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Abortion Rule Blocked; Violence Up in Kenya's Camps

Friday, July 29, 2011



(WOMENSENEWS)--

Cheers

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U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier upheld Planned Parenthood of South Dakota's request to block the implementation of a law that would require women seeking abortions to go through a three-day waiting period and to seek counseling from a crisis pregnancy center before having the procedure, reported the Argus Leader July 26. The case is on hold while the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals considers similar lawsuits involving Planned Parenthood.

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More News to Cheer This Week:

  • On July 24 same-sex marriage was declared legal in New York. Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples arrived in New York City to wed legally, reported The Huffington Post.
  • In a letter to the House of Representatives, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would tell President Obama to veto a bill restricting State Department Operations, particularly in terms of foreign aid, reported CNN July 28. Part of the bill would potentially reinstate the Mexico City Policy, known as the global gag rule.
  • A Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll of 2,400 adults online found 36 percent of adults think women should have access to abortions in "all circumstances," a significant increase from the 23 percent that thought so in 2009, reported CBS News July 27.
  • The Advertising Standards Agency in Britain issued a ban on L'Oreal make-up advertisements for their overuse of airbrushing on ads featuring actor Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington, reported Time Magazine July 28.
  • Hundreds of Roman Catholic priests from all over the world are challenging the Vatican to rethink all-male celibate priesthood and ordain female priests, reported Ms. Magazine July 27.
  • New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed court papers challenging as unconstitutional the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, reported Bloomberg News July 26.
  • Iran has released two prominent female cultural figures--Pegah Ahangarani, 27, a popular actor and outspoken supporter of the country's opposition green movement and Mahnaz Mohammadi, 37, a documentary filmmaker--from jail following intense criticism of its crackdown against artists and rights activists, reported The Guardian July 27.
  • The fight to lift a Saudi ban on women driving got a major boost this week when 14 female U.S. senators sent King Abdullah a terse letter saying the prohibition makes it impossible for women to "exercise a basic human right," reported Inside Line July 29.
  • Seemona Sumasar, a Wall Street analyst and Queens, N.Y., resident, was facing 25 years in prison for a series of armed robberies when cops admitted that she was innocent and had been set up by a vengeful ex-boyfriend, according to The Daily Beast July 26.

Jeers

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Humanitarian organizations have said that as the volume of refugees entering camps in Dadaab, Kenya, has increased, so has gender-based violence against women in the camps, reported CBC News July 25. When mostly women and children refugees travel to Dadaab from places such as famine-struck Somalia, they are attacked, robbed or raped on the way.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • California's secretary of state on July 26 cleared a group to begin collecting signatures for a ballot referendum to overturn a first-in-the-nation law requiring public schools to teach the contributions of gays and lesbians in social studies lessons, reported The Associated Press.
  • The Foreign Press Association in Israel blasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office July 21 after the security team forced several female journalists to take off their bras before being allowed into press events, reported ABC News.

Noted:

  • The New York City hotel worker who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault is thanking her supporters, The Associated Press reported July 28, in a brief carried by The New York Times. The court date in the attempted rape case of former International Monetary Fund boss Strauss-Kahn has been postponed to Aug. 23, his lawyers said, adding they hope charges will be dismissed by that date, reported Reuters July 26.
  • Rep. David Wu, D-Wash., will not seek re-election for his seat in Congress after House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi requested an investigation into allegations from a young woman about a sexual encounter and pressure from his constituents to resign, reported the Huffington Post July 26.
  • Male contraceptives are attracting growing interest from scientists, who believe they hold promise for being safe and effective, reported The New York Times July 25.
  • A Gallup survey revealed an almost 50-50 split between those who favored mandatory ultrasounds before abortion and allowing doctors to opt out of abortions and those who opposed them, reported Politico July 25.
  • The number of abortions has declined for the fourth consecutive year in Minnesota, hitting what may be an all-time low, reported The Associated Press July 28.
  • National gay rights organization Human Rights Campaign plans to launch a bus tour starting Aug. 12 in Salt Lake City and ending Oct. 30 in Orlando, Fla., to visit 11 states that ban same-sex marriage, reported The Associated Press July 28.
  • In observance of the 46th anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare this week, supporters staged a funeral procession, complete with a hearse and coffins, at State Sen. Alberta Darlings office in Glendale, Wis., according to a press release from Citizen Action of Wisconsin July 28.

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