TIME Magazine has named Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to the 2011 TIME 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. This is the first time that Richards, 53, has been on the list. In naming her the magazine wrote:
"The Republican wave that defined the 2010 midterm elections gave pro-life activists more allies in office, and they're not letting those new majorities go to waste. Reproductive rights, and Planned Parenthood specifically, are being targeted, and Richards is leading the effort to resist a vigorous push to cut funding for family planning."
More News to Cheer This Week:
- Planned Parenthood of the Heartland will open facilities in 12 new areas in Nebraska and Iowa over the next five years, the CEO and president announced April 14, reported Des Moines Register , a daily morning newspaper for the Iowa city.
- Hilton Worldwide Inc. has become the fourth U.S. company to sign the tourism Code of Conduct, ECPAT-USA announced in a press release April 21. The code focuses on the protection of children from sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industries.
- India's Supreme Court has told states to "ruthlessly stamp out" "honor" killings, reported the BBC on April 20. The court also warned that senior officials who failed to act against the offenders would be prosecuted and asked state governments to suspend district magistrates and senior police officers of an area if they failed to act. This was in response to two widows being bludgeoned to death by a man in Haryana on April 17 who accused them of being in a lesbian relationship, reported the BBC April 19.
- For the first time in Egyptian history, a woman is running for president. Buthayna Kamel's candidacy in elections expected later this year is the result of the youth uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak and his ruling party, NPR reported April 19.
- Three New York State legislators are again pushing forward with a bill that would create a Domestic Violence Offender Database, Gothamist reported April 18.
- The Philippine president promised April 17 to push for the enactment of a family planning bill, Responsible Parenthood bill, even if it means excommunication from the Catholic Church, reported China's Xinhua General News Service. President Benigno Aquino III supported the controversial bill after the European Union offered to provide money to help poor Filipinos gain free access to contraceptives.
Dozens of Ivorian refugee women and girls recently arrived in eastern Liberia say they have had to engage in sex to get adequate food, shelter or money, Human Rights Watch reported April 20. Over four days in early April 2011, two Human Rights Watch researchers spoke with 55 refugee women and girls as young as 13 who had fled from Côte d'Ivoire. They said that without adequate food assistance, they, or other refugees they knew well, had been compelled to engage in sex for money or basic necessities to help them and their children survive. Most of the women and girls said their husbands or parents had been killed or that they had been separated from them before they fled Côte d'Ivoire, although some of the girls said they were engaged in survival sex to help support their parents.
As of April 14, just under 150,000 Ivorian refugees--including almost 6,000 girls ages 12 to 17 and around 35,000 women under age 60--had fled to Liberia since late November 2010 to escape widespread violence in Côte d'Ivoire, according to the U.N. refugee agency. The current tide of refugees appears to be supporters of the former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, who was recently forcibly removed from office.
More News to Jeer This Week:
- Pakistan's Supreme Court on April 21 acquitted and freed five men accused in 2002 of gang raping Mukhtar Mai on the orders of their tribal council, The Washington Post reported.
- Abortion opponents who've pushed successfully in Kansas for tighter restrictions on late-term procedures and additional rules for doctors are now pressing legislators for a new insurance regulation to keep health plans from automatically covering the termination of most pregnancies, reported the Associated Press April 21.
- Indiana could become the first state to end Medicaid coverage for Planned Parenthood services, after the Senate on April 19 approved a bill that would cut off taxpayer money to the reproductive health-care provider, reported USA Today. The amended bill now goes back to the House.
- Tennessee senators voted 24-8 April 18 to place an amendment on the referendum ballot that would state explicitly that abortion is not protected by the Tennessee constitution, overturning a 2000 ruling that abortion opponents say has kept the state from placing more regulations on abortion, The Tennessean reported April 19. If the legislation, SJR127, is approved by the state's House of Representatives, it will go before voters in the 2014 elections.
- Women are more likely to quit engineering jobs because of an uncomfortable work environment than for family reasons, according to a new University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study, The Montreal Gazette reported April 19.
- Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., told LifeSiteNews that Planned Parenthood should be seen as an enemy of the Catholic Church because it advocates activities that violate the teachings of God, according to an article April 14.
- British female teens are the biggest binge drinkers in the Western world, according to a report, said the Guardian April 22. Half of 15-year-olds have been drunk at least twice, almost double the 29 percent average of other developed countries.
- In a lengthy interview with NBC 's Savannah Guthrie, possible 2012 presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared stumped when asked about the legal principle that served as the cornerstone for the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
- The Muslim Council of Britain said that not covering the face is a "shortcoming" and suggested that any Muslims who advocate being uncovered could be guilty of rejecting Islam. A statement saying so was signed by the organization's former secretary-general, Mohammad Abdul Bari, his deputy, Daud Abdullah, and 27 other male signatories, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported April 16.
- The British government filed a lawsuit with the high court to keep national statistics on late abortions a secret, saying it will risk women's names being revealed, reported the U.K. Press Association April 18. The Department of Health is challenging the Tribunal decision in October 2009 that requires all statistics to be released, following a request by the British's ProLife Alliance.
- Saying their honor had been insulted, thousands of Yemeni women joined protests April 17 in several of the country's provinces, in reaction to remarks made by President Ali Abdullah Saleh. April 17 was declared the "Day of Honor and Dignity," reported Islam Online. In a short speech given to his supporters on April 15, Saleh said women who were protesting against his regime were violating Yemeni cultural norms that prohibit women mixing with men who are not direct relatives.
Dr. Nancy Hardesty, a founder of the biblical feminist movement, died this month, according to a press release April 16. Dr. Hardesty passed away at 69 in Atlanta April 8 , after fighting pancreatic cancer for two years.
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