Turkish Women Gain; Appeals Court OKs Abortion Law

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Turkish women

Credit: la_imagen on Flickr, under Creative Commons



All four parties represented in Turkish parliament, except the ruling Justice and Development Party, have increased the number of their female deputies, Hurriyet Daily News reported June 8. The parliamentary elections have led to the highest number of female deputies in Turkey’s history of democracy. In the previous election, 79 women made their way to parliament, while in the June 7 election, 97 women won a seat in the male-dominated parliament.

More News to Cheer This Week:

Oregon has enacted a first-of-its-kind insurance law that will allow women to obtain a year’s worth of birth control at a time, the Associated Press reported June 12. Previously, coverage needed to be renewed every 30 or 90 days. Oregon legislators also are considering a proposal that would allow pharmacists to write birth control prescriptions for women who pass a self-administered risk-screening assessment. That proposal also has received wide support.

U.S. congresswomen, led by Rep. Frederica Wilson, met June 10 with six Nigerian girls who escaped from Boko Haram captivity, Nollywood Freaks reported. The congresswomen all wore red, which is the color code for the #Bringbackourgirls campaign. They later filed outside the Congress building carrying placards with the message "Bring Back Our Girls." Some congressmen also came out to lend their voices.

Nobel laureate Tim Hunt resigned from his position as honorary professor at a U.K. university after he made comments about the "trouble with girls" in science, BBC News reported June 11. Hunt told a conference that women in labs "cry" when criticized and "fall in love" with male counterparts. He told the BBC he "did mean" the remarks but was "really sorry." Read more in the Women’s eNews story "Tweeters Celebrate Swift, Steep Tumble of Tim Hunt."

A Georgia prosecutor dropped a murder charge against a 23-year-old woman whose arrest after taking pills to end her pregnancy baffled even abortion opponents, the Associated Press reported June 10. Kenlissia Jones, who spent about three days in jail before she was released, still faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous drug she bought over the Internet.

A new online campaign in China is seeking to combat female beauty stereotypes by inviting women to post pictures of their armpit hair online, The Huffington Post reported June 10. The campaign launched weeks after several female activists were arrested for attempting to organize a protest against sexual harassment in China.

A limited number of Iranian women will be allowed to watch Volleyball World League games in Tehran later this month, a senior government official told the Associated Press. The announcement is part of a government move to permit women and families to attend male sporting events. Women will be able to enter stadiums to watch men’s matches in specific sports such as volleyball, basketball, handball and tennis. However, they still won’t be allowed into soccer, swimming and wrestling matches. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook told Mashable "it is our fault," when asked about the lack of gender diversity in tech, "’our’ meaning the whole tech community," he added, the online publication reported June 8. To improve on that, Cook says Apple is now making outreach efforts to junior high, high school and college women. He also says the company is spending a lot more time with historically black colleges.


A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld some of the most onerous parts of a Texas abortion law, which is likely to cause most of the state’s abortion clinics close, The Huffington Post reported June 9. The rulings allowed provisions requiring clinics to meet hospital-level operating standards and requiring providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals to go into effect. It did exempt the last open clinic in the state’s Rio Grande Valley from the provisions. The court also wrote that West Texas women were free to go to New Mexico if they needed an abortion. In court, attorneys opposing the law said it could close all but eight clinics in Texas.

The law was upheld by a court described as an "anti-abortion, anti-immigration and pro-death penalty" and one dominated by Republican appointees. The decision’s three authors are Judges Catharina Haynes, Jennifer Elrod and Edward Prado, all appointees of George W. Bush.

Still in the fight against reproductive rights, the GOP-majority Wisconsin State Senate also passed a bill on June 10 to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, RH Reality Check reported. Gov. Scott Walker has pledged he will sign the measure if it gets to his desk.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Young women and adolescent girls in Africa "are still being left behind" in the global response to the AIDS epidemic, according to a new joint report from the United Nations and the African Union, UN News Center reported June 10. In the sub-Saharan region, AIDS-related illnesses remain the leading cause of death among girls and women of reproductive age. In 2013, 74 percent of new HIV infections among African adolescents were among adolescent girls. A police officer in McKinney, Texas, who was seen on video pulling his gun at a pool party on teenagers in swimsuits and shoving a young black girl’s face to the ground, apologized and resigned, The New York Times reported June 10. Cpl. David Eric Casebolt had been placed on administrative leave after the episode last week and remains under investigation.

Fifty hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care, according to research published June 8. All but one of the facilities are owned by for-profit entities and the largest number of hospitals– 20 –are in Florida, The Washington Post reported. For the most part, researchers said, the hospitals with the highest markups are not in pricey neighborhoods or big cities, where the market might explain the higher prices.

Indigenous Australian women are being hospitalized for assault injuries at 31 times the rate of non-indigenous women, a report has revealed. For indigenous men the figure was 14 times the rate of non-indigenous men, The Guardian reported June 9.

Ireland’s restrictive abortion regime puts women in danger and treats them like criminals if they need to terminate a pregnancy, according to a new report published by Amnesty International June 9. Since 1983, Irish law has prioritized the life of the fetus over the mother, banning abortion in all but the most extreme circumstances and forcing thousands of women to leave the country in search of medical treatment, Time reported. New government research indicates that female military veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women, The Los Angeles Times reported June 8. Experts say the finding poses disturbing questions about the backgrounds and experiences of women who serve in the armed forces. Another study released on the same day also found that women are still struggling to gain respect for their military service and be taken seriously as veterans.

A study, published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, found that infertility impaired many of the women’s sense of self and gender identity, Medical News Today reported June 8. An estimated 6.7 million women ages 15-44 in the U.S. have an impaired ability to become pregnant or carry a baby to term. Around 1.5 million married women ages 15-44 are diagnosed as infertile, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although women from all backgrounds can be affected, the authors of the study state that African American women are equally, if not more, likely to experience infertility than their white peers.


Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, has been cleared by a French court of "aggravated pimping" charges, The Guardian reported June 12. The one-time French presidential hopeful, who has described seeking "recreation" from the stress of world politics by having "rough sex" with strangers at orgies in Europe and the U.S., was found not to have promoted or profited from the prostitution of seven women.

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