On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is set to begin hearing arguments on the subject of abortion. But it’s not reproductive rights, per se, that the Court will be hearing about: this time it’s a matter of clinic safety.
McCullen vs. Coakley is a lawsuit against a 2007 Massachusetts law that forbids anti-abortion protesters from entering a buffer zone of 35 feet in front of the entrances and exits of clinics. Under the law, anti-abortion protesters — known for their intimidating and harassing behavior — must do all their prosthelytizing and praying from outside of a yellow line painted on the side walk, allowing clinic patients and their escorts to pass freely into and out of the facility. Protesters say this is a violation of the First Amendment.
Find out more about what the Supreme Court will be determining in McCullen vs. Coakley, after the jump: Keep reading »
Twelve years ago, Massachusetts inmate Robert Kosilek sued the state for the right to a sex change. Convicted of murdering his wife in 1990, Kosilek is serving a life sentence, and claimed that the surgery was necessary to effectively treat gender dysmorphia. After two lawsuits, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled Kosilek was entitled to a sex change operation because it was considered a “serious medical need.” Keep reading »
It’s a scary world out there! Hot coffee can be spilled. Butt sweat simmers on the bus seat. Sometimes there is old, lint-covered gum on the wall of a Gap changing room. And on top of those horrors of daily life, the American suburbs are teeming with gays.
Stacy Trasancos of Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal, knows this terror all too well. This poor, victimized individual recently wrote on her blog that she won’t be leaving her house — where she is a stay-at-home mother of seven! — because she is afraid of gay people. Keep reading »
Stop the presses, people! Teenagers are on the Internet … reading about sex … and how to do it safely. SCANDAL, right? It is in Massachusetts. MariaTalks.com is a race-, gender- and sexual-orientation-inclusive sex ed website for teens created by the not-for-profit AIDS Action Committee with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The site provides fact-based information about emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and sexual coercion. In short, it covers all the ground you’d hope a 16- or 17-year-old (or 14- or 15-year-old) would read before getting sexually active. But, oh yes, some politicians have a problem with the website. Keep reading »
On Monday, eight-months-pregnant Darlene Haynes of Massachusetts was found dead in her bedroom, her unborn baby cut from her womb. Amazingly, this tragic murder has a silver lining: Darlene’s baby girl has been found alive. Police found the baby with one of Darlene’s friends, Julie A. Corey, in New Hampshire yesterday. When some of Darlene’s friends heard about the grisly murder, they tipped off authorities that they had seen Corey shortly before, carrying around a newborn girl. Corey claimed she had recently given birth, “sometime” between July 23th and 24th, and couldn’t remember the name of the Massachusetts hospital where she’d had the baby. Corey is currently charged with being a fugitive from justice, but something tells me that in the end she’ll be charged with something much stronger. Police are currently investigating what happened in this heinous crime. The most important part is that Darlene’s baby girl is healthy and getting proper medical attention. [CNN] Keep reading »
In June, there was a controversy in the news about a high school in Massachusetts with 17 pregnant students — four times as many as the school usually has. When Time first wrote about it, they interviewed the school’s principal, Joseph Sullivan, and he talked about how there was a pregnancy pact among the teenagers. Well, now the Gloucester, MA, mayor and school district’s superintendent say there’s no evidence of a pregnancy pact, and this story ends with the news that the principal has resigned over the issue. [AP via CBS News]
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Someone in Milford, MA, has a lot of time on their hands and the desire to annoy everyone in town. This person is leaving dozens of pairs of pantyhose, almost always black and queen sized, are frequently left near a school bus stop. Some pairs are new, some used. One day, Milford resident Laurie Warich picked up 43 pairs. The police are investigating the case, however, the only crime being committed is littering, and the city’s police department doesn’t have the resources to focus on the case. Shouldn’t they just ask drugstore cashiers if anyone’s bought them out of pantyhose lately? [AP via CBS News] Keep reading »