Monthly archive December, 2011

Abortion Not Linked to Mental Health Problems

A report by the United Kingdom’s National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, released by Britain’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Royal college of Psychiatrists, indicates that abortions do not increase women’s tendency to develop mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. The report did, however, caution that mental health issues can increase for...

High Rate of Harassment of Black Lesbians and Transgender Men in South Africa

A report published by Human Rights Watch, entitled “‘We’ll Show You You’re a Women’: Violence and Discrimination Against Black Lesbians and Transgender Men,” revealed a high rate of discrimination against black lesbians and transgender men in South Africa. The report includes data from over 120 interviews performed in six provinces of South Africa. Many of...

ACLU Will Sue if OH Anti-Abortion Bills Passed

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio has indicated that it will sue if two anti-abortion bills, both of which have passed the state House, become law: a fetal heart beat bill, which would ban abortions after the fetal heartbeat is detected, and another bill that would prohibit Ohio residents from purchasing health insurance...
HERvotes Blog Carnival: Protecting Unemployment Benefits

HERvotes Blog Carnival: Protecting Unemployment Benefits

by Hannah Gordon, Feminist Majority Foundation Welcome to the seventh #HERvotes blog carnival on the need to protect women and employment during these tough economic times, with a focus on the importance of extending Unemployment Insurance (UI) before the December 31st deadline. It is critical that Congress acts before the end of this calendar year...
Unemployment Insurance in the 1930s and Today

Unemployment Insurance in the 1930s and Today

by Michael J. Wilson Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) was founded in 1947 by Eleanor Roosevelt and other liberal luminaries in order to protect the legacy of her husband, the recently-deceased President Franklin Roosevelt, a legacy that included unemployment insurance (UI).  That legacy was under attack by a rabidly conservative Republican Congressional majority recently swept into power...
Happy Holidays, Congress! It's Time to Extend UI

Happy Holidays, Congress! It’s Time to Extend UI

by Julie Vogtman, Senior Counsel, National Women’s Law Center After the Thanksgiving feast, some lament how quickly the focus shifts to next round of holidays – but I have to admit I embrace it. Christmas music in the air 24/7? Fine by me. My tree is up, the house is bright with twinkly lights, and...
Unemployment Insurance, Good for People, Good for the Country

Unemployment Insurance, Good for People, Good for the Country

By Sherry Saunders, Director of Communications, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation I think we all were heartened by the news in November that while 13 million Americans remain out of work, the overall unemployment rate decreased from 9.9 percent to 8.6 percent.  But we also learned that while the rate of unemployment improved, the duration...

HHS Secretary Sebelius Overrules FDA on Plan B

Today Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA’s decision to lift the age limit for emergency contraception and permitting the over-the-counter sale of the “morning after pill.” Sebelius indicated that she did “not believe enough data were presented to support the application to make Plan B One-Step available over the counter...

Obama and Clinton Act to Protect LGBT Rights Abroad

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered an address to the United Nations in Geneva last night urging nations to respect the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. Clinton noted that over 80 nations maintain laws criminalizing LGBT individuals and indicated that the US would pledge $3 million in aid to protect...

Senate Republicans Filibuster Obama’s Appellate Court Nominee

Yesterday in a vote of 54 to 45, almost entirely along party lines, Senate Republicans filibustered Caitlin Joan Halligan, one of President Obama’s nominees for the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. After Halligan was nominated 14 months ago to fill Chief Justice John Roberts’ vacated seat, there was an eight...

Rape is Rape Victory

Late yesterday afternoon the FBI Criminal Justice Advisory Board voted unanimously to update the archaic definition of rape in the FBI Uniform Crime Report. “It’s a great victory,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of Feminist Majority Foundation. “This new definition will mean that, at long last, we will begin to see the full scope of this...

Study Reveals Medicaid Family Planning Expansion Beneficial

A new study, “Medicaid Family Planning Expansions: Lessons Learned and Implications for the Future,” by Adam Sonfield and Rachel Benson Gold of the Guttmacher Institute, reveals the importance of expanded Medicaid eligibility for contraceptive services. The study indicated that “increasing women’s contraceptive use increased their use of more effective method and improved their continuity of...

Members of Congress Push for Greater Sexual Assault Prevention in the Military

Yesterday Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, and 46 bipartisan Members of Congress, issued a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairs and Ranking Members calling for the adoption of five provisions to the FY2-12 National Defense Authorization Act to “ensure zero tolerance for sexual assault in...

Maternal Mortality Decreases in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan Mortality Survey (AMS) 2010, sponsored by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the US Government, and the British Department for International Development, revealed that over the past five years, maternal and infant mortality has declined dramatically in Afghanistan. According to the research, there are “500 deaths per 100,000 live births,” as compared to 2005...

Record Number of Afghan Women at Bonn Conference

Women are nearly a third of the Afghan delegation at today’s Afghanistan conference in Bonn, Germany holding 13 of the 40 delegate positions. One hundred nations are meeting in Bonn to discuss future support for Afghanistan as the US has begun withdrawing troops. “The people of Afghanistan are looking to this conference for clear affirmation...

Birth Control Commonly Used for Non Contraceptive Purposes

“Beyond Birth Control: The Overlooked Benefits of Oral Contraceptive Pills,” a study conducted by Rachel Jones of the Guttmacher Institute, revealed that 14 percent of birth control pill users in the United States, or approximately 1.5 million women, take the pill exclusively for purposes other than preventing pregnancy. Moreover, 58 percent of birth control pill...

Department of Labor Files Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it will sue Brunswick Corp and Lund Boat Co., both federal contractors, for discriminating against over 200 women job applicants. OFCCP claims that the federal contractors violated Executive Order 11246 “by failing to meet its obligations as a federal contractor to...

Senator Reid Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Ban on FGM

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced legislation that would criminalize the transportation of young girls out of the United States to receive female genital mutilation (FGM) procedures. The Girls Protection Act would serve as a follow up to legislation passed in 1996 that outlawed the practice of FGM in the United States....

No Senate Vote on Lifting Ban on Military Abortion Coverage for Rape, Incest

Senate leadership indicated yesterday that they will not permit a vote on an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), which would remove the military’s ban on health coverage for abortions in instances of rape or incest. Senator Shaheen stated, “This policy is fundamentally unfair to the more...

World AIDS Day

UNAIDS released a report in honor of World AIDS Day today documenting the advances in the political, scientific, and medical responses to AIDS made in 2011 and calling for a renewed effort to stop the spread of the disease. The UNAIDS report indicates that “Nearly 50% of people who are eligible for antiretroviral therapy now...