Turkish Protest Abortion Regs; Indian Shelter Abuses

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Credit: Andrea Giudiceandrea on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).


Cheers

On June 3, more than 2,000 women gathered in an Istanbul suburb for the largest protest to date against the government’s plan to change abortion laws, reported The Wall Street Journal June 4.

Turkey’s government is seeking to curb access to abortion, triggering outrage from women’s groups and opposition lawmakers. Turkey’s top cleric weighed in on the debate June 4, backing the government’s position that abortion was murder, on the grounds that Islam considers the fetus to be a separate human being. Abortion until the 10th week after conception has been legal in Turkey since 1983.

More News to Cheer This Week:

A recent investigation by the New York Times cleared Plan B, a drug that is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, from charges that it stops fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman’s uterus. While the maker of Plan B asked the Food and Drug Administration not to include such language when the drug was about to be approved for use, the label likely reflects an early misunderstanding of how the drug could work. The FDA would not say whether it was reconsidering the label.

A group of Roman Catholic nuns will conduct a bus tour across nine states, stopping at shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their social service work — a response to a Vatican critique of American nuns, reported the New York Times June 6.

A county in West Virginia has suspended single-sex education at a local middle school after the ACLU and the ACLU of West Virginia reached out to multiple states about problems with the programs, such as a reliance on outdated stereotypes and a lack of clear goals for such programs. The program as operated also did not meet federal requirements for single-sex education.

After a May 31 decision by the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida, which stated that many new voting laws were burdensome and probably unconstitutional, the League of Women Voters of Florida and Rock the Vote announced their intention to resume voter registration in Florida on June 6, reported the Miami Herald.

Jeers

An investigation of a government-supported shelter in India revealed that women and children there were gang-raped and forced into prostitution, reported IBN India June 8. Women also had pregnancies aborted against their will in painful procedures. Police in the state of Haryana, where the shelter was located, were complicit in the abuse and involved in the sexual exploitation. Government officials were also involved. The abuse was first revealed after two girls escaped from the shelter and reported the situation to the National Commission for Child Rights.

More News to Jeer This Week:

A mob of hundreds of men assaulted women taking part in a march in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to end sexual harassment in Egypt, reported the Associated Press June 8. Protestors and activists noted particularly violent assaults on women in the Tahrir Square in the past week, reported the Associated Press June 7.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., wrote on his Facebook page that he plans to write the District of Columbia Respect for Life and Conscience Act of 2012, reported The Hill June 6.

A Michigan House committee moved three bills that would impose a variety of new regulations on abortion and abortion providers in the state, reported the Detroit News June 7.

A community in northeastern Iraq has seen a rise in suicides related to the practice of arranged marriage and the role of women in the society, reported the New York Times June 6.

Intisar Sharif Abdalla, a mother of three in Sudan, has been sentenced to death for committing adultery, a crime she initially denied but “admitted” to after being beaten and tortured. Equality Now, an advocacy organization that works to end gender-based violence, is calling for people to write to Sudanese officials to stop the planned execution.

The Senate on June 5 fell short of the 60 votes needed for cloture on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have prevented a filibuster and forced a vote. Republican senators blocked the bill, saying it will be too much of a burden on employers, according to the Huffington Post.

An infographic from 4th Estate — which collects data from a sampling of news stories from U.S. national print outlets, TV broadcast and radio transcripts covering the 2012 election — shows a widespread disparity between the number of men and women quoted in stories on women’s issues, Planned Parenthood, birth control and abortion.

In nearly two-thirds of Middle Eastern countries, more women than men are attending universities, but there are far fewer women in the work force, according to United Nations statistics, reported CNN June 1.

A group opposed to same-sex marriage turned in enough signatures to block a law set to take effect in Washington state legalizing such marriage, pending a public November referendum, reported the Associated Press June 6.

Noted

Jay Townsend, campaign spokesperson for Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., resigned June 4 because of a comment he made urging people to “hurl some acid” at Democratic female lawmakers with whom he differed. Hayworth initially defended her spokesperson from calls for his resignation, reported the New York Times.

A New Orleans appeals court heard arguments regarding the legality of Texas’ decision to prohibit Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving federal funds for a women’s health program, reported the Los Angeles Times June 7.

A PAC that supports Democratic women running in California state legislative races, CaliforniaList, noted that 27 Democratic women won their primaries on June 5. In addition, 25 Republican women won.

The recall election in Wisconsin, which failed to remove Republican Gov. Scott Walker, revealed a gender gap among voters. Most men voted for Walker while most women voted for his challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, according to exit polls, reported the New York Times June 5.

Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, called for the disarming of a unit of the American-backed Afghan Local Police, whose members are accused in the rape and abuse of an 18-year-old woman in the northern province of Kunduz, The New York Times reported June 3.

 

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