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Seattle‘s only Socialist City Council member, Kshama Sawant, announced that she will make good on a campaign pledge and accept only $40,000 a year in salary — bringing her down to the average wage of a worker in the city, NBC News reported Jan. 28. The remainder of the roughly $117,000 salary will go to social justice causes such as strike funds, civil rights and women’s rights, she said in a statement.
More News to Cheer This Week:
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama underscored the important role women play both in his domestic agenda and his party’s hopes for this year’s midterm elections, CNN reported. Obama called for an end to the wage gap between men and women. He also highlighted the struggles working moms face providing for their families. Read more in the Women’s eNews story “Women’s Groups Use SOTU to Stake Out Agenda.”
The son of a Florida fertility doctor was sentenced to nearly 14 years in federal prison for duping his pregnant girlfriend into taking medication that caused her to abort her 6-week-old fetus, USA Today reported Jan. 27.
A deal to allow women and children trapped in Homs, a Syrian city under government siege, was reached during the peace talks in Geneva on Jan. 26, the Associated Press reported.
Women of the Wall was reported to be on the verge of finalizing an agreement with the Israeli government to move its monthly prayer service from the women’s section at the Western Wall to a new egalitarian space under construction nearby, according to the Haaretz.
Planned Parenthood in Alaskais suing the state health commissioner over new regulations that prevent state Medicaid from covering elective abortions, the Huffington Post reported Jan. 30. The new regulations, set to go into effect on Feb. 2, require abortion doctors who receive Medicaid payments to certify that a procedure is “medically necessary” to prevent serious risk to the woman’s health, or that the patient is a victim of rape and incest.
The House of Representatives passed a bundle of abortion restrictions on Jan. 28 that would dramatically reduce the number of health insurance plans that cover the procedure, the Huffington Post reported. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7) would prohibit insurance plans sold in the new health care exchanges from covering abortion, and it would eliminate tax benefits for small businesses that purchase insurance plans covering abortion. The bill would also prevent the District of Columbia from using its own locally raised funds to subsidize abortion care for low-income women.
President Barack Obama vowed to veto the controversial anti-abortion bill if it ever made it to his desk, the Huffington Post reported Jan. 27.
Meanwhile, on the state level, Arizona moved to implement new abortion rules limiting the use of the most common abortion-inducing drug and requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, the Associated Press reported Jan. 27. The rules require that the most common abortion-inducing drug be administered only at the FDA-approved dosage no later than seven weeks into a pregnancy, and that both doses be taken at the clinic.
More News to Jeer This Week:
Female movie stars make the most money per film when they are 34 years old, but their earnings quickly decline after that age, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Management Inquiry, USA Today reported Jan. 31. Male movie stars peak in their earnings per film at age 51, and their compensation steadily increases over time.
An article published on XO Jane on Jan. 28 discusses a white woman’s discomfort and revelations after “a young, fairly heavy black woman” came to her yoga class
. The essay has sparked outrage, particularly among women of color, who call the story racist, discriminatory against larger women and contributing to the lack of diversity in yoga. Read more in the Women’s eNews story “Shock Over Black Woman in Yoga Class Stirs.“
Almost 1-in-5 young girls in sub-Saharan Africa are still forced to endure the ritual of female genital mutilation, according to a U.N. report. The document says that problems such as violence, child marriage and the FGM ritual are widespread across some of the world’s poorest countries, the Guardian reported Jan. 30.
A Kentucky Republican lawmaker, Joe Fisher, claimed that abortions are a form of domestic violence because they cause pain to the fetus, the NY Daily News reported Jan. 27. “The most brutal form of domestic violence is the violence against unborn children,” Fisher said.
Women are often in the dark when it comes to basic facts about sex, fertility, pregnancy and their own reproductive health, according to a U.S. study released Jan. 27, Agence France-Presse reported. For instance, just 1-in-10 women knew that sex was required before ovulation, not after, in order to optimize the chances of pregnancy. The study was done at Yale University via an online survey of 1,000 women ages 18 to 40 from across the United States.
Sen. Rand Paul said Jan. 26 that the “women are winning” what Democrats have called the “war on women” because of the gains made by women, for example, in the law and medical schools. Paul also argued the message comes from the party of former President Bill Clinton, whose reputation is still tarnished from his “predatory behavior” in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, CNN reported.
Another woman who could have told about the horrors of being a “comfort woman” — a sex slave used by Japanese soldiers during World War II – passed away, CNN reported Jan. 27. Hwang Keum-ja, 89, died of lung and respiratory disease at a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, on Jan. 26. Against this backdrop, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s government distanced itself from comments by the new president of Japan‘s public broadcaster NHK that appeared to defend Japan‘s use of sex slaves before and during World War II, Bloomberg News reported.
A Fort Worth hospital that kept a pregnant, brain-dead woman on life support for two months–to keep the fetus alive–followed a judge’s order and removed her from the machines on Jan. 25, the New York Times reported. Marlise Munoz was being kept on a respirator under the hospital’s interpretation of a Texas anti-abortion law.
An Italian appeals court convicted former exchange student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito on murder charges, CNN reported Jan, 30. Prosecutors said the couple killed Meredith Kercher in 2007. It is unlikely Knox, who is living at home in Seattle, will return to Italy to serve additional prison time because U.S. law dictates that a person cannot be tried twice on the same charge, a legal expert told CNN.
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