Cheers and Jeers

Female Bishop Ok'd, Senate Repro Health Bill Falls

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Church of England's governing body approved female clergy members as bishops. The first vote failed 18 months ago. Also, the bill to address the U.S. Supreme Court's decision permitting employers to refuse to cover some methods of birth control failed in the U.S. Senate.

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Credit: Dave on Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0

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(WOMENSENEWS)--

Cheers

The Church of England voted to allow women to become bishops, reported . The legislation was passed at the General Synod, 18 months after a previous attempt was blocked. Out of the 7,798 full-time Church of England priests, 1,781 are women, according to . The first female bishop will be appointed by the end of the year, reported. "Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases disagreeing," said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who serves as the head of the Church of England.

More News to Cheer This Week:

The Massachusetts Senate passed Wednesday a bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics, reported . The proposal is a response to the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a 2007 Massachusetts law that established protest-free 35-foot "buffer zones" around the entrances of abortion clinics. The bill would let police disperse groups substantially impeding access to abortion clinics. After a dispersal order is issued in writing, those individuals would have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic's entrances for up to eight hours. The bill now heads to the Massachusetts House.

An Egyptian court gave nine men sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting women near Cairo's Tahrir Square, according to state run newspaper al-Ahram, reported . The sentences were the harshest seen since the government criminalized sexual harassment last month, amid criticism over the widespread abuse of women in the country.

Daisy Sans, head of policy and campaigns at the Fawcett Society, applauded Prime Minister David Cameron for increasing the number of women in his 32-member cabinet. "It is absolutely essential for good decision making that women, who make up more than half the population, have a say on key issues affecting their lives and the country as a whole," she said in a . The cabinet reshuffle has increased the percentage of women to 26 percent, up from 14 percent.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an enforcement guidance that protects pregnant workers, reported . The guidance is the first of its kind to be issued in 30 years. It states that harassment and discrimination against pregnant workers are illegal.

An imprisoned pregnant woman at risk of going into drug withdrawal was allowed to go home under electronic monitoring so she can continue receiving proper medication to ensure a healthy pregnancy, reported . Thirty-year-old Navy veteran Jessica De Samito, who lives with post-traumatic stress disorder, requires a methadone maintenance treatment to prevent withdrawal symptoms from a prior opiate addiction. If left untreated, drug withdrawal could lead to a stillbirth.

The Global Fund for Women has launched an that broadcasts how women view their rights. It showcases works of photography, video, poetry, painting and drawing from selected artists from around the world. The project's release coincides with the beginning of the United Nations' process of creating a new set of international development goals. "This project is a groundswell of women's voices speaking about their own lives in a very personal way," said executive producer Catherine King in a .

Jeers

A Democratic bill to overturn the Hobby Lobby opinion that allows closely held companies to refuse to pay for employees' intrauterine devices and morning-after pills failed to advance in the Senate, reported . Nearly all Senate Republicans voted against the proposed bill. Democrats opposed last month's decision, calling it unfair to women and their reproductive freedom.

"The Republican party has just shown America what its 2014 agenda is all about -- opposing access to birth control," said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of the online community combating sexism Ultraviolet, in a press e-mail. "Despite its wild popularity, and medical necessity for many, conservatives seem hell-bent on ending women's access to contraception."

More News to Jeer This Week:

Bill Maher, comedian and political commentator, remarking on the current state of Israel Palestine affairs, reported , compared women to Hamas. In a tweet, Maher said, "Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who's trying to kill u -- u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her."

Seventy percent of female trainees in science, technology, engineering and math fields have experienced sexual harassment, according to a July 16 . Women were more likely to be harassed or assaulted by their superiors. Over 70 percent of respondents had witnessed or been told of sexual harassment in the fields.

Instagram briefly deactivated the account of a 19-year-old for "violating community guidelines" after she published a photo of herself in a bra and boy shorts, reported . Samm Newman, a student at Central Ohio College who partakes in an online body positive movement, said that Instagram discriminated against her because of her body. "Fat is not a bad word," said Newman, whose account was reactivated. "How confident can you be if you keep censoring yourself because people don't want to look at you?"

A Tennessee woman is the first to be charged under a new state law that specifically makes it a crime to take drugs while pregnant, reported . Mallory Loyola, 26, was arrested last week after both she and her newborn infant tested positive for meth, according to

Thirty-eight women and children recently detained at the U.S. border were flown to Honduras on July 14, reported. U.S. officials say this is the first of an expected increase in expedited deportations. The United States has deported over 82,000 Central Americans since October.

A transgender teen has been moved to a Connecticut juvenile facility for boys after she was accused of assault, reported . This is the latest transfer for the teen, known as Jane Doe, who was sent to a psychiatric facility in June after supporters protested her placement into solitary confinement in a women's prison without criminal charges.

Abortion restrictions force health care providers to put the law above the wellbeing of their patients, finds a July 14 by the National Partnership for Women and Families. The study indicates that 33 states have at least one type of abortion restriction, such as ultrasound requirements, biased counseling and mandatory delays before having an abortion.

Iraqi police reported that 27 alleged prostitutes were gunned down last Saturday in apartment buildings in Baghdad's Zayouna district, reported . No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and it wasn't clear whether the victims were specifically targeted.

Noted:

Over 70,000 New York City nurses and healthcare workers are poised to authorize a one-day strike that would take place July 31, reported . The possible strike comes as employment is shifting away from hospitals toward outpatient clinics, where most employees are not unionized.

In Memoriam:

Eliane Stritch, 89-year-old Broadway actress and singer, died July 17 at home in Birmingham, Mich., the reported. The well-known performer famous for playing brash and bawdy characters lived for many years in the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.

Alice Coachman Davis, the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, has died at age 90 in Georgia, the reported . Davis won Olympic gold in the high jump at the 1948 games in London. She was the only American woman to win a gold medal at the 1948 games.

South African Nobel-prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer has died at age 90, reported . Gordimer was awarded the Nobel prize for literature for novels and short stories that portrayed life during apartheid. She was also involved in the HIV/AIDS movement in South Africa.

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