• todays lady news

Today’s Lady News: U.S. Not The Best Place In The World For Mothers, Says Study

  • The United States is the 28th best place in the world for mothers and their children, according to Save The Children’s annual report, given our inconsistencies on maternity leave, restrictions on birth control, and maternal mortality rate. Norway, where maternity leave is mandated and birth control is easy to access, clocks in at number one on the Mothers Index, followed by Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The worst offenders on the Mothers Index include Afghanistan, Yemen and Sudan. [USA Today]
  • Sunshine State News video caught Florida State Senator Mike Bennett looking at pornographic photos during a debate on an abortion bill. Sen. Bennett said he was “bored as they were debating the abortion bill,” but said he “clicked away from it right away.” I’m sorry, but a white male politician looking at porn while abortion rights are being debated is just the biggest cliche ever. [My Fox DC]
  • Paris has decided to lift a 1799 rule that forbade women from wearing “trousers” and made any woman who wished to “dress like a man” seek permission from the city’s police station. The French have tried to repeal the bill numerous times, to no avail, but recently 10 MPs submitted a draft bill to remove the no-women-in-pants law entirely. [Telegraph UK]

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Today’s Lady News: More Details On Yeardley Love’s Death

  • Today we wrote about Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old UVA student who was found dead yesterday morning, and George Huguely, a fellow student with whom she’d been romantically involved and who was charged with first degree murder in her death. According to an affidavit filed with the search warrant, Love had been shaken and her head had been repeatedly hit against the wall. Investigators now say when Love was found by her roommate, she was laying face down in her bedroom with a pool of blood on her pillow. Police also suspect Huguely had kicked down Love’s door. Speaking to reporters this morning, Huguely’s lawyer said that Love’s death was “not intended” and “an accident.” Cuz, you know, sometimes you just accidentally kill your ex-girlfriend. [AP]
  • For some reason, UVA’s school police response after Love’s murder was to send out an email to students about stranger danger. An email from UVA Police Chief Mike Gibson warned students to avoid isolated areas, avoid walking home alone at night, and keep their doors and windows locked. Hey, maybe they’re just still busy writing that safety email about dating violence. Right?! [The Sexist]
  • Sheila Radziewicz, 32, of Peabody, Massachusetts, who was born without arms and kneecaps, will soon be testing for her black belt in tae kwon do. Radziewicz also drives a special car operated only by using her feet. So. What have you accomplished lately? [Washington Post]

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Today’s Lady News: Domestic Violence Victims Have More Health Care Costs, Says Study

  • A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that women who suffered from domestic violence have higher health care costs, even after the abuse ends. Female victims of intimate partner violence average over $1,200 more in health care costs during the first two years after the abuse ends, compared with women who have not been abused. The study examined the health care costs of 2,026 women — which included 859 victims of domestic violence— between 1992 and 2002. Said the study’s co-author, Amy Bonomi, in a statement, “If we can prevent domestic violence, we are not only helping the women involved, we are also saving money in our healthcare system.” [UPI]
  • A study from the University of Manitoba found fifty percent of women who’ve had an abortion struggle with depression or substance abuse. The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Psychology, examined data collected from 3,210 American women interviewed by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Drug Abuse between 2001 and 2003. Researchers say the findings should not suggest abortion causes drug/alcohol abuse or depression, as women may have had depression or substance abuse problems before terminating a pregnancy. [Montreal Gazette]

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Today’s Lady News: Woman Claims She Was Fired After Testing Positive For Breast Cancer Gene

  • Pamela Fink of Connecticut filed a complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming she was fired from her job after she tested positive for BRCA2, the breast cancer gene. Fink claims that her company, MXenergy, violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act when she elected to have a double mastectomy on her breasts after learning BRCA2 gave her an 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer. Fink claims she received glowing reviews as recently as last August, but her responsibilities were slowly going away and reviews became negative after she returned from medical leave. [Connecticut Post]
  • Florida’s Senate voted yesterday on a bill to require that pregnant women seeking an abortion in the first trimester pay for and then view an ultrasound; Florida’s House approved the bill today. The bill also requires doctors and nurses to describe the stage of fetal development shown in the sonogram; women aren’t required to watch if they can show evidence of rape, domestic abuse, or incest. Abortion rights supporters say this bill unfairly penalizes lower-income women who seek abortions because the sonogram alone can cost between $200 and $1,000. The bill now heads to Governor Charlie Crist, who some say will veto it. [SunshineNews, Orlando Sentinel]

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Today’s Lady News: Navy Will Allow Women On Submarines

  • The Navy announced today that women will be allowed to serve on submarines for the first time ever beginning in 2012. Twenty-four women — for guided-missile attack subs and ballistic-missile subs at bases — will begin training to be sub officers this summer. “We’re going to look back on this four or five years from now, shrug our shoulders and say, ‘What was everybody worrying about?’” said Rear Admiral Barry Bruner. [AP]
  • President Barack Obama ordered flags at the White House and at military posts around the world to fly at half-mast today out of respect for civil rights and women’s rights crusader Dorothy Height, who passed away last week at age 98. She was laid to rest this morning at the Washington National Cathedral. [Essence]
  • A record number of Republican women are running for seats in the House of Representatives in 2012 and the overall number of women running for office will be the highest ever. So far, 239 women will run for the House and 31 will run for the Senate, beating 1992′s “Year Of The Woman” record (when 222 women ran for the House and 29 for the Senate). [Washington Post]

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Today’s Lady News: Iran Will Arrest Women With Suntans

  • Women in Iran sporting suntans can expect to be arrested for their “social misbehavior,” the Iranian police chief has warned. Iranian law decrees women’s skin must be fully covered. [AOL News]
  • Florida’s Senate passed an amendment to a health care bill today that will require a woman to have and view an ultrasound before she has an abortion. The woman can decline to view the ultrasound, but she must complete a form saying she declined to look at the ultrasound “of her own free will.” Rape victims are exempt from viewing the ultrasound if there is evidence of the crime. [TampaBay.com]
  • An article by Salon.com’s Broadsheet contributer Lynn Harris has inspired Reps. Joseph Crowley and Mary Bono Mack to introduce legislation called the Girls Protection Act to combat female genital mutilation. FGM is already illegal in the United States, but the Girls Protection Act would make it a federal crime to transport a minor outside the country for the purpose of FGM. [Salon.com's Broadsheet]

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Today’s Lady News: Oklahoma Pols Override Governor’s Vetoes On Scary Abortion Bills

  • The Oklahoma Legislature voted today to override two vetoes on bills restricting abortion, which Governor Brad Henry had vetoed last week. One bill requires a doctor to show a woman who wants an abortion an ultrasound and describe the development of the fetus, with no exception for rape and incest victims. The second bill protects doctors from malpractice lawsuits if they do not tell the parents that the fetus has birth defects. Gov. Henry said the first bill was an intrusion into a woman’s privacy and called the second bill immoral. Two other abortion-related bills are still working their way through OK’s legislature. [New York Times]
  • Did you know there are “chick cars” and “dude cars”? Automotive industry experts say accelerator and break pedals are now being made with womens’ high heels in mind and the 2010 Chevy Equinox comes with a spacious center console for a purse (although if you’re a dude, the salesman might tell you it’s for “a laptop”). A General Motors spokesman also said a back-up camera display in the rear-view mirror will be helpful for people who have trouble parallel parking, which we’re supposed to infer means women. Annoying. [Wheels.ca]

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Today’s Lady News: Lesbian Student In KY Attacked By Classmates

  • High school student Cheyenne Williams of McKee, Kentucky, an out lesbian, claims three female classmates kidnapped her and brought her to the woods where they beat her up and tried to push her off a 50-foot cliff. The alleged attack occurred on April 16, which high schools across the country recognize as the “Day of Silence” in a nod to gay and lesbian students. Police say Ashley Sams, 18, Corrinne Schwab, 18, and a 17-year-old female took Williams against her will to Flat Lick Falls, where they tried to push her off a cliff and she fought them off with a stick before running away. The suspects have been charged with kidnapping and attempted murder; police say they don’t have enough evidence to qualify the attack as a hate crime. [CBS News]
  • Eighty schoolgirls in northern Afghanistan are sick after a strange odor enveloped their classroom. Police are investigating whether extremists may have poisoned the school because they oppose girls receiving an education. [ABC News]
  • A court in San Francisco has ruled that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. must face a class-action lawsuit alleging the store discriminates against female employees. All women who have worked at Wal-Mart since 2001 may join in the class-action lawsuit, which Bloomberg News called “the biggest gender-bias case in U.S. history.” [NPR]

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Today’s Lady News: French Muslim Woman Fined For Driving While Veiled

  • A French Muslim woman received a $29 fine from police in Nantes, France, for wearing a veil while driving a car. Police say the body-covering veil — called a niqab, which only had slits at her eyes — restricted her vision and could have caused an accident. However, the 31-year-old woman’s lawyer said this is part of a larger campaign by the French government to place restrictions on Muslims, which some say is religious discrimination. [BBC]
  • A California appeals court has blocked director Roman Polanski‘s attempt to block his extradition to the United States from Switzerland, where he is under house arrest. Months ago, Polanski was arrested after 33 years as a fugitive from justice for raping a teenaged girl. Polanski only served 27 days in jail in 1977 for the incident. [New York Times]
  • Sarah Jessica Parker is going to narrate the “American Women: Fashioning a National Identity” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The exhibit looks at all the changes in women’s clothing from 1890 until 1940. [NYmag.com]

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Today’s Lady News: Report Says WellPoint Insurance Targeted Breast Cancer Patients

  • An exclusive investigation by Reuters alleges that health insurance company WellPoint used a computer algorithm to find breast cancer patients and drop their health benefits. This software tipped federal investigators off to a fraud investigation. Although many insurance companies have been known to drop clients who become ill — which is called “rescission” — investigators say WellPoint may be one of the worst offenders. In a statement to Reuters, WellPoint said there are various types of criteria that may prompt “rescission” of a policyholder. [Reuters]
  • A 12-year-old Saudi Arabian girl has been granted a divorce from her 80-year-old “husband.” Forced into a marriage at age 11 for a $22,000 dowry to her father’s cousin, the “child bride” protested so vehemently that she attracted international attention and support. The girl was represented by the state-run Human Rights Commission in court, which helped to privately settle the divorce. The HRC in Saudi Arabia also announced it would seek to set 16 years old as the minimum age for marriage. [AOL News]
  • Republican Review, a newsletter from the Medina County Republican Executive Committee in Ohio, thought the cleverest way to defeat Congresswoman Betty Sutton (OH-13) would be to say, “Let’s take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen!” Face meet palm. Can I get a big ol’ WTF?! from my conservative lady-pals? [Emily's List]

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