In 2011, Idaho banned abortions after 20 weeks based on the medically unproven claim that at that point in gestation a fetus can feel pain. Back in December 2010, Jennie Linn McCormack purchased RU-486, the abortion pill, online and terminated her pregnancy at 20 or 21 weeks. McCormack was initially charged for breaking a 1972 Idaho law which said a woman couldn’t terminate her own pregnancy; the case against her was dismissed and she won a court order blocking the law from being enforced. She then took up the state’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Keep reading »
Tag Archives: women news
- British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to announce a huge foreign aid plan to eradicate female genital mutilation across the world. FGM has been performed on roughly 140 million women worldwide with the intention of removing parts of their genitalia so they do not feel sexual pleasure. The government hopes it can reduce female genital cutting by 30 percent over the next five years. [The Daily Beast]
- Slate columnist William Saletan has responded to critiques — by me, Clarisse Thorn, Dan Savage and others — about his Slate.com column this week criticizing BDSM. Here’s his response. [Slate] Keep reading »
After six years of competitive MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting as a woman, Fallon Fox has come out of the closet — against her wishes — as trans.
In an interview with OutSports on Tuesday, Fox explained how she was born into a male body, but never felt right. Ten years ago, she told her parents that she felt like she was born inside the wrong body. Her father pressured her into seeing a so-called “gay conversion therapist,” who insisted that Fallon was a gay man who was just confused. Fallon’s mother rejected her entirely; in the past two years, she hasn’t spoken to either parent.
But Fallon knew in her heart what her identity is: Fox began hormone therapy 10 years ago — after dropping the anti-gay therapy — and got gender reassignment surgery six years ago. She even has a driver’s license identifying her as a female. After her surgery, she took up MMA fighting. She praised the support of those close to her for their support. Keep reading »
For all intents and purposes, I had a pretty textbook pregnancy. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred, but that also didn’t mean it was all rainbows and unicorns.I’ve always wondered why they call it morning sickness, when for many people it lasts all day. At least, that’s what it was like for my when I was pregnant with my son. I’d wake up feeling nauseous and no amount of Saltines or ginger chews left by my bedside table to nibble on first thing ever helped. I felt the equivalent of sea sick all day: unbalanced, dizzy, and foggy. For the first few months, my weekends were spent in gentle yoga classes when I could afford them or lounging on my couch catching up on grading.
My weekdays were much less bearable. I taught high school social studies and I always had to be “on” and engaging, despite my roiling stomach that hardly gave me a minute’s relief. More than once I would call out a hasty plea to “please read page 44 and I’ll be right back” before booking it to the nearest bathroom and hugging the questionably clean toilet. But “morning” sickness was only the tip of the iceberg. I also had to deal with sweaty teenage boys who thought cologne was an acceptable coverup for post-gym stink (it’s not), as well as whatever horribly pungent odors wafted up from the cafeteria. Keep reading »
March is Women’s History Month, and this Friday is International Women’s Day. (And March is my birth month — so many reasons to celebrate!) Fitting then that this week kicked off the start of the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women: 10 days focused on promoting women’s rights worldwide.
What is this commission all about? Six essential things to know about it after the jump:
Last week Connecticut State Rep. Ernest Hewett (D) creeped out America with his lewd and inappropriate comment to a 17-year-old girl about the “snake” under his desk. (He meant his dick.) Now Hewett has explained to the Hartford Courant that this was not his typical behavior. How has he kept his record clean? Keep reading »
- New York City’s Human Resources Administration has introduced new PSAs about teen pregnancy which serve up a dose of “real talk” to teens with statistics about teen parents. The ads have been derided as “terrible” and “horrible” for shaming teen moms and focusing mostly on the girls’ choices and not the boys. You can see the whole host of ads at the link. What do you think of these PSAs? Let us know in the comments. [NYC.Gov]
- Yesterday Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe vetoed his state’s so-called “fetal heartbeat bill,” which would criminalize abortions after 12 weeks, and today the Arkansas State Senate overrode his veto. The bill would still have to be overridden by the Arkansas House to take effect, however. UPDATE: The House passed the bill today, meaning Arkansas has adopted the most restrictive ban on abortions in the U.S. [NBC News, New York Times]
- At long last, President Obama is set to sign the Violence Against Women Act into law on Thursday. Hooray! [USA Today]
Keep reading »
While there are many positive side effects from taking a once-daily birth control pill — no more heavy periods, no more acne, less intense menstrual cramps — the main purpose, as the name suggests, is to prevent pregnancies. It is just one of many forms of contraception used by those who are not ready to have children.
Yet those on the Pill can attest that the potential for human error is high. The Pill’s effectiveness is reduced if a dose is skipped or even taken outside a specific margin of time. The Guttmacher Institute reports that 54 percent of women who have had abortions say they’ve used some form of contraception (usually the Pill or a condom), and of once-daily pill users who had abortions, 76 percent said they used them inconsistently. At last, there might be hope for the fair-weather BC pill user! Keep reading »
- Minnesota’s House of Representatives advanced a bill that would end access state insurance covered abortions unless it was necessary to save the mother’s life, or if the pregnancy was caused by a sexual assault was reported within 48 hours of occurring. A strange turn for a state that generally protects a women’s right to choose. [RH Reality Check]
- Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was one of the women in the House of Representatives who voted against the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which passed the house last week. Her reasoning, “I didn’t like the way it was expanded to include other different groups.” Those groups include same-sex couples, undocumented immigrants, and Native American women. Really? [Think Progress]
- Speaking of VAWA, at least Rep. Blackburn was honest. Some GOP members who voted against it are now claiming to be pretty proud of supporting it. Huh? [Daily Kos] Keep reading »
Texas State Representatives Jodie Laubenberg (
D R) and Jeff Leach (R) have introduced a so-called “fetal pain” bill called The Preborn Pain Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks, claiming that a fetus, which is called an “unborn child” in the bill, can feel pain. The bill, if passed, would shorten the window of time that a woman can terminate an unwanted pregnancy by seven weeks.
The Texas Right To Life has claimed that fetuses feel “torturous pain” in abortion. But that claim holds no ground in, well, science. The Journal of The American Medical Association‘s 2005 review doesn’t show evidence of fetuses feeling any pain before the third trimester at the earliest. Additionally, the bill doesn’t require a woman to be absolutely positively 20 weeks pregnant. If the woman is unsure of how many weeks along she is, but it’s probable it could be 20 weeks, she will still be unable to terminate her pregnancy.
And that’s not even the worst part of the bill. Keep reading »