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The Supreme Court blocked Arizona from enforcing a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Fox News reported Jan. 13. The court’s decision is a big blow for states that have tried to enact strict abortion laws. The High Court declined to hear an appeal from Arizona, leaving in place a prior ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that determined the law was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court decision effectively strikes down the law.
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The U.S. House approved a $1 trillion “omnibus” spending bill to fund the federal government until October, USA Today reported Jan. 15. The bill provides increased funding for public health and will increase the National Institutes of Health budget by $1 billion. It also invests $194 million more in the Women, Infants and Children program, providing nearly 90,000 more mothers and children with nutrition assistance. The Senate is expected to approve the bill Jan. 17 and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature before the stopgap funding expires Jan. 18.
The biggest American comedians are putting on a show in support of Texas women who are facing down the state’s new abortion restrictions, with a fundraising event titled “A Night of a Thousand Vaginas!” in Los Angeles on Jan. 19, Russia Today reported. The event will raise funds for women’s groups in Texas that are helping to guide individuals through the state’s latest abortion law.
Egyptians voted in a referendum on the country’s draft constitution that would also enshrine unprecedented gender equality for women, NBC News reported Jan. 14. Since the beginning of the uprisings, the country has debated rampant sexual harassment and whether an Islamist government protects or endangers women.
Husbands and children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians will be granted full civil rights, Ammon News reported Jan. 13.The decision will end decades of suffering for the families of more than 84,000 Jordanian women who are married to foreigners. Under the current Citizenship Law, Jordanian women cannot pass on their nationality to their children and spouses, a right that only Jordanian men enjoy, a common provision throughout the region.
Could the federal appeals court’s decision this week to strike down the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules impact the representation of women on the Internet? The answer could be “yes.” These rules have prohibited Internet providers from blocking or prioritizing Web traffic. Net neutrality has so far prevented “Internet service providers like Comcast, AT and T or Verizon from blocking, discriminating against or prioritizing online content that flows over the Internet and to your computer or smartphone,” wrote Megan Tady in a commentary published in 2011 by Women’s eNews. “Without strong net neutrality protections, Web content created by and for women could be blocked or controlled by Internet service providers who want to push their own online services–and more importantly, their own representations of gender, sexuality and culture,” explained Tady.
More News to Jeer This Week:
Ken Buck, a Republican candidate for Senate in Colorado, attacked women’s right to choose by comparing a woman’s pregnancy to his own cancer on talk radio, ThinkProgress reported Jan. 15. “While I understand a woman wants to be in control of her body — it’s certainly the feeling that I had when I was a cancer patient, I wanted to be in control of the decisions that were made concerning my body — there is another fundamental issue at stake. And that’s the life of the unborn child,” Buck said on air.
U.S. Supreme Court justices expressed doubt about a Massachusetts law that mandates a protective buffer zone around abortion clinics to allow patients unimpeded access, indicating they may strike it down as unconstitutional as demanded by anti-abortion protesters, Reuters reported Jan. 15. A ruling is expected by the end of June.
A 51-year-old Danish tourist was gang raped near a popular shopping area in New Delhi after she got lost and approached a group of men for directions back to her hotel, Fox News reported Jan. 15. Against this backdrop, a recent video by a 28-year-old Mumbai-based filmmaker, Pooja Batura Pathak, aptly titled Bol or “speak up,” urges Indian women to break their silence and stop the cycle of sexual violence against them, Time magazine reported. In addition, an Indian gun manufacturer has made its first gun intended to help women defend themselves against rape, Fox News reported Jan. 12.
“The Shriver Report,” released Jan. 12, shows that a staggering number of women across the country are still teetering on the verge of poverty and economic disaster. The report takes a wide-angle snapshot of a national economic crisis, seen through the eyes of women. The key findings paint a portrait of an estimated 42 million women — and 28 million dependent children — saddled with financial hardship. President Obama and Maria Shriver discussed the issue on Jan. 14, CNN reported.
Although 2013 was a good year for female actresses starring in Hollywood blockbusters, women working behind the scenes didn’t fare well. A study revealed that the percentage of women working in film is slightly lower than it was in 1998, the first year of the study. It’s also down 2 percent from 2012, The Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 14.
NFL player Arian Foster tried to pressure a woman into aborting their unborn child, TMZ Sports reported Jan. 13. Foster also got his brother to apply some pro-abortion pressure, according to a lawsuit filed by the woman.
Certain extremist armed opposition groups are imposing strict and discriminatory rules on women and girls that have no basis in Syrian law, Human Rights Watch said Jan. 13. The harsh rules violate women’s and girls’ human rights and limit their ability to carry out essential daily activities, according to group.
Pope Francis criticized abortion as evidence of a “throwaway culture” that wastes people as well as food, saying such a mentality is a threat to world peace, the Associated Press reported Jan. 13.
Most of the parties at the European Parliament are demanding the Spanish government abandon plans for more restrictive abortion laws, Euronews reported Jan. 16. However, parliament’s center-right European People’s Party says this should be a decision made by Spain’s national government.
Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant, the Associated Press reported Jan. 13. The women were born without a uterus or had it removed because of cervical cancer. This first major experiment is to test whether it’s possible to transplant wombs into women so they can give birth to their own children.
Saudi Arabia has suspended an electronic system to notify male guardians about the departure or arrival of their female relatives, Russia Today reported Jan. 16. The monitoring system has to be reviewed said an official, though Saudi women hope the whole system will be canceled.
The husband of a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman is suing the hospital keeping her on life support, saying doctors are doing so against her and her family’s wishes, the Associated Press reported Jan. 14. A state law prohibits life-saving treatment from being denied to pregnant patients.
All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised Jan. 13, NBC News reported. The task force found an overall benefit to screening and treatment, including a reduced risk of preeclampsia in pregnant patients and of having an overly large baby and birth-related injuries to the newborn.
A group of Syrian women demanded that the U.N. appoint a gender adviser and make other efforts to reflect their voices at Geneva peace talks aimed at ending the country’s civil war, the Associated Press reported Jan. 13.
The Obama administration is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Christian colleges in Iowa and Michigan over a mandate requiring health insurance plans to provide birth control coverage, the Associated Press reported Jan. 15.
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