print Print    Share Share  
Weekly Email Weekly News Email RSS Feed News RSS

Feminist News

Search Feminist News by keyword

Search News and/or 

first record   previous record  News Stories 1 to 25 of 13015  next record   last record

11/24/2015 - New Study Shows More Women Choosing LARCs

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is the "fast-growing" form of birth control in the United States, according to a new report released this month.

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics found of the 62 percent of US women using birth control between 2011 and 2013, 11.6 percent opted for LARCS with 10.3 percent choosing intrauterine devices (IUDs) and 1.3 percent preferring an implant. By contrast, only 6 percent elected to use LARCs between 2006 and 2010. In 2002, the percentage was even smaller with just 2.4 percent of women using LARCs. The birth control pill, however, still remains the most popular, accounting for 26 percent of all women employing contraceptives from 2011 to 2013. Meanwhile, alternate forms of contraception including sterilization and condoms trailed closely behind at 25 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

The benefits of LARC are undeniable. In the United States, nearly half of the 6.6 million pregnancies annually are unintended. With a failure rate of less than 1 percent, LARC methods, like the IUD, are regarded as the most effective forms of reversible birth control available today. In fact, pilot programs providing free LARCs for low-income women and teens, like that in Colorado, has seen measurable success, cutting the teen birth rate in half statewide over just five years.

LARCs have also proven the most affordable. Though the uninsured can pay upwards of $1,000 upfront for IUDs, the device makes up the cost over its 5-to-10-year use life. Fortunately, most employers (with the exception of those religiously-affiliated) are required to cover LARCs under the Affordable Care Act, putting them within reach of working women.

11/23/2015 - Last Full-Time Abortion Clinic in Kentucky Vandalized Twice in Three Weeks

Kentucky's last remaining full-time abortion clinic has been vandalized twice in less than one month.

On the night of October 26, EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville suffered a broken window when an unidentified man bolted past protestors across the street and threw his body into the clinic's window. The clinic's executive director, Anne, who withheld her name for security reasons, said following the incident, the man walked away calmly, leaving the window in pieces. Just three weeks later on November 11, surveillance cameras captured a male perpetrator kneeling and praying in front of the clinic. According to Anne, forty-five minutes later, the man returned, this time with "a blanket over his head" and in a matter of minutes, hurled a rock through the office's window before walking away. Louisville police report the clinic sustained some $1600 in damage in the two incidents combined.

The twin incidents in Kentucky are the latest in a spate of vandalism and violence against women's healthcare providers nationwide, the most recent attacks occurring in the wake of the release of several fraudulent and surreptitiously-recorded videos by anti-abortion group the Center of Medical Progress (CMP). Last month, an intruder wielding a hatchet destroyed telephones and other office equipment in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Claremont, New Hampshire. In September, two clinic were set ablaze by arsonists in Washington state and California respectively. This summer, two clinics in Louisiana suffered property damage in separate incidents of vandalism and in March, trespassers destroyed security cameras and a power generator at Mississippi's Jackson Women's Health Center. CMP's so-called "sting" videos claimed to document the illegal sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood, but have been debunked repeatedly.

For now, Kentucky's EMW have affirmed their commitment to providing reproductive care and abortions services to the women of Louisville. "We're not angry, we're not afraid, we're just really sad that the mentality out there isn't more understanding and compassionate for women," said EMW's Anne. "They're not going to intimidate us."

11/20/2015 - Spotify Announces Impressive Parental Leave Program

On Thursday, music-streaming service Spotify announced the launch of a broad parental leave program that includes six months leave for new mothers and fathers.

Effective immediately, the Swedish-born company is offering full-time employees time off with 100 percent pay, which can be broken up into three separate periods and taken within the first three years of a child's life (employees who become parents by birth, adoption or surrogacy are all eligible). The policy also extends to employees who became parents as far back as 2013. On top of that, the company is offering a one-month "welcome back" program where new parents can ease back into their work lives with part-time hours and the option to work from home.

According to a statement from Katarina Berg, Spotify's chief human resources officer, the parental leave policy was created with Swedish cultural values in mind. "This policy best defines who we are as a company, born out of a Swedish culture that places an emphasis on a healthy work/family balance, gender equality and the ability for every parent to spend quality time with the people that matter most in their lives."

Spotify joins a growing list of tech companies that have announced new parental leave policies in the last year, including Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft. Some have suggested that the wave of new policies reflects the age demographic of typical tech employees, who started working in their early-to-mid 20s and are now becoming parents.

Stateside, workers' rights organizations are applauding Spotify's decision, but caution that the U.S. remains the only developed nation in the world that does not offer federally mandated paid family leave to workers.

"This is great news for Spotify's employees, and a sign of the times that it joins several other companies in pulling their workplace policies out of the past," said Vivien Labaton, co-founder and co-director of Make It Work, in a statement. "But these kind of policy changes shouldn't just be happening in the tech industry. It's time for our elected officials to take notice and pull America out of the past. Paid family leave is a world standard, and it's time for America to stop failing its workforce."

Added Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work,

Our policymakers must take note. Company policies go a long way in influencing culture, and it's great that some companies are leading the way on this issue. However, these companies remain a small minority. We need a universal social insurance fund like the FAMILY Act so that every working American can both provide and care for their families new babies but also seriously ill loved ones.

11/19/2015 - Washington State Clears Planned Parenthood of Wrongdoing

A Washington state investigation into Planned Parenthood has found "no evidence" of wrongdoing on the part of the women's reproductive healthcare provider following allegations the organization was selling or profiting from fetal tissue donations.

Washington state joins a growing list of states where probes into Planned Parenthood have failed to turn up proof of any illegal activity. This announcement, however, is particularly meaningful because Washington is one of the only two states-the other being California-where the organization offers patients the option to donate fetal tissue for scientific research.

In July, citing several deceptive and surreptitiously-recorded videos by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Washington state lawmakers sent two letters to Attorney General Bob Ferguson requesting an investigation into the healthcare provider's activities. The videos, which claim to document the illegal sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood, have been debunked repeatedly.

Despite eight states' investigations coming up empty, right-wing lawmakers continue to target Planned Parenthood. Following the release of CMP's deceptively-edited "sting" videos, several congressional committees launched investigations into the organization. In September, House Republicans called Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Last month, House Republicans announced the formation of a select committee - this time under the jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee - in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood through budget reconciliation.

For now, Ferguson hopes his state's findings reveal the true motivations of Planned Parenthood's opponents. "Unfounded allegations against Planned Parenthood are troubling," said Washington State Attorney General Ferguson in a statement. "They seek to discredit the organization and divert resources away from patient services, making it more difficult for Washington women to exercise their constitutional rights."

11/18/2015 - Ohio State House Votes to Cut Funding to Planned Parenthood

The Ohio state House yesterday voted to defund Planned Parenthood in the state, only weeks after the state Senate passed a similar bill. Legislators must now decide which bill to advance.

In a 62-33 vote mostly party line vote-with all Republicans voting 'yes' and all Democrats except for one voting 'no-the House passed legislation that would redirect Ohio Department of Health grant money from healthcare providers that perform abortions.

In the most recent fiscal year, the state provided approximately $1.3 million to 28 Planned Parenthood clinics, excluding $2.4 million in Medicaid reimbursements. While the bills passed by the House and Senate do not affect the Medicaid reimbursement, the $1.3 million it eliminates will hamper Planned Parenthood's ability to provide a variety of services, including sexually transmitted disease testing, programs to prevent infant mortality, and breast cancer screenings.

Only 3 of the state's 28 Planned Parenthood clinics perform abortions, and none of the state-administered grant funding goes to these services.

"Testimony given by people all around our state-from Planned Parenthood staff to community partners-demonstrated that women and men rely on Planned Parenthood. Their stories and experiences directly contradict what is being said by the legislators who support this bill," said Stephanie Kight, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. "Their blatant disregard for the truth and the well-being of Ohioans is shameful. They are willing to disrupt community programs that help some of our most vulnerable citizens, all to score cheap political points. These are not the leaders that the people of our state deserve."

The Ohio bills are the latest in a series of anti-family planning and women's health measures introduced by Republican lawmakers to eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood following the release of a series of surreptitiously obtained and heavily edited videos by the Center for Medical Progress. Despite no evidence that there is any truth to the videos' claims that Planned Parenthood is illegally selling fetal tissue, Republicans in several states have insisted on eliminating funding that enables millions of women, especially low-income women, to access health care.

11/17/2015 - Restrictions on Women's Health Force Women to Self-Induce Abortion, Study Finds

The Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) today released a groundbreaking report on self-induced abortion. The report found that at least 100,000 Texas women have ever attempted to end a pregnancy on their own without medical assistance. These findings demonstrate that in the face of burdensome restrictions on abortions, like Texas' onerous House Bill 2 (HB2), women will resort to self-induction to terminate their pregnancies.

The Texas law has shuttered 22 clinics, leaving only 19 clinics across the entire state, cutting women's access to safe, legal abortion. "Women still need abortions in our communities, and many of those women take matters into their own hands. Poor Texas women are finding themselves experimenting on their bodies when abortion is supposed to be legal," said President and CEO of Whole Woman's Health Amy Hagstrom Miller, who is the lead plaintiff in the legal challenge against HB2. The study confirms that when women don't have access to abortion options and accurate health information, they will use whatever options and information are available, even if those turn out to be inaccurate or dangerous.

"Every woman should be able to get safe reproductive care in her community, including prenatal care, birth control, and abortion," continued Hagstrom Miller.

The study-performed over five weeks from December 2014 to January 2015-is the first time statistics on self-induced abortion in the general population have ever been calculated by researchers. TxPEP estimates that somewhere between 100,000 and 240,000 women age 18-49 in Texas have ever tried to end a pregnancy on their own without medical assistance. The study outlines four primary reasons why women attempted to self-induce their abortion: financial limitations to travel to a clinic or pay for the procedure, the closure of their local clinic, the suggestion from a close friend or family member to self-induce, or to avoid the stigma or shame of going to an abortion clinic, especially if they had prior abortions.

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to review a challenge to HB2, which threatens to close more than 75% of abortion clinics in the state and deny millions of women access to safe, legal abortion. The case, Whole Woman's Health v. Cole, seeks to permanently block two provisions of HB2. The first provision, which has already forced more than half of the clinics in the state to close, requires providers to secure hospital admitting privileges. The second provision forces clinics to fulfill costly, medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirements. The TxPEP study suggests that self-induction may become more common should the Supreme Court uphold these provisions as constitutional.

11/16/2015 - Private Funding Initiatives For Women and Girls Announced at White House Summit

On Friday, the White House's Council on Women and Girls hosted a day-long summit focused on advancing equity and elevating the status of women and girls in the United States. The Summit also served as a venue for institutions to announce new initiatives focusing on women and girls. Unlike the previously announced My Brother's Keeper program, the initiatives unveiled on Friday are not public-private partnerships and will receive no funding or resources from the Obama Administration.

MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry, the director of the Anna Cooper Center at Wake Forest University, led the event and was joined by expert panelists including Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Cecilia Munoz of the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Ms. Foundation's Teresa Younger. The summit introduced key strategies for addressing inequity experienced by women and girls of color. Women and girls from around the world joined the conversation via social media using the hashtag #YesSheCan.

At the event, the Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research-a coalition of American colleges, universities, and research organizations led by Wake Forest University-announced an $18 million funding commitment to support research efforts about women and girls of color. The coalition currently comprises 24 institutions, including the University of Pittsburgh, Columbia University, Harvard University, Bennett College, and Howard University School of Divinity.

Prosperity Together, a project of the Women's Funding Network-a group of public U.S.-based women's foundations committed to investing in women's economic security-also announced a five-year, $100 million funding initiative to increase economic opportunities for low-income women.

In 2014, the Obama Administration created the My Brother's Keeper Taskforce, which has attracted over $300 million in funding, and an additional $85 million for its non-profit spinoff. The total for the new private initiative for women and girls is only $118 million and does not come with any White House infrastructure like the aforementioned Taskforce.

My Brother's Keeper has received criticism for failing to acknowledge the unique challenges faced by their female peers. Studies show girls of color experience a disproportionately higher rate of school suspensions than their white counterparts, comprise 32 percent of juvenile arrests and detentions and remain more than twice as likely to become pregnant as teens as young white women.

11/13/2015 - Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Case on Texas Anti-Abortion Law

The Supreme Court announced today that it will review an anti-abortion Texas law that threatens to close more than 75 percent of abortion clinics in the state and deny millions of women access to safe, legal abortion.

"Today, my heart is filled with hope," said Amy Hagstrom Miller, Founder and President of Whole Woman's Health, the lead plaintiff in the case. "Although this is the first step in a much longer process, I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold the rights that have been in place for four decades and reaffirm that every woman should be able to make her own decision about continuing or ending a pregnancy."

"I have hope," Hagstrom Miller continued, "for my staff members, who, for years, have poured themselves into providing Texas women with high-quality and comprehensive reproductive health care. And most of all, I have hope for the families and communities all across Texas who now may be able to get the safe and comprehensive care they need from a clinic they trust."

Last week at its Women Money Power Summit, the Feminist Majority and the Feminist Majority Foundation, honored Hagstrom Miller with a Courage Award.

"We are thrilled that the Supreme Court has decided to review this politically-motivated law, whose goal is to end abortion access and all but overturn Roe v. Wade," said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. "Laws designed to force the closure of women's reproductive health clinics are not only discriminatory, they are dangerous for women. The Supreme Court should expose the Texas law, and all those like it, for what they are - an end run around Roe - and reaffirm the constitutional right of millions of women to access safe, legal abortion."

The Supreme Court will likely hear the case Whole Woman's Health v. Cole in 2016. The case challenges two provisions of Texas' omnibus abortion law, known as HB2. The first provision, which has already forced more than half of the clinics in the state to close, requires providers to secure hospital admitting privileges. The second provision forces clinics to fulfill costly, medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirements.

Both the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have spoken out against both the ASC and admitting privileges requirements as medically unnecessary. Without any medical justification, all these laws seek to do is make it increasingly difficult-or even impossible-for a woman to get an abortion.

"We are confident the court will recognize that these laws are a sham and stop these political attacks on women's rights, dignity, and access to safe, legal essential health care," said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Whole Woman's Health and other providers in the case.

The Supreme Court has twice stepped in to temporarily block the law from fully going into effect-once in October 2014 and again in June 2015. The 2014 decision came after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that both restrictions could take effect even though the case was still being heard in court. The Supreme Court's decision kept the ASC requirement from going into effect until the Fifth Circuit could make a final ruling on the law's constitutionality. When the Fifth Circuit issued its final decision in June, upholding both requirements, the Supreme Court again stepped in to temporarily block the decision, maintaining the status quo while the clinics continued their legal challenge back to the Supreme Court.

11/12/2015 - Ms. in the Classroom Introduces Two Exciting New Digital Readers

This week, at the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) 2015 Annual Conference, Ms. in the Classroom, a college curriculum based on Ms. magazine, will introduce two innovative new digital readers. The readers compile the best of Ms. magazine and the Ms. Blog into easily accessible online textbooks for the 21st century feminist classroom.

Designed to engage digital-savvy undergraduate students in an ever-growing number of women's studies and online education courses and programs, Ms. Digital Readers are edited and introduced by distinguished faculty from the Ms. Committee of Scholars and feature more than 100 articles from Ms. and the Ms. Blog from 1972 to present day. Currently available, the new Ms. Digital Reader: Gender, Race & Class, introduced by Beverly Guy-Sheftall and edited by Aviva Dove-Viebahn, introduces students to the intersections that connect gender, race and class, strengthening students' relationships to progressive activism on their campuses, in their communities and the larger world. For the first time ever, the Ms. Digital Reader, in partnership with Women Make Movies, will offer students the opportunity to supplement their reading with documentary films related to their topic of study.

The Ms. Digital Reader series, inspired by an appeal to educators issued by the NWSA Curriculum Institute (led by Guy-Sheftall) to approach women's studies in transnational and intersectional terms, is the brainchild of Ms. in the Classroom program director Karon Jolna. Building on four key concepts identified as central to women's studies and feminist activism, including intersectionality, transnationalism, knowledge production and social justice, Ms. Digital Readers feature articles written by such feminist and social justice pathbreakers as bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, Bonnie Thornton-Dill, Dolores Huerta and Brittney Cooper, addressing topics like work and labor, media, and reproductive justice.

Arriving January 2016-just in time for Winter and Spring 2016 classes!-the followup Ms. Digital Reader: Introduction to Women's Studies: So You Want to Change the World?, edited by Michele Tracy Berger, introduces students to the field of women's studies. The articles highlight the transformative influence of studying women, gender and sexuality on students, universities, communities and feminism.

Want to join the 700+ undergraduate women's studies programs worldwide using Ms. in the Classroom Ms. Digital Readers, but can't attend NWSA's Annual Conference? Sign up for Ms. in the Classroom TODAY!

11/12/2015 - Feminist Scholars Convene in Milwaukee For Annual National Women's Studies Conference

Between Thursday and Sunday this week, as many as 1,800 feminist scholars from around the country will meet in Milwaukee for the National Women's Studies Association's (NWSA) annual conference. Ms. and the Feminist Majority Foundation's national campus organizers will join distinguished faculty and graduate students from across academic disciplines in celebrating the latest feminist scholarship.

In addition to hundreds of workshops, panels will feature such feminist luminaries as Kimberle Crenshaw, former NWSA president Beverly Guy-Sheftall as well as event keynote speaker Sara Ahmed, the director of the Centre for Feminist Research at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Since 1977, the NWSA has worked to strengthen the field of women's studies through feminist scholarship, building an ever-expanding membership of individuals and institutions nationwide. In recent years, addressing the need for a more inclusive space, the NWSA has centralized scholarship by women of color within its programs. It launched the NWSA Women of Color Leadership Project, a conference mainstay, at which esteemed scholars, including Angela Davis and bell hooks, will deliver keynote addresses.

Each year, some of the most well-attended conference workshops are the Ms. Sessions, featuring Ms. scholars sharing their experiences and insights about writing for the popular press. Currently in their fourth year at the conference, these Ms. writing workshops provide feminist scholars with the tools they need to translate their cutting-edge research into articles and blogs for Ms. and other media outlets.

In addition to the Ms. Sessions, Ms. in the Classroom will be introducing two innovative new Ms. Digital Readers at the exhibition booth. The readers are the first of their kind, compiling the best articles from Ms. magazine and the Ms. Blog into accessible, engaging online textbooks to be used in feminist classrooms in the U.S., Canada and globally.

Ms. in the Classroom program director Karon Jolna hopes this year's NWSA conference will grow Ms.' network of feminist scholars and offer them new and creative ways to engage their students."Ms. in the Classroom strengthens the connections between academia, women's studies, and the Ms. community of activists," says Jolna. "With faculty participating in 48 states and more than 500 universities and colleges, [teaching tools like] Ms. Digital Readers, designed for use in the most popular women's studies and general education courses, take on an even greater sense of currency for the next generation."

11/11/2015 - SCOTUS Protects Use of Deadly Force by Police

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed a Texas police officer to avoid a civil suit for shooting and killing a fleeing suspect, despite two federal appeals court decisions that would have allowed the lawsuit to go forward.

In March 2010, DPS trooper Chadrin Mullenix fired his rifle six times from atop a highway overpass at suspect Israel Leija, Jr. who had been engaged in a high-speed chase with police. Minutes before the shooting, trained DPS officers had set up tire spikes at three strategic locations to disable Leija's vehicle in order to apprehend the suspect. Mullenix, who was never trained in shooting to disable a car in a high-speed chase, asked permission from his superior to fire at the approaching vehicle. The superior told him not to shoot, ordering Mullenix to "stand by" and "see if the spikes work first."

Mullenix shot anyway. None of the six bullets he fired hit the car's radiator, hood, or engine - which would have disabled the vehicle - but at least four shots hit Leija in the upper body, killing him at the scene.

Leija's mother brought a civil suit against Mullenix, alleging that the officer had violated the Fourth Amendment by using excessive force against her son. In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that Mullenix could face trial. That decision was later upheld after the entire Fifth Circuit, in a 9-6 ruling, refused to rehear the case.

On Monday, in an 8-1 decision, the Court reversed the Fifth Circuit, finding that the officer's actions did not clearly violate a constitutional prohibition on excessive force and that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity, meaning that Leija's mother will not be able to seek justice for her son through the courts.

In a scathing dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor accused the Court of "sanctioning a 'shoot first, think later' approach to policing [that] renders the protections of the Fourth Amendment hollow." She noted, "When Mullenix confronted his superior officer after the shooting, his first words were, "How's that for proactive?" Justice Sotomayor described this "glib comment [as] revealing of the culture this Court's decision supports when it calls it reasonable-or even reasonably reasonable-to use deadly force for no discernible gain and over a supervisor's express order to "stand by.""

The court's decision comes amid massive, nationwide protests of police use of deadly force, whose victims are disproportionately African American. According to the Washington Post, 843 people have been shot dead by police this year alone.

11/11/2015 - Minimum-Wage Workers Fight for $15 in Cities Across America

Low-wage workers around the country-the majority of whom are women-gathered Tuesday to strike for $15 an hour. The Fight for 15 campaign, now in its third year, began with fast-food workers demanding better wages, and now includes factory laborers, home- and child-care workers, janitors, retail employees and others earning less than $15 an hour.

The campaign is backed by the Service Employees International Union and has seen victories in cities across the country. In Los Angeles and Seattle, for example, city councils voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 incrementally over a period of years. And in San Francisco, residents voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2018. On Tuesday, campaign organizers added Pittsburgh to their list of wins, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 for state employees.

Fight for 15 organizers say demonstrations were held in at least 270 locales, including Las Vegas, Fresno, Calif., Troy, Mich., Fairfax, Va. and Milwaukee, among others.

Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers and a Mexican-American icon, joined activists in Milwaukee who are not only demanding a better minimum wage, but also protesting the Republican presidential debate happening last night in that city.

"The Republican candidates are going down the wrong path with all of these attacks they're making on our community," Huerta said in a statement. "They're against raising the minimum wage, against fighting climate change, even though families are struggling and global warming is going to affect every one of us."

11/10/2015 - Jindal Appeals Federal Court Ruling That Saved Medicaid Funding for Planned Parenthood

Last week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's administration filed an appeal notice at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans after a federal judge ordered his administration to cease efforts to strip Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood in the state.

Late last month, after temporarily blocking Jindal's attempts, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles handed down a preliminary injunction requiring Louisiana to continue funding Planned Parenthood.

Jindal, a Republican candidate for president, sought the cancellation of provider agreements between Medicaid and Planned Parenthood, asserting the women's reproductive healthcare provider does not "represent the values of the state of Louisiana in regards to respecting human life."

He also cited a series of fraudulent and surreptitiously recorded videos released by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). The videos, which CMP claim depicts Planned Parenthood's sale of fetal tissue, have been debunked repeatedly. Nonetheless, under Jindal's directive, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) issued a notice to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) in August alerting them of their contract termination with Medicaid effective 30 days after the notice's date.

The need for affordable access to quality reproductive healthcare in Louisiana could not be more critical. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted disease infection in the United States, ranking first in gonorrhea infection, second in chlamydia and third in syphilis and HIV. Last year, the state's two Planned Parenthood clinics provided nearly 20,000 STD tests as well as pelvic exams, cancer screenings and contraception to some 10,000 predominately low-income patients.

11/10/2015 - Federal Appeals Court Upholds Injunction Against Obama's Executive Action on Immigration

In a blow to President Obama's immigration reform efforts, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction barring the Administration from moving forward with a series of executive orders that would protect nearly 5 million people from deportation.

The 2-1 ruling upholds a February decision by a Texas-based federal judge who rejected the Department of Justice's request for the executive orders to go into effect pending appeal. 26 states challenged the executive actions in court.

The initiatives under scrutiny include expanding the eligibility for the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of a Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program through a 2014 executive order. DACA protects immigrants if they were brought into the country illegally as children. DAPA would protect parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

Texas governor Greg Abbott responded to the decision saying, "The court's decision is a vindication for the rule of law and the Constitution... The president's job is to enforce the immigration laws, not rewrite them. President Obama should abandon his lawless executive amnesty program and start enforcing the law today."

Dolores Huerta, founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Feminist Majority Foundation board member, said, "This decision shows how important it is to elect progressive presidents. This is a decision by a conservative majority on the court."

In a statement, Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said, "The court's flawed ruling today is inconsistent with even the most basic legal principles. While it is clear that our fight is far from over, the power of our voices and our votes will eventually prevail and bring about change. We will not deviate from a future in which all immigrants are treated with dignity and justice... We now call on the Department of Justice to seek Supreme Court review immediately where we are more likely to obtain justice for our communities."

11/9/2015 - Protests Force U of MO President Out

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe has resigned amid escalating protests and calls for him to step down after failing to address the issue of racism and racial intolerance on campus.

For months, black students at the University of Missouri have been protesting over matters of racial discrimination, citing that students felt unsafe on campus due to racial slurs and threats aimed towards black students.

During homecoming, the protesters blocked the president's vehicle during a parade, but unfortunately, Wolfe did not come out to address them and the police had to move them.

Seeing the lack of acknowledgement from the president, a black graduate student, Jonathan Butler, went on a hunger strike last week to bring awareness to the "slew of racist, sexist, homophobic" incidents on campus and Wolfe's lack of response to them.

Over the weekend, the protests picked up steam when 30 black football players announced they would not participate in football team activities, including games, until Wolfe resigned. A statement by the players revealed that the players would not tolerate any lack of action concerning threats or incidents of racism towards students. The boycott would have had significant economic repercussions for the school, including a $1 million fine if they do not play in this weekend's game versus Brigham Young University.

Students and members of the Concerned Student 1950, an organization named after the year in which the first black student was admitted to the university, also spearheaded today's walk out to demand Wolfe's resignation.

Several political leaders voiced their concern over the lack of action by the school authorities. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D - MO) said it is essential for the Board of Curators to send a "clear message" to the student body on how they are committed to addressing racism on the campus. In a statement, Missouri State Representative Steven Cookson said that Wolfe "can no longer effectively lead" and he should leave his post.

Last month, the Feminist Majority Foundation, along with 72 local and national women's and civil rights groups, called on the U.S. Department of Education to issue new guidelines for colleges and universities to do more to protect students from harassment and threats based on sex, race, LGBT and disability status.

The groups are calling for the Education Department's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to remind colleges and universities of their legal obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure campuses are not permitting a climate of hostility toward some students based on race, sex, ethnicity, and LGBT or disability status.

11/9/2015 - Feminist Majority Honored Congresswomen and a Leading Women's Health Advocate

The Feminist Majority Foundation and its 42 co-sponsors honored Congresswomen Louise Slaughter with a Lifetime Achievement Award, Barbara Lee and Donna Edwards with Fearless Trailblazer Awards, and Amy Hagstrom Miller, President and Founder of Whole Women's Health with its Courage Award at the 2015 Women Money Power Summit.

The awards were presented before a packed ballroom at the National Press Club. The Summit is co-sponsored by 42 leading women's rights organizations including National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, American Association of University Women, National Education Association, National Congress of Black Women, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York made history as the first woman on the powerful House Rules Committee and now as its ranking member. Congresswoman Slaughter a strong voice and fighter for reproductive and justice in Congress and Chair of the Prochoice House Caucus, reminded participants about the days of back-alley abortions. She emphasized that we must never go back to that time. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro paid tribute to Slaughter calling her one of the "great Titans in Congress."

Congresswoman Barbara Lee courageously fought against the Stupak-Pitts anti-abortion amendment to the Affordable Care Ac and recently introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) to finally end the Hyde Amendment. She believes that there is "no option but to fight for women's healthcare, for women's rights, and the elimination of racism and sexism." She encouraged the audience to advocate for what you want. Congresswoman Lee quoted her idol, Shirley Chisholm that "if they don't give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair."

Congresswoman Donna Edwards served as the first executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, an organization she co-founded. She also led the campaign to pass the Violence Against Women Act and the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. Congresswoman Edwards asked audience to be strong supporters of women. She raised an important point that "it takes women supporting women, making sure people know not only what we want, but what we demand." Congresswoman Edwards said that "being fearless is about every single one of us standing up and making a difference."

Amy Hagstrom Miller is the lead plaintiff in the legal challenge against the Texas TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) law that would reduce the number of clinics from 41 to 10 in the state, denying millions of women access to legal abortion. Advocates are waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will hear Whole Woman's Health constitutional challenge to the Texas TRAP law. Miller spoke of the importance of women's health clinics to millions of women not only in the major population centers but also in the rural areas of the country.

The Summit featured sessions on maximizing the women's vote, the rule of gender in election and advancing the feminist agenda. Featured speakers at the sessions included Avis Jones-Deweever, President and CEO of Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, Kelly Dittmar a scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics, Barry Lynn, Executive Director at the American United for Separation of Church and State, E. Faye Williams, President and CEO of National Congress of Black Women, Terry O'Neil, President of National Organization for Women, Lisa Maatz, Vice President of Government Relations at the American Association of University Women, Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, Serra Sippel, President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity.

11/6/2015 - ACA Birth Control Benefit Heads Back to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear arguments from religiously affiliated non-profits challenging women's right to access insurance coverage for birth control under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The non-profits seeking to deny women employees access to birth control argue that the requirement to fill out a one-page form to receive an exemption from covering birth control places a substantial burden on their exercise of religion and violates Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

"Birth control is basic health care for women. These challenges are not about religion. There is no law in the United States that allows an employer, even a religiously-affiliated non-profit, to impose a religious belief on an employee," said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal. "Plain and simple, these cases are about sex discrimination and whether or not religion - in the United States - can still be used as a cover to discriminate against women. Will we have equal rights and democracy for everyone, or will we have democracy for men and theocracy for women?"

Under the ACA, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. Religious employers, like churches, are already entirely exempt from this requirement. Religiously affiliated non-profits that object to providing birth control coverage to their employees are entitled to an accommodation that relieves them of their obligation to cover birth control.

To qualify for the accommodation, religiously affiliated non-profits must only inform their health insurance issuer, third party administrator, or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - via a simple government form - that it objects to providing insurance coverage for birth control. At that point, these organizations are no longer required to play any role in providing or subsidizing birth control. The insurance issuer or third party administrator would be solely responsible for providing birth control benefits to affected employees.

Seven federal appeals courts have ruled that it is not a violation of RFRA the for a religiously affiliated non-profit to fill out a form indicating that it objects to providing insurance coverage for birth control. Only one court, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, has sided with the non-profits.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear at least parts of all seven cases that requested review.

Just last Term, the Supreme Court decided in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell that for-profit corporations with religious objections could deny health insurance coverage for birth control. In its opinion, the Court determined that the government could achieve its goal of making birth control coverage available through narrower means, specifically referencing the accommodation available to religiously affiliated non-profits.

11/3/2015 - Hundreds of Police Officers Lost Jobs for Committing Sexual Assault

Over the last six years, about 1,000 police officers in the United States lost their badges because of sexual misconduct, according to an investigation by the Associated Press. That amounts to an officer being fired for sexual misconduct nearly every other day.

The AP report examined police decertification records from 41 states between 2009 and 2014 to determine how many cases fit the Department of Justices' standard for sexual assault:

"AP determined that some 550 officers were decertified for sexual assault, including rape and sodomy, sexual shakedowns in which citizens were extorted into performing favors to avoid arrest, or gratuitous pat-downs. Some 440 officers lost their badges for other sex offenses, such as possessing child pornography, or for sexual misconduct that included being a peeping Tom, sexting juveniles or having on-duty intercourse."

The investigation did not include data from nine states and the District of Columbia, because they either did not decertify any officers or refused to provide this information to the AP. Decertification is an administrative process that results the loss of the ability to serve in law enforcement. This process varies by state. California and New York, two of the most populous states, are also not included in these findings, as they have no statewide system to track decertifications. Federal officers were excluded as well. Because of these gaps, these numbers are most certainly an undercount.

Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Sarasota Police Department in Florida said, "It's happening probably in every law enforcement agency across the country... It's so underreported and people are scared that if they call and complain about a police officer, they think every other police officer is going to be then out to get them."

The report comes as the trial of Daniel Holtzclaw - the former Oklahoma City police officer facing 36 counts including rape, sexual battery and forcible oral sodomy - is set to begin this week. At least 13 African American women have come forward against Holtzclaw, who seems to have targeted these women because they are Black. Despite being charged with these heinous crimes and abusing his authority in the community, Holtzclaw was released on bond, which was later revoked when he let his GPS monitored ankle bracelet battery go dead. Black Women's Blueprint, a national Black feminist organization, has called this a part of a history that "devalue[s] Black women as legitimate victims of rape and assault."

In May, the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) released a report, "Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women," highlighting stories of Black women who have been killed by police, and studying forms of police brutality, such as sexual assault, that are often disproportionately experienced by women.

"Although Black women are routinely killed, raped and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in popular understandings of police brutality," explains Kimberle Crenshaw, AAPF founder and director. "Yet, inclusion of Black women's experiences in social movements, media narratives and police demands around policing and police brutality is critical to effectively combating racialized state violence for Black communities and other communities of color."

11/2/2015 - Teen Births In Colorado Dip 48 Percent Thanks To LARCs

Just five years since Colorado introduced an innovative family planning initiative providing little to no-cost long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to low-income women in 68 clinics, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced a 48 percent decline in teen births and abortions statewide, effectively linking access to affordable reproductive care to low rates of unintended pregnancy.

Since 2009, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, a five-year pilot program funded privately with a $25 million grant from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, has provided more than 30,000 intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other LARC methods including hormonal implants to low-income and uninsured women across the state. According to data compiled by the Colorado Department of Public Health, both births and abortions among women aged 15-19 have been cut in half, decreasing by as much as 48 percent between 2009 and 2014.

Women ages 20-24 are seeing drops, too. In the last five years, the birth and abortion rates within their age group dropped by 20 percent and 18 percent respectively. Moreover, the program has saved Medicaid approximately $79 million in birth-related costs between 2010 and 2012, meaning for every dollar spent, the initiative has returned $5.85 back into the social safety net.

Unfortunately, some remain unconvinced of the initiative's clear benefits. In May, the Colorado Senate voted down a bill appropriating $5 million for the program, funding that would have sustained the program beyond the previous grant's July expiration date. Several organizations have since pledged roughly $2 million to fund the program until June next year.

But according to Colorado's chief medical officer and health department executive director Dr. Larry Wolk, the program's effectiveness is undeniable. Given three-fourths of Colorado's teen pregnancies are unintended, the need for increased access to affordable contraception could not be more critical.
"This initiative continues to prove its effectiveness," said Wolk. "Thousands of low-income Colorado women now are able to pursue their dreams of higher education and a good career and choose when and whether to start a family."

11/2/2015 - Protecting NYC Restaurant Workers from Sexual Harassment

Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit working to end violence against women and children around the world, has launched an innovative project that aims to prevent sexual harassment of restaurant workers.

Nearly 80 percent of women restaurant employees have been sexually harassed at work at least once, by either a coworker or customer, and more than half report being harassed at least monthly.

Futures Without Violence teamed up with New York restaurants Amali and Colors, anti-violence organization CONNECT and advocacy group Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC) to create a series of trainings, workplace policies and educational materials for employees with the goal of preventing workplace sexual harassment.

"The restaurant industry is rife with sexual assault and harassment, and occupations that rely on tips, like waitressing, can put women in compromising positions in which they are forced to choose between putting up with harassment and earning a decent wage," said Catherine Barnett, executive director at ROC-New York.

Women make up about 52 percent of restaurant employees, but are 66 percent of tipped workers—which means that, in many cases, they earn less than minimum wage and subsist on tips, so must endure sexual abuse from customers just to earn a meager income (an estimated $9 an hour, including tips).

"As employers, it's our duty to take a proactive role in preventing and addressing this issue, and recognize its impact on individuals and the workplace overall," said James Mallios, managing partner at Amali Restaurant. "The costs of implementing these programs are far outweighed by the benefits of improved employee safety, retention, productivity and overall performance."

During its 15-month pilot project, the coalition plans to develop a set of practices and procedures that can become the industry standard for handling on-the-job sexual misconduct.

10/29/2015 - Afghan Woman Runs in Country's First Marathon

Afghanistan hosted an international marathon this month- the first marathon ever to be held in the country. Among the runners were several brave women, paving the way for women and girls.

The marathon was held in Bamyan province, located in central Afghanistan. More than 60 amateur and professional runners participated, including people from the United States and Canada, as well as runners from Afghanistan. Although about a dozen local schoolgirls participated in the shorter 10 kilometer race, only one Afghan woman ran the entire marathon.

Zainab, who is 25, spoke out about the her experience running in the marathon and the backlash she faced. "It is not easy for a woman to leave the house by herself, let alone running outside," Zainab said, admitting that she faced a lot of street harassment during the year she spent training for this event.

"The children were stoning us, people shouted bad words like 'prostitute', [asked her] 'why you don't stay at home?'" But Zainab insists that her resolve was not shaken. She says that she hopes more young girls are encouraged to take up running.

"I have plans for the future- I have goals," Zainab said. She spoke of her time visiting women in colleges in Afghanistan, "The girls- all of them are really quiet, and they don't laugh. I invited them to laugh, to be happy."

Afghan women have participated in marathons in foreign countries before, but this was the first time an Afghan woman ran in a marathon within her own country. The organizers hope that programs like this will show another side of Afghanistan in the media. Zainab is hopeful as well:

"I think little by little, I'll bring change."

10/29/2015 - Texas Officials Raid Planned Parenthood

Just three days after Texas officials announced their plan to cut Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, investigators from the state's Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) raided a handful of the women's healthcare provider's clinics, demanding patients' records and billing details as well as employee information.

Last week, state officials from the Texas Office of the Inspector General (a division of the HHSC led by Stuart Brown) served subpoenas to Planned Parenthood facilities in Brownsville, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio and ordered to surrender documents - including Medicaid records dating back to 2010 - to authorities within 24 hours. Though it has not been confirmed, local sources report officials are investigating suspicions of misspending of federal Medicaid funds on the part of the women's healthcare provider.

On Monday, in a letter to Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas, the HHSC and Inspector General Brown (with support from Gov. Greg Abbott) announced the state will cancel contracts between Medicaid and the women's healthcare provider, accusing the organization of no longer capably "performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal, and ethical manner," citing surreptitiously recorded videos of Planned Parenthood facilities which falsely claim to depict the trafficking of fetal body parts. Should Texas proceed in withdrawing Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, the state will not only be in violation of federal law, but it will also cut off access to quality reproductive healthcare to tens of thousands of Texas women.

"Governor Abbott's political grandstanding is on full display this morning," said executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes Yvonne Gutierrez Thursday. "Representatives from the Texas Office of Inspector General showed up at Planned Parenthood centers in Brownsville, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio looking for an excuse to take healthcare away from thousands of women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood for preventative care."

An avalanche of anti-abortion legislation and state and federal investigations has descended on Planned Parenthood since the release of several deceptively edited and repeatedly debunked videos by the anti-abortion group Center of Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan. To date, all investigations - including those carried out in Texas - have found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood.

On Thursday, Ken Lambrecht, Capital Region Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood Texas fingered the attacks on Texas clinics as "politically motivated", dismissing the action as "a fishing expedition." Officials from the HHSC have declined to comment.

10/28/2015 - Gov. Cuomo Signs Women's Equality Bills Into Law

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed into law several bills strengthening protections for women in the workplace as well as victims of sex trafficking, sexual harassment, and domestic violence in an effort to further women's equality in the state.

The new laws close loopholes that had allowed employers to have policies against sharing wage information and increases the amount of damages that can be collected in cases of wage theft; expands protections against workplace sexual harassment to include all employers, not just those with more than four employees; and allows recovery of attorneys' fees by successful plaintiffs in sex discrimination in employment and credit cases. One of the bills now requires employers to provide "reasonable accommodation for pregnant employees," thus adding protections for women workers from pregnancy discrimination. In addition, the bills package includes provisions to end housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence and increases penalties against sex traffickers.

The original package of bills, called the Women's Equality Act, had also contained legislation codifying into law the Supreme Court's 1973 decision Roe v. Wade and ensuring women in New York access to abortion services within 24 weeks of pregnancy or when necessary to protect her life, but was ultimately defeated and ruled "not germane" on a Senate vote of 32-30.

Despite the notable exclusion, NOW NY President Sonia Ossorio applauded Wednesday's signing. "These anti-discrimination bills address key challenges that span a woman's life," said Ossorio. "We are leveling the playing field for women at work and improving the lives of families at home."

But according to Dina Bakst, co-founder of A Better Balance, an organization that champions legislation to achieve a healthy work-life balance for families across the country, women still have a long road ahead. "We still have our work cut out for us to ensure full women's equality across the state," said Bakst, "but this huge step, years in the making, will make an enormous difference for women and families in New York."

10/28/2015 - Update: Deputy Fields Has Been Fired

BREAKING: The South Carolina deputy who attacked a female student at Spring Valley High School this week was fired, his boss announced this morning.

National shock and outrage followed the spread of cellphone footage on Monday showing Deputy Ben Fields violently attacking a female student for allegedly using her cell phone during class. Since then, Deputy Fields has been fired, and both local and federal investigations have been launched. Although these actions have been taken, charges are still being pressed against two students.

Niya Kenny is one of the students arrested who is facing charges. Kenny became upset at the treatment of her fellow classmate after Deputy Field flipped her over in her desk and dragged her to the front of the classroom. Kenny attempted to stand up for the girl, and was also arrested for "disrupting the school." Kenny has been released on a $1,000 bail.

Officers with the school resource program deny and injury to the student involved, but the student's attorney has reported that she suffers from back and neck injuries, has a cast on her arm, and a bruise on her head. A petition is being circulated to drop all charges against the two Spring Valley High School students.

Deputy Fields is no stranger to complaints about his actions and tactics as a school resource officer. He is set to stand trial in January 2016 for a lawsuit filed by a former student who alleges that Fields "recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity."

There has been a spotlight on the mistreatment of black women and girls recently, spearheaded by Kimberle Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum (AAPF). The AAPF released a report last year titled "Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected," which explains how girls of color face harsher school discipline than their white peers. The data collected reveals, among other things, that nationally black girls were suspended a startling six times more than white girls, while black boys were suspended three times as often as white boys.

10/27/2015 - Outrage Over Footage of Officer Assaulting Black Student in South Carolina High School

National shock and outrage has followed the spread of cellphone footage showing Deputy Ben Fields attacking a female student at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina for allegedly refusing to leave her the classroom. The event has sparked national conversation on the disciplinary treatment of African American girls in schools.

The video shows the female student, who is African American, sitting at her desk in a classroom with other students. Deputy Fields, who is white, then puts his arm around the student's neck, throwing the chair and desk backwards to the floor where the Deputy then drags the student several feet before telling her to put her arms behind her back. It is reported that the Deputy was called to the classroom after the teacher and principal asked the student to leave the classroom because she was "disturbing the class," and she refused. Several students have now said that the Deputy was called to the classroom because the student was using her cell phone during class, according to Shaun King, who has been reporting on this story since it broke on Monday. This morning Sherriff Leon Lott, whose agency is in charge of the school resource program, asked that the US Justice Department conduct an independent investigation.

Tony Robinson Jr., who recorded the event, said, "I've never seen anything so nasty looking, so sick to the point that you know, other students are turning away, don't know what to do, and are just scared for their lives." He added, "That's supposed to be somebody that's going to protect us. Not somebody that we need to be scare off, or afraid."

"The cellphone footage says it all. This is horrific and unconscionable treatment of a student. How can students learn in an atmosphere of fear where they are being treated with zero respect?" asked Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

The student was arrested and charged with "disturbing schools" and has since been released to the custody of her parents. A second student, Niya Kenny, was also arrested after she attempted to stand up for the student that Deputy Fields was attacked. Kenny has since been released on a $1,000 bail.

"I had never seen nothing like that in my life, a man use that much force on a little girl. A big man, like 300 pounds of full muscle. I was like 'no way, no way.' You can't do nothing like that to a little girl. I'm talking about she's like 5'6"," Kenny said.

Kenny's mother was shocked and upset, but says that she thinks her daughter did the right thing. "Looking at the video, who was really "disturbing the school," was it my daughter or was it the officer who came into the classroom and did that to the young girl?" she asked.

Deputy Fields is no stranger to complaints about his actions and tactics as a school resource officer. He is set to stand trial in January 2016 for a lawsuit filed by a former student who alleges that Fields "recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity."

There has been a spotlight on the mistreatment of black women and girls recently, spearheaded by Kimberle Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum (AAPF). The AAPF released a report last year titled "Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected," which explains how girls of color face harsher school discipline than their white peers. The data collected reveals, among other things, that nationally black girls were suspended a startling six times more than white girls, while black boys were suspended three times as often as white boys.

Crenshaw and the AAPF also released a report this summer titled "#SayHerName: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women," which highlights stories of Black women who have been killed by police, and studies forms of police brutality, such as sexual assault, that are often disproportionately experienced by women. "There is a paucity of data in cases of police violence against Black women, which perpetuates the myth that they are not impacted by this problem," the report says.

Crenshaw said in a press release, "Although Black women are routinely killed, raped and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in popular understandings of police brutality."

Women and girls are often at the center of police violence. Since the #SayHerName campaign began, the hashtag has taken off on social media sparking marches, protests, rallies, and vigils across the country. Protests in San Fransisco and New York took place this summer, and were joined by family members of Tanisha Anderson, Rekia Boyd, Miriam Carey, Michelle Cusseux, Shelly Frey, Kayla Moore, and Alberta Spruill, all of whom are Black women killed by police violence.