Finally, something positive happening for the reproductive rights of women in Kansas. Four years after abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was fatally shot by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder in Wichita, Kansas, his clinic is re-opening.
Activist Julie Burkhart, who worked with Dr. Tiller for seven years, started the nonprofit organization Trust Women Foundation in 2010. The foundation purchased Tiller’s old office, and after raising nearly $1 million, is ready to open the South Wind Women’s Center.
There will be some changes: unlike under Dr. Tiller, the clinic will not provide late-term abortions. The Kansas City Star reports that despite the fact that Kansas allows abortions 22 weeks into a pregnancy, the clinic’s cutoff will be 14 weeks. South Wind Women’s Center will also provide other women’s heath services including fertility counseling and other routine health care, like Pap smears. Keep reading »
My college best friend and I coined the term “bipolar week.” It was used to describe a week filled with both overwhelmingly amazing events and truly terrible moments: winning a prestigious award and then getting dumped by your boyfriend, or perhaps acing a midterm and losing a childhood pet. When reflecting on this past week, in terms of LGBT rights, I could really only describe it as a week “having or relating to two poles or extremities.” The highs: two cases before the Supreme Court to treat gays and lesbians like, you know, actual people.
The low you ask? Well the low can be found in Kansas. It’s so ridiculous it might as well be a perverse Oz: a bill passed in the State Senate which has language that would quarantine those who are HIV-positive or have AIDS. I would insert a Judy Garland joke about being a gay icon, but this is really not a laughing matter. It’s completely f**ked! Keep reading »
The Kansas state legislature advanced a so-called “conscience” bill yesterday that will make it easier for health care providers to refuse to provide women’s health services that they personally find morally objectionable. According to the Kansas City Star, a doctor could refuse to give chemotherapy to a pregnant woman with cancer because the fetus might be harmed by the chemicals; a pharmacist could refuse to dispense the morning after pill, the abortion pill, and possibly even birth control. Anti-abortion folks in the medical profession claim they should not have to go against their conscience even if it means providing the medical services for which their customers depend on them. But women’s health supporters say it’s all part of a larger attempt to restrict women’s reproductive rights. Keep reading »
“Mrs. YoMama” actually won’t be catching on as a new nickname for Michelle Obama, a Kansas politician has found after an awkward email forwarding incident. KS House Speaker Mike O’Neal forwarded an email to fellow Republicans which said, “I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation — at our expense or, course,” and depicted the First Lady next to the Grinch. Comparisons to a Dr. Seuss character? Oh, burn! You Kansans play rough! The pol has apologized for the vaguely racist forward, saying he didn’t actually read the body of the email he forwarded and just thought the picture of the Grinch and the First Lady was incisive social commentary he simply had to share with the world. (No, he didn’t really say that last part.) In any case, between this and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (W-WI), who was overheard in a D.C. airport saying Michelle Obama had a “large posterior,” I am sure she is having a very lovely Christmas vacation indeed. [Kansas.com]
In a money-saving measure, the city of Topeka, Kansas, is considering decriminalizing domestic violence so that it is not forced to prosecute the cases.
Yeah, seriously. Keep reading »