Cheers and Jeers

Scarf Ban Gone; Texas Rejects Planned Parenthood

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Muslim female soccer players will be allowed to wear specially designed head coverings during games after the International Football Association Board lifted the ban,The Huffington Post reported March 5. The new attire will be tested for four months. Soccer's international governing body, known as FIFA, has prohibited headscarves since 2007, citing safety concerns. The new headscarves will be fastened with Velcro rather than pins.

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Jeers

planned parenthood protest

Texas is on the verge of eliminating its state-run Women's Health Program,The Daily Beast-Newsweek reported March 5. The state program provides reproductive-health care for more than 130,000 poor women annually who don't meet Texas's Medicaid eligibility requirements. Because federal law won't permit Texas to bar Planned Parenthood (or any other qualified provider) from the program, the state is poised to discontinue it, refusing $35 million from Washington. While Gov. Rick Perry has told state officials to find funds for the program to prevent its elimination, according to the AP, he has not specified where the money will come from.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • The HIV rate among black women living in some U.S. cities is the same rate as that of some African countries, according to a new study, reported ABC News March 9. Within one year of joining the study, 0.24 percent of the women tested positive for the disease, five times higher than the CDC's previous estimate of HIV rates in African American women. The study focused on African American and Latina women from six cities: Baltimore, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Washington, D.C., Newark and New York City.
  • About 1,000 women die around the world every day in child birth or from pregnancy-related complications, according to a report from Doctors Without Borders March 7. The majority of deaths occur just before, during, or just after delivery. Though often from unforeseeable complications, access to emergency care can prevent most of these deaths.
  • Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh attacked a reporter and author who published a book about low-income food industry employees. Limbaugh said of Tracie McMillan, "What is it with all of these young single white women, overeducated—doesn't mean intelligent," according to the show's official transcript.He twice called her an "authorette" and also referred to her as "this babe." Last week, Limbaugh called Georgetown student Sandra Flukea "slut" and a "prostitute" in the midst of a national conversation on birth control.
  • Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai, endorsed a "code of conduct" issued by an influential council of clerics that activists say represents a giant step backward for women's rights in the country, CBS News reported March 6. The code includes segregation of men and women at work and school, travel restrictions for women and support for wife beatings, based on a husband providing "Shariah-compliant reason."
  • Tens of thousands of low-income women and teenagers across the United States have lost access to subsidized birth control as states slash and restructure family planning funds, Reuters reported March 5.

Noted:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 15-year-old Navajo Shantelle Hicks. She charges that she was kicked out of a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school and then humiliated because she was pregnant, according to a press statement released March 6.
  • U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree became the second big-name Democrat to decide against running for a U.S. Senate seat that's being vacated by Republican Olympia Snowe, reported the Washington Post March 8. Pingree will instead defend her House seat.
  • Incumbent Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) lost her primary, reported the Washington Post on March 6. She was defeated by political newcomer and Army Reserve Major Brad Wenstrup.
  • Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) won a close contest for Ohio's 9th district, reported the Washington Times March 7. In November, she will face Samuel Wurzenbacher, better known as "Joe the Plumber," who confronted President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.
  • The gender gap between the two major political parties is growing, reported the Wall Street Journal March 7.
  • Native American leaders say they want support from two more Republican senators for the Violence Against Women Act, which includes measures to specifically help American Indian and Alaska Native victims, reported the Associated Press March 7.
  • Eight current and former U.S. military service members alleged in a lawsuit filed they were raped, assaulted or sexually harassed while in the military and were retaliated against when they complained,The New York Times reported March 6.

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