Black Female Legislators Walk Out Of Florida House Debate On Race-Selective Abortion

  • Abortion opponents in Florida are currently trying to pass a ban through the House of Representatives that would criminalize abortion on the basis of race or gender. Despite a lack of evidence that race- and sex-selective abortions are a problem in the United States, it’s becoming a popular tactic of the anti-abortion movement to claim reproductive rights are a secret genocidal plot against black folks. You can read a breakdown of such bills — including an amazing smackdown by Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin — from  2011. FL’s Rep. Charles Van Zant, a white dude and a Republican, sponsored the legislation and fulminated last week that abortion is “reducing the black population.” Several black female legislators walked out of the debate on Thursday, claiming the bill is an opportunistic grab to ban abortion. “I don’t appreciate anyone trying to explain what any other ethnic group’s lifestyle is and what they do, when you really don’t have any authority to interpret it,” said pro-choice legislator Rep. Barbara Watson, who is black. “I think the women and people of color in that chamber deserve an apology from him.” Nevertheless, FL’s House eventually passed the bill. [Huffington Post,]
  • On how Facebook encourages female engineers. [TechCrunch]
  • Michigan may extend “conscience clauses” to anyone who works in the medical services, including health insurers, if they have a moral opposition to birth control. []
  • Meet Rosie Napravnik, the most famous female horse jockey and one of America’s best jockeys, male or female. [New York Times Magazine]
  • No, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, writing “JESUS + Mary” on top of an anti-abortion bill is not OK. [Think Progress]
  • The New York Times ponders whether birth control should be available without prescription. [New York Times]
  • Feminist media activist Anita Sarkeesian hit up CNN International last week to discuss how she was harassed online by trolls. [Raw Story]
  • Will “Mad Men” ever be as good on race as it is on gender? [The Atlantic]
  • On gratuitous female nudity and complex female characters in “Game Of Thrones.” [BtchFlcks]
  • Young adult author E.L. Konigsburg, who wrote From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, died at age 83. [Huffington Post]


  • An Irish jury has confirmed that better abortion care — say, giving her one while she was dying from a miscarriage — would have prevented the death of Savita Halapannaavar, who died last year from toxemia. [Think Progress]
  • A British man is suing his gym for hosting “female-only” hours but still charging men the full price. [AdWeek]

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[Photo of skeptical black woman from Shutterstock]