May 4, 2013

Ireland Takes Small Step; Most Egyptians Harassed

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Protest against mass sexual assaults against women in downtown Cairo, Egypt.

Protest against mass sexual assaults against women in downtown Cairo, Egypt.

Credit: Hossam el-Hamalawy on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

 

(WOMENSENEWS)--

Cheers

After tense talks, Ireland's cabinet unveiled a bill that allows abortion to save a mother's life, Channel 4 News reported May 1. Pro-choice groups say the victory is small and will only help a "minority" of women. The proposal follows the death of Savita Halappanavar in October last year, who died of blood poisoning in a Galway hospital after being denied an abortion.

More News to Cheer This Week:

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, urged corporate America in an essay published online to help develop women's workplace potential, arguing that women are the key to America's economic prosperity, the Los Angeles Times reported May 2.

EMILY's List launched an effort to pave the way for electing America's first female president, NBC News reported May 2.

Federal prosecutors have charged 13 people in a sex slave ring they say forced young Mexican women into prostitution in New York and New Jersey, the Associated Press reported May 1.

Maria Shriver is coming back to NBC News as a special anchor working on issues surrounding the shifting roles of women in American life, the Associated Press reported April 30.

Although hospitals and birthing centers are the safest places to have a baby, pediatricians said that women who choose to give birth at home should be supported and that setting be made as safe as possible, as well, Reuters reported April 29.

In defiance of Roman Catholic authority and doctrine, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ordained its first Louisville-area priest, Rosemarie Smead of Bedford, Ky., The Courier-Journal reported April 28.

Saudi Arabia has issued its first anti-domestic abuse advertisement, The Huffington Post reported April 27.

Vice President Joe Biden said many women who are raped or physically abused don't report it because they don't want, in his words, "to get raped again by the system," CBS News reported May 2.

Jeers

Over 99 percent of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, according to a report published by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, The Daily News Egypt reported April 28.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Planned Parenthood of Indiana announced that it is reviewing its legal options to challenge a new law signed by Gov. Mike Pense. The law prohibits abortion-inducing drugs from being administered after nine weeks of pregnancy. It also requires women to have a fetal ultrasound and heart monitor before receiving the drug unless they provide a doctor written notice stating they do not want to see or listen. The law also singles out the Planned Parenthood Lafayette Health Center, mandating medically unnecessary structural changes, ACLU said in a press release.

A record number of women under 50 are being diagnosed with breast cancer in the United Kingdom, according to Cancer Research U.K., The Guardian reported May 2.

An unidentified conservative group has been placing highly-misleading phone calls to South Carolina voters, trying to dissuade them from voting for the Democrat candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch in an upcoming congressional special election, Think Progress reported May 1.

A 4-year-old girl who was raped and dumped near a crematorium in central India died on April 29 from cardiac arrest, The New York Times reported April 30.

Noted:

The two female 16-year-olds who used social media to send messages to a 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim entered guilty pleas to a telecommunication harassment misdemeanor and were placed on probation for six months, Tribune Chronicle reported May 2. Ultraviolet has also launched a new online petition to ask for Steubenville's football coach, Reno Saccoccia, to be fired after covering up the rape of the 16-year-old victim by two football players.

President Barack Obama appointed Penny Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune and a longtime financial backer of the president, to be the new commerce secretary, The New York Times reported May 2.

A professional advisory panel has recommended that Israel's Health Ministry stop funding in vitro fertilizations for older women, whose chances of becoming pregnant are low, The Haaretz reported May 1.

International pressure is building as two international human rights bodies called on the government of El Salvador to act expeditiously in providing an abortion to Beatriz, a 22-year-old woman with uncontrolled lupus whose pregnancy is threatening her life, RH Reality Check reported April 30.

President Obama said he is comfortable with the Food and Drug Administration's decision to allow over-the-counter purchases of a morning-after pill for anyone 15 and older, Reuters reported May 2. However, Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, expressed deep disappointment after the Justice Department opted to appeal a judge's order to make emergency contraception available to women of all ages without restrictions, NARAL wrote in a press release May 1.

House Republicans are targeting popular "mommy blog" websites in a digital ad campaign as part of an ongoing effort to repair the GOP's image with swing female voters, USA Today reported April 30.

Several House Democrats are calling on Congress to recognize that climate change is hurting women more than men, and could even drive poor women to "transactional sex" for survival, Fox News reported April 29.

On April 25 Montana Gov. Steve Bullock allowed an abortion bill, which would require girls younger than 18 to obtain parental consent before getting access to abortions, to become law without his signature, a strategic gamble that anticipates a successful legal challenge of the measure, the Associated Press reported April 25.

In Memoriam:

Mary Thom, a prominent New York City feminist, writer and former Ms. magazine editor, died at age 68, ABC News reported April 28. She was killed in a motorcycle crash April 26.

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