On the heels of an Australian decision that a couple were – in defiance of the facts – not guilty of breaking anti-abortion laws (because the laws are outdated and could be easily misinterpreted), Amanda Marcotte asks tough questions about the meaning of anti-choice legislation and its effect on women who become pregnant without being ready for motherhood: "What would happen to those women? Will anti-choicers, like cowardly Australian politicians, feel like it’s just fine for abortion to be going on as long at it’s officially condemned by the government and there’s a satisfying stream of women being sent to the emergency room because they inexpertly tried to self-abort? Or will they, like the cops in the Leach case, decide that it’s time to start sending women to jail for having the temerity to act as if they know their own situation in terms of readiness to be a mother better than strangers?" All good, hard, important questions. How will you answer them?
Although lovely, the Berkshire Mountains in Western MA may not be the sunniest part of America – but that doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t have just as much opportunity to feel the sun on their skin as men do. Katherine Gundelfinger of Pittsfield, MA has succeeded in getting a question on the ballot in her county, asking for support for legislation – not yet introduced – that will change the laws around nudity such that they are equally strict (or loose) for men and women. Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto doesn’t think this is particularly important, saying “I just don’t think that the issue is worthy of discussion.’’ Of course, he’s allowed to sunbathe topless free of consequence – and there are plenty of people who don’t have that right, or who support the idea the everybody should, who think it’s definitely worth of discussion.
So-called "crisis pregnancy centers" presenting as though they are actual medical centers in some cases and operated by anti-choice ideologues are just one example of the blatant (and well-funded) propaganda the anti-choice movement vomits. "I regularly see a poster that features an anxious-looking teenage girl under the headline: 'Free Abortion Alternatives: FREE Confidential Options Counseling,'" Meredith Melnick writes. "The issue, according to [NYC Council members], is that these clinics deceive women."
But newly proposed legislation may "force crisis-pregnancy clinics to explicitly state in advertisements, websites and in their offices that they do not offer abortions, contraceptives or any type of abortion referral." Funny, then, that anti-choicers are obtusely saying that—requiring them to speak—is a violation of their right to free speech.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released yet another report yesterday finding grave differences in pregnancy rates of teens educated in States pushing abstinence-only sex education versus States offering comprehensive, evidence-based sex education. As Mike Lillis reports, "In Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, for instance, 2008 birth rates were less than 25 per 1,000 teens aged 15 to 19, CDC found. In the same year, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas all had rates topping 60 per 1,000 teens."
Meanwhile, another report from the Guttmacher Institute shows "All five states with the highest teen birth rates have adopted policies requiring that abstinence be stressed." This isn't new news, yet anti-sex ed, abstinence-only hypocrites remain willfully ignorant.
A weekly title started by Ugandan journalism students, the Rolling Stone, recently ran an article outing 100 gay people in the country under the headline "Hang Them." The article included pictures and even home addresses. One woman's home was pelted with stones and others have endured verbal harassment, which many fear will escalate to further violence.
Xan Rice reports, "On the front page, the paper claims that the homosexual community aims to 'recruit 1,000,000 children by 2012', and that parents 'face heart-breaks (sic) as homos raids schools'. Inside, a headline reads: 'Hang them; They are after our kids!!'." (sic.) Managing editor of the homophobic paper, Giles Muhame, defended his decision to run the article, saying, "Other countries have capital punishment to stop drug traffickers; we should have the same for homosexuals." Uganda's media council temporarily suspended the paper but its editors say they'll resume publishing next week, having fulfilled registration requirements.
"The same company that keeps blocking iPhone apps over stuff like illustrations of gay dudes making out can now help overbearing parents control their children's text messages and email," Max Read reports. That company is Apple, who also thinks the Olympic uniforms are too sexy for your iPhone, and they made headlines last week when their 2008 patent for a "way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate" was granted.
The tech itself seems uninspired, not very new at all, and basically a repackaging of existing techniques including word blacklists and pre-defined rating criteria. According to the patent, one embodiment would be a parental control application which, upon detection of the "objectionable" content, could alert a parent to its existence and automatically delete the sexy message.
ThinkProgress » GOP Legislator Who Crusaded Against College Sex Ed Classes Owns Company That Sells Kinky Sex GadgetsPosted: October 20th, 2010 | Author: maymay | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: 64, education, kotbriefs, politics, sexuality | No Comments »
Rep. Calvin Hill, Republican legislator from Georgia, is in the news after it was reported that he owns a business selling, among other items, "stress relievers" shaped like breasts and penises, gay pride pins, and "safe sex" kits that include a condom, an anti-bacterial wipe, and 2 breath-mints. Sadly, it's not that his company's safe sex kit is pathetically sub-par (no dental dams or glycerin-free lubricants!?) that makes this newsworthy. No, it's the fact that Rep. Hill led an anti-sex campaign to fire sexuality educators in Georgia colleges, saying, "Our public colleges are not the place for our young adults [to] experience these types of sexually explicit behavior."
Although the airtime he garnered for his sex-negativity is disgusting, equally disgusting is how he treated college students—legal adults—as though they're unfit to learn about the very things they would pay his company to use.
Following in the footsteps of an anti-Craigslist, anti-justice dogpile of 17 US Attorneys General, three Ontario cabinet ministers signed a letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster asking him to remove prostitution-related ads from the website in their province. According to a report by CBC News, "The New Democrats said prostitution and human trafficking were serious problems and Craigslist should quickly remove its prostitution-related ads under its erotic services section." In the letter, ministers cited "a simple matter of fairness" for why they want to see the Craigslist section for adult ads censored.
The letter comes on the heels of a recent Ontario court ruling (criticized by anti-prostitution & pro-censorship groups) that found laws against communication for the purpose of prostitution, which Craigslist is a remarkably safe facilitator for, violate Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Lest you think that rape culture is confined to simply excellent institutions of higher education, Salon reports that Yale students pledging the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity were marched by women’s dorms chanting “no means yes, yes means anal.” Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory writes:
Now, DKE President Jordan Forney has been forced to apologize for this blatant sexual intimidation by calling it “a serious lapse in judgment by the fraternity and in very poor taste.” But this sort of hateful crap isn’t a “lapse in judgment.” It doesn’t innocently happen that you’re guiding male pledges by young women’s dorms in the dark of night chanting about anal rape. It isn’t a forehead-slapping slip-up, it’s a sign that you need major reprogramming as a human being.
Follow the rabbit hole for a video.
In Peru, a country with one of the most strict anti-choice laws in the world, 13-year old L.C. was raped and impregnated by a man close to her family. "She realizes she’s pregnant, climbs to the roof of a local building, and jumps," Melanie Abrahams writes, retelling the horrific story. But it gets worse, "The fall doesn’t kill [L.C.], but leaves her with a paralyzing spinal injury. Doctors say an operation could restore her ability to walk, but upon realizing she’s pregnant, they insist they cannot help as the procedure could endanger the fetus."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, L.C. eventually miscarries. Now that an abortion isn't required, doctors operate, but months of delay leave L.C. without the ability to walk, no bowel control and minimal use of her arms. "They fear something else: the stigma," Dr. Luis Távara, President of the National Commission for Ob-Gyn Certification, said of the doctors, "professional stigma, social stigma, or familial stigma [for providing abortion service]."