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Today’s Lady News: Sen. Claire McCaskill Tweets About “Feeling Fat”

  • Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri tweeted that she’s “tired of looking and feeling fat.” Is it cool and relatable that even senators feel fat sometimes? Or sad that one of the female senators is complaining about her weight? [Twitter.com/clairecmc]
  • Fifty-five years ago, Burlyce Logan was one of 11 black students to integrate the University of North Texas. After “two years of hell” — racist taunting, being flunked by teachers on purpose — she dropped out. This Saturday, Burlyce will finally graduate. Congratulations! [The Grio]
  • In perhaps related news, a new study out of Arizona State University of found that one in four women would prefer severe depression and one in 10 women would prefer blindness over obesity. That’s … depressing. [Salon.com]

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Today’s Lady News: Indiana Cuts Funding To Planned Parenthood

  • Millions in funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana has been cut off after Governor Mitch Daniels signed a bill yesterday, affecting services like STD testing, birth control, and cancer screenings via Pap smears. Indiana has become the first state in the U.S. to cut funding from PP clinics — the new pet project of anti-abortion activists. A federal judge refused PP’s request to block the law from going into effect earlier today. [The Root, Yahoo News]
  • Last month, the chief of Navy chaplains instructed that same sex marriages could be performed on Naval bases if the marriages would be legal within the state the base resides. Yesterday. the Navy reversed its decision on same sex marriages on Navy bases, reportedly due to an outcry from Republican lawmakers. [Advocate]
  • Out of concern for modesty, a hipster website removed all the sexually suggestive men from this photograph of the Situation Room. I’m sure everyone will understand, right? [Free Wililamsburg]

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Today’s Lady News: Orthodox Jewish Newspaper Explains Airbrushing Women From Situation Room Pic

  • The conservative Hasidic Jewish newspaper in Brooklyn that removed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counterterrorism analyst Audrey Tomason — the only two women in the iconic Situation Room photo of the President watching the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound — has released a statement. Der Zeitung writes:

    “Our editorial policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board and because of laws of modesty, does not allow for the publishing of photos of women. The readership of the Tzeitung believe that women should be appreciated for who they are and what they do, not for what they look like, and the Jewish laws of modesty are an expression of respect for women, not the opposite.”

    You can read the rest of the statement — which apologizes more for altering the White House’s official photograph, which is against policy, than it does for Photoshopping all the women out of the photograph — on the newspaper’s web site. [Der Zeitung]

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Today’s Lady News: Tennessee Wants To Ban Teachers From Saying “Gay” Until 9th Grade

  • Tennessee’s state legislature is noodling a “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would prohibit teachers from using the word “gay” in the classroom until the 9th grade. (Yeah, seriously.) The Tennessee Senate is expected to vote on the bill this Thursday. [Queerty]
  • Stephanie Coontz’s Mother’s Day piece for the New York Times op-ed page is a must-read for anyone who has ever thought critically about stay-at-home moms, working moms, and how best to be happy after having children. [New York Times]
  • Also in honor of Mother’s Day, Save The Children released its annual report, “State Of The World’s Mothers.” The best places in the world to be a mom? Norway, Australia, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. The worst place? Afghanistan. The United States only comes in at #31 among the 43 developed countries ranked. Um … “USA, USA”? [Save The Children]

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Today’s Lady News: Steven Tyler’s Abortion

  • Back in the ’70s, Steven Tyler got his 14-year-old girlfriend pregnant (most likely while high on loads of drugs). At the suggestion of their friends, she had an abortion, which is described in the 1975 oral history of Aerosmith, Walk This Way, as an experience that really “messed Steven up.” In Steven’s new memoir, Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, he touches on his relationship with the young woman and their drug addiction: Steven later left the young woman for Bebe Buell — Liv Tyler’s mom — and she became suicidal. A right-wing writer for National Review, a conservative magazine, is now using Steven’s story to illustrate an example of “post-abortion syndrome,” a quack diagnosis that is not acknowledged by medical professionals. Steven Tyler’s drug abuse, philandering and anger management problems were all “symptoms” of a grieving post-abortive father, according author Kevin Burke. Ugh, this pisses me off to no end. No one except for Steven Tyler can say for sure exactly what encouraged his lifelong addictions and I find it gross and opportunistic than some right-winger is shrieking, “It’s because of the abortion!” [Jezebel, National Review]

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Today’s Lady News: UK Politicians Support Girls-Only Abstinence Education

  • Politicians in the UK advanced a bill that would require British girls — yes, only the girls — to receive additional sex education that emphasizes the benefits of abstinence. This sex ed “program,” if you could even call it that, is aimed at girls ages 13 to 16. It narrowly passed, but fortunately it’s not expected to be made into law. Um, will someone tell the Brits that abstinence-only education is not working out too well for us? Do they have “16 & Pregnant” on MTV over there? [Guardian UK]
  • North Carolina’s House judiciary committee debated a bill yesterday that would further restrict reproductive rights in the state by requiring women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion and requiring doctors to describe an ultrasound of the fetus to the woman. [ABC News]
  • Legislation that would make it more difficult for young women to obtain abortions without their parents knowledge is headed to Florida’s Governor Rick Scott, who is expected to sign it. [Palm Beach Post]

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Today’s Lady News: Sarah Palin Tweets To Obama “No Pussyfooting” On Osama Bin Laden Pic

  • Sarah Palin weighed in on the Osama bin Laden death photo debate on Twitter — because we all care what the former governor of Alaska thinks about it!!! — to tell President Obama, “Show photo as warning to others seeking America’s destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama; it’s part of the mission.” Translation: This was probably the only way Sarah could use the word “pussy” in reference to Obama in a tweet and not get in trouble. [BuzzFeed]
  • An Iowa bill that will ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — which is when anti-abortion activists say a fetus can feel pain — was basically dead inside a state legislature committee, but a group of politicians used a loophole to send it to the Iowa Senate. The bill may be up for a vote as soon as next week. [Des Moines Register]
  • Twenty years after she was raped at a college party, Liz Seccuro received an apology letter from her rapist. [Guardian UK]

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Today’s Lady News: Who Gets Abortions In The U.S.?

  • Who gets abortions in the U.S.? The Guttmacher Institute, a nonpartisan reproductive health organization, sought to profile the women who get abortions in this graphically-curious video released on April 28. Most women who are get abortions are in their 20s. Six out of 10 women who terminate a pregnancy already have kids and many have two or more kids. Needing to care for their existing children is often a primary reason for why women who already have kids choose to end a pregnancy. Three out of four women who have abortions describe themselves as religiously affiliated and Catholic women have abortions at approximately the same rate as women overall. In 2008, four out of 10 women who had abortions lived below the federal poverty line. White women account for 36 percent of abortions, followed by black women at 30 percent and Latinas at 25 percent. [YouTube]
  • A Texas cheerleader who was kicked off the team for refusing to cheer for her alleged rapist was denied a U.S. Supreme court review yesterday. Months ago, a federal appeals court said the young woman, known only as H.S., was cheering for her school and not for herself and therefore was obliged to follow the dictates of the team. H.S. claims she was raped in 2008 by Rakheem Bolton, a member of the football team, at a party. Bolton plead guilty to misdemeanor assault in 2010. Blech, what a gross story. [San Francisco Chronicle]

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Today’s Lady News: Girl Scouts Help Develop A Prosthetic Hand For 3-Year-Old Girl

  • A Girl Scout troop in Iowa, who calls themselves the Flying Monkeys, helped develop a prosthetic hand for a disabled three-year-old girl named Danielle. Geez, I wonder what kind of badge they earned for that! [The Mary Sue]
  • A straight Republican by the name of Madeleine Koch, age 24, spoke out on against Minnesota’s impending gay marriage ban in this touching video. [Buzzfeed]
  • Osama bin Laden hid behind women — i.e. a female body shield — in the firefight that eventually took his life because he’s classy like that. Really, why not newborn babies? [Reuters]

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Today’s Lady News: Kate Middleton Removed “Obey” From Her Vows

We’ve got a quickie Today’s Lady News column today because Amelia and I were up at — yaaaawn — 4:45 a.m. liveblogging the royal wedding and we’re both pooped. Feel free to include your own news articles and blog posts for Today’s Lady News in the comments!

  • Kate Middleton removed the word “obey” from her marriage vows today. Feministing’s Samhita Mukhopadhyay explains why — surprise! — that doesn’t really matter. [Guardian UK]
  • The U.S. Department of Labor has included gender identity and pregnancy as protections under the department’s “equal opportunity” policy. [Pams House Blend]
  • Are black women actually more likely than white women to be bulimics — despite the stereotypes of what we think a bulimic “looks like”? [The Root]
  • Women would be held in handcuffs or otherwise restrained while giving birth in prison or jail, the Florida’s state Senate has decided. Jailed women can only be physically restrained if they pose a security risk. [Miami Herald]
  • Women filmmakers and screenwriters took home big prizes at the Tribeca Film Festival! [Indie Wire]

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