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Today’s Lady News: Domestic Violence Victims Have More Health Care Costs, Says Study

  • A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that women who suffered from domestic violence have higher health care costs, even after the abuse ends. Female victims of intimate partner violence average over $1,200 more in health care costs during the first two years after the abuse ends, compared with women who have not been abused. The study examined the health care costs of 2,026 women — which included 859 victims of domestic violence— between 1992 and 2002. Said the study’s co-author, Amy Bonomi, in a statement, “If we can prevent domestic violence, we are not only helping the women involved, we are also saving money in our healthcare system.” [UPI]
  • A study from the University of Manitoba found fifty percent of women who’ve had an abortion struggle with depression or substance abuse. The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Psychology, examined data collected from 3,210 American women interviewed by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Drug Abuse between 2001 and 2003. Researchers say the findings should not suggest abortion causes drug/alcohol abuse or depression, as women may have had depression or substance abuse problems before terminating a pregnancy. [Montreal Gazette]

  • President Barack Obama has allegedly told friends and aides that he would love to be the first president to nominate three women to the Supreme Court. Obama’s first appointee, Sonia Sotomayor, was confirmed to the Court last summer; with Justice John Paul Stephens retiring, Obama will have an opportunity to appoint another woman — thus diversifying the mostly male court — soon. [Newsweek]
  • The Center For Reproductive Rights, a group which advocates for legal abortion, filed a lawsuit last week challenging two laws in Oklahoma which restrict abortion rights. Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, recently vetoed two abortion-related bills, but the vetoes were quickly overturned by the OK legislature. The CFRR alleged one of the laws, which requires a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion, “singles out abortion providers for different and more burdensome treatment than all other health care providers regulated by the state. Such differential treatment is not rationally related to the promotion of women’s health or any other important governmental interest.” [Tulsa World]
  • Evelyn Cunningham, a journalist who covered the civil rights movement, passed away last week at 94. Cunningham started out at the Pittsburgh Courier a black newspaper; in her career, Cunningham interviewed Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, among others. [Essence]
  • Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson recently vetoed a bill which would require doctors to provide the state data on late-term abortions, but the Kansas House of Representatives overrode that veto this morning. The bill now heads to the Kansas Senate where, if it is also vetoed, it will become law. [AP]
  • University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely, 22, has been charged in the death of Yeardley Love, also 22. Police say they responded to a call about a possible alcohol overdose early this morning and when they arrived, Love’s body had “obvious physical trauma.” A murder investigation wrapped up several hours later with Huguely’s arrest. Police say Huguely and Love “have had a romantic relationship but the exact status of that at this time is part of our investigation” — meaning, Love’s death could be domestic violence. [Washington Post]
  • Winston-Salem State University suspended its Delta Sigma Theta sorority from campus for 10 years for allegedly hazing pledges. [Winston-Salem Journal]
  • The office of Virginia’s attorney general distributed buttons of the state seal to his staff which covered up the left breast of Virtus, the goddess of virtue. Ken Cuccinelli’s office insisted taxpayer dollars did not pay for the buttons, which he joked made Virtus “a little more virtuous in her more modest clothing.” [Huffington Post]
  • Tracy Wolf of Albuquerque, New Mexico, filed a lawsuit against the makers of Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, claiming it caused physical and behavior problems in her now-16-year-old daughter. [AP]
  • ABC News announced that after they reported on Emily Gomez, 17, who has fought with her parents’ health insurance company to cover treatment for her eating disorder, Gomez was offered over $130,000 worth of free therapy and nutrition classes from an eating disorder clinic in Arizona. The family’s health insurance coverage, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, capped mental illness coverage at $2,000, which did not even approach the cost of treatment Gomez needed for bulimia. [ABC News]
  • Video game designers say social games, such as FarmVille on Facebook or Bejeweled, are rapidly growing because of women players. According to a study by PopCap, the company that makes Bejeweled, 54 percent of social game players are women and two-thirds of them play video games at least once a day. Experts say that some women may play social video games because they don’t have time to cultivate relationships with friends, but they still want to connect with other people. [NPR]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Jessica Watson, 16, of Australia, is close to becoming the youngest person to sail around the world solo. [CNN]
  • Public servants who are mothers in New South Wales, Australia, have been granted one hour a day in addition to meal breaks to breast feed their babies or express their milk. The mothers have also been granted access to a suitable space for these activities, as well as a fridge to store the milk. [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, will allow Iran’s women’s team to play in the Youth Olympic Games this August provided the players wear caps instead of the hijab, a face-covering veil. Since 2007, FIFA has banned teams from wearing veils while playing soccer, apparently both for safety reasons and to prevent religious statements. [CNN]
  • Canada is pissed off that Iran — which recently announced it will arrest women with suntans because it will mean they’ve been exposing their skin — was elected last week to the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women. [Vancouver Sun]
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