Today’s Lady News: Kansas Politician Compares Pregnancy From Rape To Getting A Flat Tire

  • Last Friday, the Kansas state legislature voted to ban insurance companies from covering abortions in their plans, except in the case of a woman’s life being at risk. That’s not good enough for State Rep. Pete DeGraaf, who is also an associate pastor; he wants no abortions, ever. When Rep. Barbara Bollier challenged him on that, Rep. DeGraaf told her, “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?” Bollier replied, “”And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?” To which DeGraaf responded, “I have a spare tire on my car. I also have life insurance. I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.” OH NO, YOU DID NOT JUST SAY THAT. Epic facepalm. But he lists his contact information on his website, so I’m sure he’d love to hear what y’all think about this. Write State Rep. DeGraaf at [email protected] and [email protected] or call 785-296-7693 and 316-777-0715. Please share any responses you receive in the comments. [, Kansas Legislature]

  • The conservative Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn, New York, who recently photoshopped Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and security advisor Audrey Tomason from a Situation Room photo, also ban women and girls from talking on cell phones in public. You can see signs carrying these warnings at the link. (Thanks to my friend Sholom for the link!) [Failed Messiah]
  • More details emerge about the alleged sexual assault suffered by a hotel housekeeper at the hands of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former chief of the International Monetary Fund. I find it incredibly disturbing that one of the woman’s first concerns was that she’d be fired. [The Atlantic Wire]
  • The New York Times digs into the sexual affronts faced by domestic workers like Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim and the sleazy ways their employers prevent these low-income, often immigrant women and men from seeking justice. [New York Times]
  • Feminist author Naomi Wolf penned a sure-to-be controversial op-ed arguing that the criminal justice system has failed Strauss-Kahn and suggesting the haste in which he’s been incarcerated is geo-politically motivated. [Reuters]
  • Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) has signed a law mandating women receive an ultrasound 24 hours before having an abortion. If a woman lives more than 100 miles from an abortion provider, she only must wait two hours. Although anti-abortion activists claim waiting periods give women time to think about having an abortion, they are, in actuality, stalling tactics that make it more difficult for women to terminate a pregnancy. [Huffington Post]
  • The New York Times is touchingly chronicling the coming-out stories of LGBT teens across the country. [New York Times]
  • The Obama administration claims Indiana’s new law, which takes away Medicare funding for health care providers to offer abortions and is aimed at screwing over Planned Parenthood, is illegal. The administration has 90 days to decide whether to act against it. [CBS News]
  • Over 100 women showed up to the local city hall to protest a new ordinance in Forest Park, Georgia, banning breastfeeding moms from feeding children over age two in public. [Atlanta Constitution-Journal]
  • A 21-year-old man in Federal Way, Washington, was arrested for raping a 17-year-old girl with Down syndrome. Because of her condition, police said she could not consent to sex. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
  • New Jersey’s state Senate is set to vote on whether to return $7.5 million in funding to women’s health clinics, cut by Governor Chris Christie (R). []
  • How to write an article about older women with eating disorders for The New York Times. [The Hairpin]
  • Meet Tia Norfleet, 24, who just might be NASCAR’s first black female racecar driver! [The Root]
  • Here’s a sad but thoughtful essay on dating as a transgender man. [New York Times]
  • Congratulations to Bitch: A Feminist Response To Pop Culture for its 2011 Utne Independent Press Award for best social/cultural coverage. You can read all about Bitch, my favorite magazine, here. [UTNE]
  • A meditation on the unspeakableness of the word “c**t.” [New York Times Magazine]
  • Morgan State University has posthumously awarded a degree to Henrietta Lacks, a poor, Southern black woman whose cancer cells are the basis for much of our modern medical research. I highly recommend reading the amazing story of Lacks in Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks. [Morgan State University]


  • The University of London Senate unanimously voted for Satoshi Kanazawa, the London School of Economics evolutionary psychologist who penned a recent piece for Psychology Today about why black women are less attractive than women of other races, to lose his job. [The Atlantic Wire]