The United States Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s ruling protecting female inmates’ constitutional right to leave jail to have an abortion on March 24.

In 2005 correction officials in Maricopa County, Ariz., stalled a woman’s request for an abortion because she did not have a court order to obtain it. At the time, the county only provided transportation for “medically necessary procedures.” It took the woman seven weeks to get the order, CNN reported.

In the case, Arpaio v. Doe, the woman won a lawsuit requiring the state to provide inmates with access to off-site abortions. The county appealed but the Supreme Court dismissed it. A similar appeal from Missouri is expected to reach the high court this summer.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • The United Arab Emirates appointed its first female judge, Kholoud al-Dahiri, by presidential decree March 26. The Gulf Arab state recently amended its laws to permit female federal judges and prosecutors, Reuters reported. The United Arab Emirates has two female ministers and nine women in the advisory Federal National Council.
  • Angola will host an April 2 beauty pageant for land mine victims. Eighteen women maimed by land mines, one from every province in the country, will take part in the Miss Landmine Survivor contest organized by the country’s de-mining commission, the BBC reported March 26. Millions of mines were planted during Angola’s 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.
  • Hou Yifan, a 14-year-old chess player from China who is considered by many fans to be a future world champion, won the Ataturk International Women Masters Chess Tournament in Istanbul on March 23, the Chessbase News reported. Yifan was the youngest player to participate in the tournament, which was started as an annual event this year by Turkey’s national chess federation to spur interest among girls and women and to provide a training ground for competitors, Today’s Zaman reported March 13.
  • Iraq will send sprinter Dana Abdul-Razzaq to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Reuters reported March 27. Abdul Razzaq has won more than a dozen medals at Arab and west Asian competitions and runs the 100- and 200-meter events. Iraq’s Olympic Committee reported the death of 104 athletes, coaches, administrators and referees since the war began in 2003. The former head of the Iraq Olympic Committee was kidnapped in 2006 and another 21 Olympic officials are still missing.
  • Illinois has collected more than $1.2 billion in back child support payments since Gov. Rod Blagojevich vowed to improve the state’s record on child support collection, the Chicago Tribune reported March 25. The latest tactic has been to withhold state hunting and fishing licenses from parents who owe child support.
  • A University of Washington study has found that 15- to 19-year-olds who have had comprehensive sex education rather than abstinence-only education are less likely to become pregnant, the Seattle Times reported March 25. Neither form of sex education appeared to affect teens’ risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
  • New Zealand employers are now required to provide adequate facilities and breastfeeding breaks to nursing mothers, the New Zealand Herald reported March 24. The new law is expected to help the 36 percent of women in the work force who have children under 12 months of age.
  • Connie Duckworth, a Women’s eNews 2004 Leader for the 21st Century, received a $1 million award from the Skoll Foundation for her work in Afghanistan to help women develop sustainable incomes through weaving and selling traditional rugs.
  • March 29 has been declared SWAN Day, for Support Women Artists Now, by the Fund for Women Artists. More than 100 events have been scheduled worldwide. The celebration will be held annually on the last Saturday of Women’s History Month.

For more information:

The Fund for Women Artists:

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More than 50 percent of U.S. nurses face bullying in the workplace, according to a March survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The study found that 90 percent of health care workers have witnessed abusive behavior against nurses, UPI reported March 24.

Physicians are the No. 1 hospital bullies, followed by other nurses, according to the study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. Patient satisfaction and care suffers as a result of disruptive behaviors, according to 75 percent of workers surveyed. The retention of qualified nurses is also affected and the emotional stress from verbal abuse hinders their ability to do their jobs.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • Marvin Richardson, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Idaho, has legally changed his name to Pro-Life, the Associated Press reported March 18. That is how his name will officially appear on the November ballot. Pro-Life is running to replace Larry Craig, the senator who last year was arrested for lewd conduct in an airport restroom.
  • London’s Metropolitan University has ended its undergraduate women’s studies program due to dwindling interest, the Independent reported March 23. The paper’s headline: “Farewell to ‘predictable, tiresome and dreary’ women’s studies,” quoting U.S. author Christina Hoff Sommers.


  • The school district in Greene County, Ga., has dropped its plans to create single-sex high schools for all students after a public outcry opposing the plan, the AP reported March 26. Despite doubts about the legality of the plan, the district wanted to adopt single-sex schooling in an attempt to improve educational performance of students, and says it may consider single-sex schools as an option for parents in the future.