News Roundup: Wal-Mart Must Carry Emergency Contraception, How Do Male Politicians with Daughters Vote?
*Wal-Mart pharmacies in Massachusetts have until today to comply with an order to stock emergency contraception. Earlier this week, the state's regulatory board's unanimously ruled Wal-Mart was in violation of a state law requiring pharmacies to carry all "commonly prescribed medications in accordance with the usual needs of the community." Massachusetts joins Illinois in requiring pharmacists to carry emergency contraception, which advocates say could prevent 1.5 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions each year.
*Male US representatives (Republican and Democrat) with daughters are more likely to vote in favor of women's issues than those who are without daughters, according to a Yale University study. The more daughters a congressman has, the more likely he is to vote for reproductive rights. In order to conduct a similar study about women in politics, we need to elect more moms.
Source: Washington Post
*The South Dakota legislature has approved a measure to require abortion clinics to be licensed and inspected. Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls operates the only abortion clinic in the entire state.
*Women hold fewer than a quarter of the top jobs in state governments around the country and have made few gains in the last eight years, according to the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at the University at Albany. From 1998 and 2005, the percentage of women in state government leadership positions rose from 23.1 percent to 24.7 percent. The positions include statewide elected officials, state legislators, high court judges, department heads, and governors' office top advisers. "In 40 percent of the states, when you look across the top leadership positions in all three branches of government, women's shares have remained level or increased very modestly. After reporting for almost 10 years these very modest gains for women, I have come to believe it is a very persistent social phenomenon," she said. "The problem does not appear to be going away," said Judith Saidel, the study's project director.
*A female employee in San Diego was told that her pregnancy was costing her company too much money and that it would pay for her to have an abortion. It's an extreme example, but advocates say the workplace is still tough on pregnant women.
Source: Women's eNews
*The pay gap between men and women continues: women make about 76 1/2 cents for every dollar men make for doing the same job. That's up from about 63 cents three decades ago. A study conducted by the National Association for Female Executives looked at more than 100 jobs in 20 industries nationwide and found that in 2004, men earned more in all areas, including those professions where women tend to thrive. Women high school teachers, for example, earned an average of $42,848, compared to $49,660 for men who have the same tenure and credentials. The survey also found that women marketing and sales managers earned $46,696 in 2004, compared with $74,932 for men; women physicians and surgeons earned $50,856, compared with $97,448 for men; women securities, commodities and financial services sales agents earned $33,853, compared with $60,736 for men. "The fact is the gap has closed so little in the last 30 years that, at this rate, we'll catch up in a century,'' says Betty Spence, president of the National Association for Female Executives. "It's really disheartening.''
Source: North Jersey Media Group
*A Polish woman who suffered severe health problems after being denied an abortion is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights. Alicja Tysiac sought an abortion after three ophthalmologists predicted that carrying her child to term would likely further damage her failing eyesight. But the same three specialists, as well as a gynecologist, refused to authorize an abortion. When she gave birth, Tysiac's eye condition worsened dramatically as a result of retinal hemorrhage. Tysiac, a single mother to her three children, can now see no more than 12 feet in front of her.
Source: Feminist Majority Foundation