Cheers and Jeers

Prop 8 Overturned; Staples Slams Breastfeeding

Saturday, February 11, 2012

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Staples co-founder Tom Stemberg considers breastfeeding mothers as a serious threat to economic recovery and job creation, Think Progress Health reported Feb. 7. Stemberg, a longtime supporter of Republican policies and candidates such as Mitt Romney, complained that President Obama's health care reform law hurts businesses by requiring them to provide what he dubbed "lactation chambers" for new moms who need to breastfeed at work.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, contender for the Republican presidential nomination, said in an interview with NBC's "Today" show that he is concerned that the Pentagon's decision to allow women to work certain jobs on the front lines in battalions will cloud men's judgment, reported CBS Feb. 10.
  • A bill passed by the Virginia Senate, which is virtually a shoo-in to pass in the House and which Gov. Bob McDonnell has said he will sign, allows private adoption agencies to deny placing children in homes that conflict with moral or religious stances of the agency, reported The Huffington Post Feb. 9. Its passage will mean that Virginia is the second state, after North Dakota, to give adoption agencies the right to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.
  • Fourteen percent of households in Haiti claim that at least one household member was a victim of sexual violence since the earthquake in 2010, and about 70 percent feared sexual violence more now than before the earthquake, according to a report by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, released Feb. 6.
  • Women with low levels of literacy face disproportionately lower wages than men with similar literacy levels, the Institute for Women's Policy Research reported Feb. 8.
  • The British government's decision to increase the threshold at which workers are to be automatically enrolled onto company pension schemes could affect 2 million women, the Trades Union Congress warned, BBC News reported Feb. 8.
  • A U.S. federal judge allowed the state of Texas to begin enforcing a law requiring abortion providers to show or describe to a woman an ultrasound image of her fetus, Reuters reported Feb. 7. However the judge criticized an appeals court that earlier overturned his decision to block parts of the statute.


  • Greg Kelly, television anchor and son of New York City's Police Department commissioner, will not be charged after accusations were made that he met a woman for drinks and subsequently raped her, according to the Associated Press Feb. 7.
  • A central Pennsylvania college is under much scrutiny after federal regulators found out a vending machine on campus has been selling students the "morning after" pill, reported Feb. 8. Shippensburg University has been offering the birth control option for at least two years. Peter Gigliotti, spokesperson for the university, said the college started providing the pills when a survey found 85 percent of students supported it.
  • Barack Obama has the highest percentage of campaign contributions coming from women than any other presidential candidate this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics Feb. 7. About 44 percent of campaign funds for Obama came from women, while 56 percent came from men. In comparison, Mitt Romney's campaign raised 30 percent of its funds from women. Rick Santorum's campaign similarly raised about 32 percent of campaign contributions from women. Santorum surprised many by winning two caucuses and a primary on Feb. 7, reported the Wall Street Journal Feb. 8.
  • A controversial memo circulated by House Republicans argued for a "prenatal discrimination bill" by referring to "black abortions" and calling abortion the leading cause of death in the black community, Mother Jones reported Feb. 7.
  • Karen Handel, a high-ranking official from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, resigned Feb. 7 following the dispute over whether the group should continue funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, reported the Associated Press.
  • Chinese mothers who travel to Hong Kong to give birth to a second child are being fined on their return for breaching Beijing's one-child policy, The Boston Herald reported Feb. 7. Tens of thousands of Chinese women a year travel to Hong Kong to give birth, some to avoid fines for second children under China's one-child policy.
  • John F. Kennedy carried on an 18-month-long affair with a teen White House intern, according to a new book published this week. The author, a 69-year-old grandmother, claims to be the late U.S. president's lover, The Associated Press reported Feb. 6. In her memoir, "Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath," Mimi Alford details how their relationship started in the summer of 1962.
  • Mexico's former education minister, Josefina Vázquez Mota, easily won the nomination of the ruling party, the National Action Party, The Christian Science Monitor reported Feb. 6. If she wins the July 1 election, Mexico will join the other Latin American countries that have elected women as presidents: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and Argentina.
  • Nearly three-quarters of U.S. black women worry about not having enough money to pay their bills, a survey by The Washington Post  and Kaiser Family Foundation released Feb. 5. The financial stress may be an extension of a lack of job skills and extended family commitments. Fewer than half of black women believe they have the necessary skills to be competitive in the current job market.

In Memoriam:

  • Florence Green, a veteran of the Women's Royal Air Force and the last living veteran of World War I, died at the age of 110 in an English nursing home, reported Feb. 7.


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