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Court Nixes Sex-Work Pledge; Kansas Stifles Choice

Friday, July 8, 2011



(WOMENSENEWS)--

Cheers

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A federal appeals court ruled that the United States government cannot require U.S. organizations that receive U.S. foreign assistance for HIV/AIDS eradication efforts to denounce prostitution. The challenge to the policy was brought by the Alliance for Open Society International and Pathfinder International, international nonprofit organizations working to eradicate HIV/AIDS.

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More News to Cheer This Week:

  • The Center for Reproductive Rights filed an injunction on July 1 against a Texas law that prevents a woman from having an abortion unless her doctor gives her an ultrasound, describes the fetus in detail and allows her to hear the fetal heartbeat, reported The Huffington Post July 6.
  • Yingluck Shinawatra became Thailand's first female prime minister on July 3 with 92 percent of the votes counted and a majority share of 260 seats in the 500 seat parliament, reports the BBC. Shinawatra is the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a coup in 2006. Read more about Thailand's political system and the tensions within the country in a Women's eNews article from July, 1.

Jeers

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Kansas pro-choice advocates have raised concerns that new legislation would compromise women's privacy. The law enacted last week requires abortion providers to apply for an annual license and gives the state's health department complete access to patient medical records, reported the Associated Press June 5. Anti-choice leaders claimed pro-choice activists' privacy fears were only raised to avoid scrutiny of abortion provider clinics.

The same legislation allocated up to $331,000 in federal funds away from the state's two Planned Parenthood clinics in Wichita area, Forbes reported July 5.  Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri have filed a lawsuit challenging the defunding. Wichita is where Dr.  George Tiller, a provider of later-term abortions, was murdered two years ago by an anti-choice gunman.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • Hundreds of women marched in the Ugandan capital Kampala, protesting the country's high maternal mortality rate and the twice-delayed lawsuits filed by the families of two mothers that died giving birth, reported the Associated Press July 7. For every 100,000 Ugandan women giving birth, 435 die, according to reports from the health ministry. Uganda's high number of maternal deaths gives it ranking of 140 out of 181 countries.
  • From the end of the Great Recession in 2009 until May 2011, women lost 218,000 jobs, while men gained 768,000 in the same time span, according to a report released by the Pew Research Center July 6. This is a change from what Pew called "modern norms," that indicated women fared better than men in obtaining employment in the first two years of all other economic recoveries since 1970.
  • Around 15 women and five children were arrested in Saudi Arabia after they assembled outside of the Ministry of Interior, demanding fair trials for their male relatives who where detained without charge, reported Amnesty International July 4. Thirteen of the 15 women were released after signing a pledge not to protest again. Detaining government critics without publicly stating charges or providing trial has been a common practice in the kingdom since Sept. 11, 2001, according to Amnesty International.  
  • The accuser in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault cases is suing The New York Post and five of its journalists for libel, reported The Huffington Post. She accused the Post of publishing defamatory articles between July 2-4 that claimed she was a prostitute. The newspaper is owned by Rupert Murdoch, the media czar who shut down the News of the World in London Thursday. In a related development, a French writer who recently said Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to sexually assault her in 2003 will officially accuse him of attempted rape, The New York Times reported July 4.