Cheers and Jeers

Komen Reverses Course; Virginia OKs Abortion Bill

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Page 3 of 3

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • A bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would add a sweeping expansion to the birth-control refusal clause under the new Affordable Care Act, according to a Jan. 31 press release. An expansion of the refusal clause could directly impact nearly 1 million people (and their dependents) who work at Catholic hospitals, as well as approximately 2 million students and workers at religiously-affiliated universities.
  • An Indian girl child aged 1-5 years is 75 percent more likely to die than an Indian boy, making this the worst gender differential in child mortality for any country in the world, reported the Times of India Feb. 2.
  • Donations from individuals to super PACs are largely from men, according to Salon Feb. 2. Salon found that 86 percent of individual donors to the Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action, were men, and 92 percent of individual donors to the Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, were men.
  • California's women continue to struggle and suffer from the recession, according to a new report, The Los Angeles Times reported Feb. 1. While the employment rate among men has improved, fewer women are working. In addition, cuts to state welfare programs have disproportionately affected women, making it harder for them to work and care for their children.
  • Sexual crimes such as rape, assault and incest are up 19 percent in Chile, reported The Santiago Times Jan. 30. Rape alone saw a 15 percent spike, according to a report produced by the nongovernmental organization Activa.
  • A report released by the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates shows that women, particularly women of color, in Florida are facing mounting health problems related to unintended pregnancies and HIV, The Florida Independent reported Jan. 31. The report also found that "1.9 million are in need of contraceptive services and supplies."
  •  An Afghan woman has been strangled to death, apparently by her husband, who was upset that she gave birth to a second daughter rather than the son he wanted, Associated Press reported Jan. 30.
  • A new test that will soon allow parents to determine the sex of a fetus in the first few weeks of pregnancy may lead to an increase in aborted female fetuses in countries with a culture of favoring sons, Women's View on News reported Jan. 30. Currently, most parents can only determine the sex of a baby through an ultrasound conducted between the 14th to 16th week of pregnancy.

Noted:

  • A South African court has sentenced four men to 18 years for a murder that activists say was carried out because the victim was a lesbian, reported the Associated Press Feb. 1. Zoliswa Nkonyana was stabbed and stoned to death in 2006.
  • Pfizer Inc. announced that it has voluntarily recalled 14 lots of Lo/Ovral®-28 tablets and 14 lots of a generic version of the tablets for customers in the U.S. market, announced the Food and Drug Administration Jan. 31. An investigation by Pfizer found that some blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient tablets and that the tablets may be out of sequence, which could lead to unintended pregnancy.
  • Women abandoned Newt Gingrich in droves and helped fuel former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's triumph in Florida's Republican presidential primary, according to data from an exit poll of voters, Associated Press reported Jan. 31. Romney prevailed over Gingrich among women across every category of education and income.
  • San Jose, Calif., is the best paying city for women in the United States according to a ranking published by Forbes on Jan. 31. Women in this West Coast city earn an average of $67,052 annually for full-time work. That's more than twice as much as the worst-paying city for women --McAllen, Texas --where women earn a mean of just $31,287 each year.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor and the National Equal Pay Task Force announced a contest for creating software applications that use the department's data to promote equal pay for men and women.
  • Women's rights campaigners are demanding the removal of urinals shaped like female mouths from the men's lavatory of a Rolling Stones museum in Germany, The Der Spiegel reported Jan. 30. The owner denies the bowls are offensive and vows: "They're staying."
  • Three members of an Afghan immigrant family have been jailed for life in Canada for the "honor killing" of three teenage girls and their stepmother, The Telegraph reported Jan. 30. Mohammad Shafia, the girls' father and husband of the fourth victim, was sentenced to life in prison along with his second wife and their 21-year-old son.
  • The Voice of Midlife and Older Women (OWL) addressed a letter urging congressional leaders to add menopause education to their 2012 health care policy work plans, the group said in a Jan. 30 press statement. OWL said surveys show women of all ages need more information about menopause and that younger women, in particular, often lack even basic information about this major life stage.

In Memoriam:

  • Camilla Williams, the first black woman to appear in a leading role with a major U.S. opera company, died in Indiana at age 92, BBC News reported Jan. 31. Williams had been suffering from cancer, according to Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She was also a strong advocate for civil rights.

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I thought this was an interesting statement made by Sen. Boxer (D-Calif.). It is rare to see her take a strong stance for women's rights issues. Her support was joined in by several democrat senators and representatives across the United States

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdkWwxzLQgw

Despite the drama over Komen's decision to sever funding to Planned Parenthood, I think we have to focus on the one very large positive from this public debacle: the intense opposition from women all over the country. I’ve been reading Susan Faludi's "Backlash," about the undeclared war against women in the US, and this gives me great hope that women can successfully fight the backlash. In our society right now, women's rights are being pushed back. Rappers rap about "bitches" and "whores," there is new controversy over Roe v. Wade, and the number of women being elected into office has stagnated. But perhaps Komen's decision to cut Planned Parenthood funding is the beginning of the end of this backlash. The huge opposition to the funding severance not only united women against a common cause; it brought them to act. Social media exploded with criticism of the highly political move, and people were talking about it everywhere - on the news, with their friends, on the internet. It was truly remarkable for me to see, especially in an era where I've felt that many women have stopped fighting for their rights. I sincerely hope that this event marks a change in women's fight for equality, and that the women who opposed this decision and pushed Komen to reverse it stay involved and educated. This very public debate put women's rights in the limelight. These issues are important, and maybe this battle was just what women needed: a strong victory against those who have put women's rights on the backburner. I have hope that this event will lead to more like it. Women need to re-embrace their power to effect change. We've got about a thousand more battles to fight, but this victory may be the one to get us back on our feet and fighting.

Regardless of the Susan G. Komen Foundation's backtracking on the issue of the grants to Planned Parenthood I do not think they merit a "Cheer" when they are apparently pursuing what I would call an anti woman agenda. I say this because they have withdrawn funding for stem cell research and have several people in either top management or their board who are anti-abortion.

Please take a look at this article I found and see if you don't agree . . .

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/03/1061552/-Komen-Antiabortion-Age...

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