremy Luedtke was charged with attempted first-degree sexual assault and enticement by electronic communication device. Leudtke was convicted in 1997 of attempted first degree sexual assault involving a child. So why was he running around free in society again? [San Jose Mercury News]
  • Classic Pin-Up Art of Jack Cole — some of which appeared in Playboy throughout the ’60s. [Flavorwire]

  • Almost two dozen women marched topless through Farmington, Maine, today, claiming they want it to be more socially acceptable for women to bare their chests. In Maine, it is legal for both men and women to be topless in public. [AP]


  • As many as six out of 10 women and girls are sexually assaulted as they pass through Mexico attempting to enter the United States illegally, according to Amnesty International. Experts say the women and girls are vulnerable to the people helping them migrate into the country, including gang members and local authorities. [McClatchy]
  • Last night, Belgium’s lower house of Parliament passed the draft of a law banning women from wearing face-covering veils (such as the niqab or burqa) in public. Supporters of a ban say face-covering veils diminish a Muslim woman’s stature in society; opponents say the ban, which would apply to only several hundred people in Belgium, is anti-Islam. [Washington Post]
  • A law firm in Liverpool, United Kingdom, was cleared of sexual discrimination charges yesterday after accusations that it fired 36-year-old Sarah Sweeney, a former partner, for being pregnant, that an employee of the firm once slapped her on the butt, and that another employee made a comment to her that women who have children should not work. Judge Reed ruled that even if she was slapped on the butt, Sweeney “laughed it off” at the time. [Daily Mail UK]