Only Yes-Means-Yes Passes; Texas Clinics Closed

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Texas pro-choice protest

Credit: mirsasha on Flickr, under Creative Commons


(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that makes California the first state in the nation to have a clear definition of when people agree to sex, NPR reported Sept. 29. The new law seeks both to improve how universities handle rape and sexual assault accusations and to clarify the standards, requiring an "affirmative consent" and stating that consent can’t be given if someone is asleep or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. Read background in the Women’s eNews story "Calif. Campus Rape Bill Goes Beyond ‘No Means No.’" The law has been criticized for failing to compel colleges to report assaults to law enforcement.

More News to Cheer This Week:

More than three-quarters of voters say they would be more likely to favor a candidate who supports increasing the minimum wage, requiring equal pay for equal work, creating paid family and sick leave and providing affordable child and elder care, found an Oct. 2 poll commissioned by Make it Work. The poll also shows 82 percent believe the government has a responsibility to ensure employers treat working people fairly, including providing fair wages and time off for family needs.

Intel will be paying half the registration fees for women attending the inaugural and expensive IT Cloud Computing Conference (IC3) in San Francisco in late October, Fortune Magazine reported Oct. 1. The high tech company will also help up to 50 female students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math–known as STEM–majors get in for free. The walk-in registration for the two-day event is normally $1,800.

Five black women will be on the ballot for statewide Georgia offices in November, setting a record, writes Nia-Malika Henderson for The Washington Post. The women, known as the "Georgia Five," are former State Sen. Connie Stokes, who is running for lieutenant governor, Doreen Carter is up for secretary of state, Liz Johnson is on the ballot for insurance commissioner. Also, Valarie Wilson is running for state schools superintendent and Robbin Shipp is up for labor commissioner.

The special prosecutor for crimes against women in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico says the office has reduced the number of unsolved cases of missing women from 150 to 85, WFAA reported Sept. 28. "This is a full frontal assault on these crimes," said Refugio Jáuregui Venegas, the special prosecutor who took the helm when the office was created in March 2012.

Perjeta, a drug used to treat advanced breast cancer, has had what appears to be unprecedented success in prolonging lives in a clinical trial, The New York Times reported Sept. 28. Patients who received the drug made by Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche had a median survival time nearly 16 months longer than those in the control group.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama asked a federal court to block a new Alabama law that could force some minors seeking an abortion to stand trial, the rights group said in an Oct. 1 press statement.

Jeers

A federal appeals court allowed Texas to immediately begin enforcing tough new abortion restrictions that will effectively close all but seven abortion facilities in the United States’ second most-populous state, The Associated Press reported Oct. 1. No clinics will be left along the Texas-Mexico border or outside any of the state’s largest urban areas.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Islamic extremists are capturing and selling women as sex slaves to reward ISIS fighters in Syria, The Washington Post reported Oct. 3. Around 500 women and girls of the Yezidi and Christian minority communities were priced and sold to fighters or trafficked as slaves, according to a report published by the U.N. The women are also used to entice teenagers into fighting for ISIS. Along with the herding and selling of women, children have also been recruited, armed and forced into dangerous positions.

Australia trivializes and sexualizes women in senior and leadership positions, a gender and media academic has said, as a new study reports that young women are rejecting certain career paths because of an overwhelming perception they will face sexism, The Guardian reported Oct. 1. Fewer than 1 percent wanted a job in politics and almost half said sexist attitudes in Australia were increasing, according to the survey of 1,000 girls and women aged between 14 and 25 by children’s rights organization Plan International Australia. More than three-quarters of those surveyed had endured sexist comments. More than 30 percent believed it would be easier to achieve their ideal career role if they were male.

The states with the highest number of abortion restrictions also have the fewest policies in place to support women and children’s health and well-being, according to a report released by reproductive rights groups, The Huffington Post reported Oct.1. The study found that a state’s performance on indicators for women and children’s health and well-being is inversely proportional to the amount of anti-abortion laws in that state.

A study found a decrease in women in high venture capital positions and in the venture capital world altogether, Businessweek reported Sept. 30. Only 15 percent of around 7,000 venture capital-backed companies had a female executive and only 2.7 percent had female chief executives, according to the study. The proportion of female venture capital partners has also dropped from 10 percent in 1999 to 6 percent in 2014.

Israel’s national airline, El Al, has been criticized for allowing ultra-orthodox Jewish men to disrupt flights by refusing to be seated next to women. A petition on change.org is demanding that the carrier "stop the bullying, intimidation and discrimination against women on your flights," The Guardian reported Sept. 30.

In the United Kingdom, more than a million women are denied pills that could halve their chance of developing breast cancer because of red tape, experts warn, The Daily Mail reported Sept. 29. Breast Cancer Campaign research estimates that if women were properly screened and those at risk were offered the drugs, nearly 4,000 cases a year could be prevented.

Noted:

A group of women blocked Istanbul’s Bosporus Bridge in Turkey on Oct. 2 with a banner saying "Parliamentary motion and support to ISIS mean war and massacre of women," English Bianet reported Oct. 2. Blocking the traffic in two lanes for half an hour, the women were detained by the police.

The representatives of the Black Women’s Roundtable said their meeting with NFL executives on Oct. 1 was "productive" but that they still aim to speak with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, The Washington Post reported Oct. 2. Following the domestic violence incident with player Ray Rice, the representatives met with the NFL to discuss the lack of diversity in its domestic violence panel. The representatives say the meeting ended with the NFL agreeing to work with the roundtable but that a meeting with Goodell–expected to happen within the next 30 to 45 days–was a priority.

Walter Isaacson’s new book "The Innovators" shines a light on how collaboration brought about advances in technology, the New York Times reported Oct. 1. Isaacson said that a number of the men have become celebrities but most of the women are lost in a distant fog.

Julia Pierson has resigned as director of the Secret Service, The Huffington Post reported Oct. 1. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a statement he would appoint Joseph Clancy as interim acting director.

A group of top female soccer players from across the world sued the Canadian Soccer Association and FIFA, alleging gender discrimination around the 2015 Women’s World Cup, reported Think Progress Oct. 1. The lawsuit was filed in an Ontario tribunal court. Among the players on the list are past and present FIFA World Players of the Year Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer (current title holder), U.S. forward Abby Wambach and Brazil’s five-time World Player of the Year Marta, NBC Sports reported Sept. 30.

Iceland is announcing a U.N. conference on women and gender equality — and only men and boys are invited, the Associated Press reported Sept. 30. The country’s foreign affairs minister told the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders that the January "barbershop" conference will be unique, "as it will be the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only men leaders to discuss gender equality."

A study by Princeton University health economist Janet Currie found that the 2008 economic recession led many U.S. women to forgo having children. The authors predicted that about 151,000 women who were in their early 20s in 2008 will choose not to have children. That means an estimated 427,000 fewer children being born in the next two decades.

A study by demographer Diana Greene Foster found that being unable to terminate unwanted pregnancies was related to more male violence, Salon reported Sept. 29. Years of interviews with women concluded that the level of domestic violence by the man involved with the pregnancy decreased among couples who could abort but was consistent for couples without the option to end the pregnancy.

Actress Geena Davis says the route to getting more women into public office lies not only in D.C., but in Hollywood, Politico reported Sept. 29. "We’re not showing female politicians in the entertainment media," Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, said in an interview. "There’s not enough women presidents and women senators and women governors and women Congress members in what we show to kids and what we see in general. If you don’t see something, it can’t become familiar to you, it doesn’t look normal."

The lobbying group NARAL Pro-Choice America launched a six-figure mail campaign targeting three Republican governors for their anti-abortion records, The Huffington Post reported Sept. 29. The campaign materials portray Govs. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) as being "obsessed with outlawing abortion" instead of focusing on jobs and the economy.

Wallet Hub published its 2014’s list of worst and best states for women’s equality. It examined 10 key metrics, ranging from the gap in the number of female and male executives to the disparity between women’s and men’s life expectancy to the imbalance of their political representation. Hawaii tops the list of best states followed by New York and Maryland. California ranks 12th for best state. The worst states for women’s equality are Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.

The richest American women, who account for just 12 percent of the Forbes list, have seen their overall net worth lifted by the rising stock market, Forbes reported Sept. 29. The 10 richest women on the list are worth a combined $169.9 billion, up 8.5 percent from a year ago.

In Memoriam:

Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock, the first female pilot to fly solo around the world, died Sept. 30, The Associated Press reported. 1. Mock was honored at the White House by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Ohio housewife had been in declining health for months.

John Mack Carter, a Kentucky-born journalist who had the singular distinction of editing all of the so-called Big Three women’s magazines and, in doing so, helped transform the genre during the feminist era, died on Sept. 26 at his home in Bronxville, N.Y, The New York Times reported. He was 86. The cause was Parkinson’s disease.

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