Scott Roeder, the anti-abortion extremist who murdered Dr. George Tiller, one of the handful of American physicians who performed late-term abortions, was sentenced to life in prison in a Wichita, Kan., courtroom on April 1. He will not be eligible for parole for more than 50 years, the Los Angeles Times reported April 1.
Roeder was convicted Jan. 29 of first-degree murder for shooting Tiller last May, as the doctor served as an usher at his Wichita church. He also was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault for threatening two ushers who tried to stop him after the shooting.
More News to Cheer This Week:
- Shadi Sadr, producer of the film "Women in Shroud," was awarded for her work as a human rights defender at the Movies that Matter Festival’s Award Ceremony in The Hague, the Netherlands, on March 31. She received a Golden Butterfly prize for her film, which focuses on women’s equal rights in Iran. Sadr, who told Women’s eNews about the award, is a former 2004 Women’s eNews 21 Leader an attorney advocating for women’s right in Iran and editor-in-chief of Women in Iran, a Tehran-based daily news website.
- In an April 2 press release, the U.S. Department of Labor announced it will give 1.8 million dollars to women in non-traditional occupations. Six Women in Apprenticeship and Non-traditional Occupations grants will be given out by a joint committee of the department’s Women’s Bureau and the Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Apprenticeship. More information including eligibility requirements and application procedures can be found by visiting the Department of Labor’s Web site.
- Dilma Rousseff, chief of staff for Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio da Silva (Lula), stepped down in what is expected to be her preparation for a bid to run for the presidency as a front runner in October elections, BBC News reported April 1.
- A Malaysian woman’s caning sentence has been downgraded to community service, BBC News reported April 1.
- Bangladesh is readying its first all-female troops to join U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti, Edmond Mulet, acting head of the U.N. mission in Haiti, said at a press conference March 29. Mulet said he expects the female troops to be on the ground in a few months. He told Women’s eNews he considers the matter urgent.
- Saudi businesswoman Lama al-Sulaiman was elected as deputy chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry this past December, reported Bloomberg.com on March 25.
- The Wharton School of Business’s Aresty Institute for Executive Education has begun an occasional program for managers of microfinance that reserves 100 of its 225 seats each year for women, The Financial Times reported March 29. The idea is that more women will be able to help run a field where more than 60 percent of the clients are women, the article reported.
- With a signature from Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, the state has joined a half-dozen other states in banning shackles on female prisoners during childbirth, The Seattle Times reported March 23. The new law prohibits any restraints during labor, childbirth or post-delivery recovery. Restraints also are banned for medical or court trips during an inmate’s third trimester, with limited exceptions to prevent escape or injury. In addition, guards will be banned from the room during a woman’s labor or childbirth, unless requested by medical staff. Physicians also retain the right to use hospital restraints for medical safety reasons. Gregoire signed the law March 23; it takes effect June 10. The law will apply to state and local lockups, including juvenile facilities, which legislative sponsors said was significant, the article reported.
A study indicates that many women from visible minority groups in Canada say they have difficulty getting a primary-care physician or specialists to address urgent health concerns or to monitor chronic medical conditions, The Canadian Press reported March 30. The study documents one in three South Asian, West Asian and Arab women–who together comprise one of the fastest-growing segments of Canada’s population–have trouble finding a doctor, getting an appointment or getting referred to specialists.
The report, released on March 30, is part of the larger POWER (Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report) study. The researchers say it is the first to provide a comprehensive overview of women’s health in relation to gender, income, education, ethnicity and geography.
More News to Jeer
- Violence against Haitian women is having a devastating impact on the development of Haiti in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake, reported Taina Bien Aime, executive director of Equality Now, in The Huffington Post on March 31. Bien Aime in her blog recommended that the ongoing United Nations donors’ conference include Haitian women as participants and recipients in the development of Haiti.
- Bank of America and Merrill Lynch were charged with sex discrimination by three female financial advisors who filed a national class action lawsuit on March 30 in federal court in New York, Market Watch reported. The lawsuit charges that Bank of America and Merrill Lynch have engaged in a pattern and practice of gender discrimination against their female financial advisors with respect to business opportunities, compensation, professional support and other terms and conditions of employment, the article reported. Since its merger with Merrill Lynch, Bank of America is the nation’s largest bank company, one of the largest financial institutions in the world and the largest brokerage firm in the world.
- A March 28 opinion column by an American University student claims that women who suffer date rape deserve it, ABC News reported April 1. Since the publishing of the article, the campus has been reacting by writing letters to the editor and staging protests against him.
- The Oklahoma state House approved three anti-choice bills March 29, Ms. Magazine reported. The first bill would outlaw sex selective abortion and was passed with a 95-to-1 vote. The second bill would institute a "conscience clause," allowing health care providers to refuse to participate in abortion procedures or refer patients to abortion providers. The third bill puts restrictions on the administration of mifepristone (also known as RU-486) by requiring it be administered in the presence of a physician.
- New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention underscore low rates of breastfeeding among black women, Businessweek reported March 25. More than 80 percent of Hispanic mothers attempt to breastfeed. That figure is 74 percent for white mothers, 54 percent for black mothers. A year after delivery, 12 percent of black women are still breastfeeding, compared to 24 percent of Hispanic women and more than 21 percent of white women.
- "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher is following in the footsteps of Gwyneth Paltrow and launching her own lifestyle Web site, providing women with "empowering" hints and tips, SFGate reported March 30. — Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld now earns more than counterparts at Pepsi and Coke after her company’s 2009 acquisition of Cadbury’s, the U.K. chocolate company, The Financial Times reports in an April 1 profile of Rosenfeld. She earns $26.3 million a year.
- The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi has rejected a $20,000 gift intended to underwrite an alternate prom replacing one canceled by a local school district after a lesbian student demanded that she be allowed to attend with her girlfriend, The New York Times reports April 1.
- Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton has taken issue with Canada’s G8 initiative on maternal mortality, arguing that any effort to improve the health of mothers in poor countries must include access to abortion, Canada’s Globe and Mail reported March 30. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is seeking to make maternal health the centerpiece of the G8 summit being hosted in Ontario in June, was initially reluctant to include contraception as part of the agenda, and has insisted the plan would leave out abortion, the article reported.
- Five men in an Indian "honor" killing received the death sentence. The court ruling in the northern state of Haryana last week marks the first time an Indian court has awarded such a penalty over an "honor" killing case, BBC News reports March 30.
- Dorothy Height, a pioneering civil rights activist since the New Deal era, has been hospitalized, CNN reported on March 27. Height turned 98 on March 25.
- More women have decided to sue Bloomberg L.P. over pregnancy discrimination, reported The New York Times on March 26. The total is now 79 plaintiffs. In memoriam:
- Susan Tifft, who co-wrote books with her husband on the families who owned The New York Times and the Louisville Courier-Journal, died on April 1 at age 59, reported Boston.com on April 2. Tifft wrote a blog about her diagnosis of cancer.
- Florence Pyle, who served with the Girl Scouts for 75 to 80 years, passed away, reported Standard-Journal.com on April 1. Pyle’s boundless service to others included sponsoring and mentoring young female Vietnamese refugees following the Vietnam War, who all went on to receive engineering degrees from Bucknell University.
- Margaret Moth, who covered wars for CNN, died of cancer at age 59, reported CNN on March 22. Moth is remembered for suffering a gunshot wound in her face while on assignment in Sarajevo in 1992.
- Elinor Smith Sullivan died of kidney failure at 98 on March 19, reported the Los Angeles Times on March 28. Smith was a female aviator who set multiple flying records in the 1920s.