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While attacks on women’s choice continue in Congress, there have been steps taken to improve women’s health and ensure reproductive rights not only in New York City, but also in Nepal.

The Supreme Court of Nepal ruled that women’s right to abortion is a key component of her reproductive rights, reported RH Reality Check March 1. Until now, Nepal had banned abortion under any circumstance and could jail a woman for having an abortion.

Meanwhile, the New York City Council approved legislation March 2 requiring crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, to inform clients in their facilities and on their Web sites of what services they offer, reported the Center for Reproductive Rights . These centers must now inform clients on whether they provide or refer for prenatal care, emergency contraceptionor abortion and whether they have a licensed medical provider on staff. Women’s eNews’ November story followed the hearings leading to this regulation.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • The University of Iowa allowed a doctor to train medical students on abortion and other procedures while working for Planned Parenthood although it violates the school’s non-compete agreement, reported the New England Cable News in Boston Feb. 28.
  • Abortion education and trained doctors are limited but schools like the University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford are working to expand the knowledge, reported San Jose, Calif.’s Mercury News Feb. 25.
  • Libyan women are busy taking an active stance uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s four-decade rule in a nation considered conservative in its gender roles, according to a Feb. 28 report by the London-based Middle-East Online
  • In response to the launch of UN Women and the upcoming International Women’s Day, the Guardian encouraged people March 2 to post pictures on their Flickr group, "Global Women’s Voices," on issues that matter most to women.
  • About 40 CEO women sent a letter to Congress March 2 asking senators to keep international women’s health and rights in mind during the current debate on the foreign assistance budget, the Center for Health and Gender Equity and the Center for Development and Population Activities reported in a press release.
  • Rachel Hale became the first female in Vermont to win a state wrestling championship competing against male wrestlers, reported the New York Times Feb. 28
  • Working Mother Magazine published its list of ‘Most Powerful Moms’ in the fields of science and math in a recent report.




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The House Judiciary Committee on March 3 sent a bill denying federal funding for abortion to the full chamber for consideration, The Hill reported. In a 23-14 vote, the panel approved H.R. 3, "The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," on a largely party-line vote.

The legislation is the latest move in a larger strategy meant to weaken women’s reproductive rights, according to a recent article in WeNews.

A slew of other anti-choice bills are moving through legislatures in:

~South Dakota ~Georgia ~Virginia ~Texas ~Kansas ~Iowa ~Montana ~Nebraska ~Wisconsin ~New York

In Washington, meanwhile, the GOP-dominated U.S. House of Representatives voted Feb. 18 to defund Planned Parenthood in a budget amendment, the latest salvo in what Nancy Pelosi has termed the "most radical assault on reproductive rights in our lifetime."

In a recent interview with Women’s eNews, Judy Waxman of the National Women’s Law Center said that pro-choice advocates are closely watching what happens to the amendment as Republican leaders in the House prepare it for consideration in the Senate.

If lawmakers decide to send the amendment forwarded by Rep. Mike Pence to the Senate as a stand-alone measure it could mean an easy defeat in the Democratic-controlled upper chamber, Waxman said. But if Republicans attach it to another piece of legislation that senators feel compelled to vote for–such as a motion that allows the budget debate to continue so the government will not shut down–it may pass.

Planned Parenthood and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws both have petitions on their homepages calling on lawmakers to block passage of the amendment.

Legislations has also been proposed that would impact not only women’s health but also job training, education, housing and food programs, Legal Momentum, the women’s legal defense and education fund, reported in a press release March 3.

In response to Pence’s amendment, pro-choice rallies peppered the country in protest on Feb. 26. In New York, a rally to "stand with Planned Parenthood" drew 5,000, the New York Daily News reported. See Women’s eNews’ photos from the rally on our Flickr page. Other rallies took place in Buffalo, N.Y., Ohio, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.

For background coverage by WeNews on the wave of anti-choice initiatives, read a physician’s bleak assessment of the outlook for abortion rights; the rise of anti-choice state legislators in the midterm elections; and John Boehner’s outlook on Congress. Also bear in mind the threats to Social Security, upon which older women disproportionately depend. For information on choice-related laws, check an interactive map provided by NARAL Pro-Choice America.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • Seven women died after being gunned down by military forces while protesting in West Africa’s Ivory Coast, reported the Guardian March 3.
  • More than 40 people, including men, women and children, were raped in the past two weeks in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in roughly the same area as a series of rapes earlier this year, reported the New York Times Feb. 25.
  • New Hampshire‘s system for prosecuting sexual assaults against adult women is ineffective and hampered by public misperceptions with very few assaults actually resulting in a criminal conviction, according to a March 1 article in the Concord Monitor .
  • The Daughters of Iraq, a group of women that have helped curb female suicide bombings, have not been paid for months, reported OnIslam Feb 28.
  • A Canadian judge is not sending a convicted rapist to jail because he says the victim sent signals that "sex was in the air," reported Winnipeg Free Press Feb. 24.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves many heart-related devices without them being adequately tested on women despite an agency directive to do so, Businessweek reported March 1.
  • Women still make only three-fourths the pay that men do but have caught up to and even passed men in terms of educational achievement, according to a new report from the White House, USA Today reported March 1.


  • Millions of women across Europe could face changes in the costs of car insurance and amounts they receive from pensions under a European Union ruling that bans risk assessment based on gender, CNN reported March 1. Currently, women pay less for car insurance—they have fewer claims–and receive lower monthly pension payments since they have longer life expectancies.
  • President Adrienne Germain of the International Women’s Health Coalition was named one of the Women Deliver 100, a global advocacy organization’s most inspiring people who have improved lives of women and girls, International Women’s Health Coalition announced in a press release March 2.
  • Muhammad Yunus has been forced out of Bangladesh Bank, which he founded, according to the New York Times March 3. Women make up 98 percent of the bank’s patrons.
  • Texas State University students created a scholarship fund geared toward white males, reported the Daily Beast March 1.
  • Tennis star Serena Williams is recuperating at home after suffering an embolism and an additional ‘unexpected scare’ with a hematoma, according to a March 2 report from the L.A. Times .

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