NFL Hires Female Coach; Planned Parenthood Backlash

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Credit: American Life League on Flickr, under Creative Commons

Cheers

The Arizona Cardinals have hired Jen Welter, making her the NFL’s first female coach, the reported . Welter will serve as a training-camp/preseason intern coaching inside linebackers. The 37-year-old Florida native is expected to move into a permanent job, then to a coordinator’s position and, eventually, into a head coaching spot.

More News to Cheer This Week:

The number of working women in Japan has reached a record high as nursery places for toddlers increase and the restaurant sector steps up its battle for female servers, reported . A June surge funneled an extra 250,000 women on to the Japanese payroll that now includes 27.72 million full-time and part-time female employees — the highest since the data started being collected in 1953.

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., along with other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, introduced a House resolution that aims to secure affordable and accessible child care for every American family and to strengthen the child care workforce, reported .

The Boy Scouts of America ended its ban on openly gay adult leaders, reported . The decision has been met with mixed reactions. The Mormon Church said it might leave the organization. Other conservative sponsors, including the Roman Catholic Church, may follow suit.

During a trade visit to China and Hong Kong, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first female first minister, delivered a speech urging China to do more to promote gender equality and women’s rights, reported . In her remarks in Beijing, she said gender equality could help transform the global economy, referencing Hillary Clinton’s landmark “women’s rights are human rights” speech made in that same city 20 years ago.

The latest cover of New York magazine features a black and white image of 35 women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault. The magazine photographed and interviewed the women for the issue, which was released online July 26. Many of the women share similar stories of being young actresses or mentees of Cosby and being drugged by the actor and sexually assaulted. Some didn’t speak out until now for fear that no one would believe them, reported.

For his first visit to Kenya since at the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama delivered tough messages to Kenyans on corruption and anti-gay discrimination. He warned that countries that locked women out of schooling, opportunities and jobs would see their economies shrivel and lag behind other nations, reported . “Any nation that fails to educate these girls or maximize their potential is doomed to fall behind in the global economy,” he said. Obama also said the tradition of treating women as second-class citizens, beating them and denying them the same opportunities as men was wrong.

Jeers

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., blasted Senate Republicans for working to defund Planned Parenthood, calling it “an attack on women’s health,” reported . “The current attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies,” Sanders said in a statement.

The same day, Hillary Clinton issued a rare comment critical of Planned Parenthood saying she was disturbed by undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue, reported . “I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing,” Clinton told the New Hampshire Union Leader. Yet she tweeted later that she is “Proud to stand w/Planned Parenthood and for access to quality, affordable healthcare for women, men and young people. -H.”

Against this backdrop, Republicans unveiled legislation to defund Planned Parenthood July 27, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., fast-tracked the legislation the same day. If the Senate votes on a procedural motion to advance the bill, it could get a final vote before lawmakers leave for August recess.

This new attempt to defund Planned Parenthood happens after the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group targeting Planned Parenthood, released a third video featuring a woman who says she worked in a clinic procuring tissue from aborted fetuses, reported .

In this context, student-organized “Women Betrayed” had rallies against Planned Parenthood in various U.S. cities, the . Some GOP presidential candidates were expected to attend the event in the nation’s capital. The Virginia-based interest group launched also an aggressive social media campaign featuring such attention-getting Twitter hashtags as #ppsellsbabyparts.

More News to Jeer This Week:

An Alabama prisoner who first wanted to undergo an abortion has changed her mind after the state sought to take away her parental rights, The Associated Press reported . A day later, the story was updated and reported that the woman had changed her mind and wanted to give birth. The sworn statement, filed on behalf of a woman identified only as Jane Doe, didn’t say whether the state’s action resulted in the change of mind. In the document, the woman said she made the decision on her own without any “undue influence, duress, or threat of harm,” according to the .

On the morning of July 27, police in Mount Vernon, N.Y., discovered a 44-year-old woman dead in her jail cell, reported. She is the fifth black woman, at least, to die behind bars this month. Raynetta Turner was arrested and locked in a holding cell on shoplifting charges, according to Mayor Earnest Davis. Sandra Bland, Kindra Chapman, Joyce Curnell and Ralkina Jones also died in their jail cells this month. Against this backdrop, a Texas judge released more footage of Bland, who died in a county jail three days after being pulled over by police for a traffic violation, reported . The video comprises three days of footage–capturing various rooms in the Waller County Jail–including the booking desk, the intake room and the hallway leading to Bland’s cell. Waller County Judge Trey Duhon says the video shows that Bland was “alive and well” when she was placed in detention.

Wheaton College in suburban Chicago will stop offering health insurance plans to students in an effort to avoid providing birth control coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act, reported . The Christian liberal arts college will no longer provide health coverage for roughly a quarter of its 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The school, which objects to birth control being included in health coverage, thinks it violates their religious freedom to even have to notify the government that they’re seeking a religious exemption.

The Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative released a July 29 revealing that on nearly every social indicator of well-being — from income to food security — black women, girls and children in the rural South rank low or last. The organization works in 77 rural counties of some of the most neglected regions in the U.S.

Donald Trump, GOP presidential front runner, is under scrutiny again because of his lawyer’s controversial remarks about sexual assault, reported . Michael Cohen, one of Trump’s lawyers, said to the Daily Beast, “you cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.” Cohen was questioned about an incident that Ivana Trump had with her ex-husband in 1989 and that she had first described as a “rape.” Later, she modified her language and said she had felt “violated.” Yet, in New York, a so-called marital rape exemption to the law was struck down in 1984, five years after the incident between the Trumps.

Noted:

U.S. lawmakers convened July 29 to discuss ISIS’ recruitment of women and the motivations of joining the terrorist group, reported. “This violence against women is almost without parallel, from widespread rape and trafficking to forced marriage and murder,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Royce of California’s Orange County, who will convene a series of hearings on the status of women around the world.

Three members of the Phi Kappa Psi frat of the University of Virginia are suing Rolling Stone and the author of the retracted story “” for defamation, reported . New court papers state that they say that being accused of being rapists has left them embarrassed to admit they are members of the fraternity. Earlier this year the magazine ran — and ultimately was forced to retract — an unverified story detailing an alleged gang rape that took place at the Phi Kappa Si fraternity house. The fraternity brothers are suing the magazine for $75,000 for emotional distress caused by the accusations. In an apparently related event, Will Dana, the managing editor of Rolling Stone, is stepping down, reported. Dana’s last day withRolling Stone is set for Aug. 7, and he is not heading to another job.

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