White House Issues New Fix for Contraceptive Coverage
The Obama administration has issued a new set of rules to provide contraceptive access to women whose employers object to their insurance plans covering birth control, which is required under the Affordable Care Act, MSNBC
reported Aug. 22. Now employees of for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby will be able to access an “accommodation” where the insurer directly provides the cost-free coverage with no financial involvement by the employer. That accommodation was originally limited to religiously-affiliated nonprofits like Little Sisters of the Poor; houses of worship are fully exempt.
Spider-Woman Artwork Provokes Outrage
Comic-book publisher Marvel has provoked outrage by revealing an illustration of Spider-Woman drawn by a renowned erotic artist, The Guardian
reported Aug. 22. Unveiled earlier this week at the site Comic Book Resources, Milo Manara's variant cover for the forthcoming Spider-Woman series shows the superhero on all fours, in what Slate called an outfit that "looks more like a colonoscopy than a costume." A senior Marvel executive has said that "a conversation about how women are depicted in comics is relevant at this point."
India's Ad Council Targets Skin Lightening Cream Commercials
India’s ad watchdog this week issued new guidelines barring commercials that portray dark-skinned people negatively, The Wall Street Journal
reported Aug. 22. The Advertising Standards Council of India says people with dark skin shouldn’t be shown as “unsuccessful in any aspect of life,” especially “in relation to being attractive to the opposite sex, matrimony, job placement, promotions and other prospects.” Advertisers that fail to comply with the guidelines can be forced to take commercials off cable television under India’s cable-TV rules. The new guidelines apply to regular advertisements but not to infomercials, which critics say are more likely to offer negative portrayals of darker-skinned people. Skin-lightening cosmetics are a $600-million-year-business in India.
California Reverses Abortion Decision at 2 Catholic Colleges
California Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has reversed an earlier decision to allow two Catholic universities to eliminate coverage of most abortions for employees, saying state law requires health insurance plans to cover all abortions, reported SFGate
Aug. 22. The state had previously allowed insurance companies to offer plans to Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount universities that denied coverage for "elective" abortions, and allowed it only for abortions needed to save a woman's life or prevent serious health damage.
Egyptian Cleric: Men Can Spy on Women in the Shower
Men can spy on women in the shower, an extremist cleric has argued in Egypt, prompting outrage from other Islamic scholars, The Guardian
reported Aug. 22. According to Osama al-Qusi, a Salafist or ultraorthodox preacher, peeping toms can watch a woman wash as long as they are interested in marrying her.
The Ice Bucket Challenge, the biggest viral-charity sensation of the year, has raised millions of dollars for ALS research, but one group is not pleased by all the Facebook videos: anti-abortion activists, reported New York magazine
Aug. 21. Some groups are upset that the ALS Association gives money to a group that supports stem-cell research. "Attention pro-lifers: be careful where you send your ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donation," read a headline
on LifeNews.com earlier this week. And some anti-abortion activists have begun making their own "pro-life Ice Bucket Challenge" videos.