<\body> Stories in America: Deceiving Women with 'Crisis Pregnancy Centers', Iran Bans Feminist Films

Friday, March 31, 2006

Deceiving Women with 'Crisis Pregnancy Centers', Iran Bans Feminist Films

Read Stephanie McMillan's brilliant cartoon about anti-abortion legislator Bill Napoli here. Stephanie is auctioning off the original art to raise money for the only abortion clinic in South Dakota.

In a March 3 NewsHour piece on the South Dakota abortion ban, Napoli was asked to describe a scenario in which an abortion might be allowed. "A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."

Reproductive Rights

Peddling Deception - by Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America
A young woman, 16 years old, is raped. Her concerned father, looking for medical care and counseling, brings her to a storefront "clinic." They are shown what he later describes as "brutal footage" including pictures of dismembered fetuses. "They just emotionally raped her... They are advocates for the unborn, and to hell with the troubled person. They had an ax to grind, and just terrorized her," he said. Unbeknownst to the man and his daughter, they had walked into a crisis pregnancy center--the anti-choice movement's latest tactic in the campaign to take away women's reproductive freedom. Around the country, the anti-choice movement has set up thousands of these centers. They're all different, of course, and some might offer pregnant women sincere help, such as free baby clothes. But more often, we've discovered, their sole purpose is to lure women in with the promise of honest medical care and then badger or coerce them away from considering abortion. These counterfeit pregnancy centers typically aren't regulated by the government because they're not really offering medical care--they're just pretending to.

Maloney Wins Support of ACLU For Regulation of Abortion Ads - New York Sun
A New York congresswoman's proposal to have the federal government regulate advertising for abortion counseling services has won the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, despite warnings from other civil libertarians that the measure is unconstitutional and unwise. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat who represents parts of Manhattan and Queens, introduced legislation yesterday aimed at cracking down on so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which are operated by anti-abortion groups and encourage pregnant women to consider other options. "It seems to me they're purposely trying to confuse people," Ms. Maloney told The New York Sun. "If you're a pro-life group, put out a banner that says, 'pro-life counseling.'"

Chinese NGO to push sex education - Xinhua
China's largest NGO on reproductive health is all set to popularise a new method of sex education for youngsters across the country. Xi Xiaoping, vice president with the China Family Planning Association, said: 'Puberty and child-bearing age have arrived earlier in recent years, but sex education is lagging behind.' Education on sex and reproductive health in China was virtually 'non-existent' for many years. Traditionally there were cultural taboos and people rarely discussed sex publicly -- it was even regarded as a sin.

Teenage pregnancies increase in the Marshall Islands - Pacnews
The Marshall Islands government put the spotlight on the high rate of pregnancies among teenage mothers at the opening of a three-day Girls' Forum in Majuro on 29 March, Mariana Variety reports.

In the Courts

ACLU set to appeal 'Choose Life' tags - Tennessean
Despite a federal appeals court ruling this month that lets Tennessee put "Choose Life" on license plates, it isn't clear when - or even if - the tags will ever hit the road. The American Civil Liberties Union is likely to appeal to the full panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or to the U.S. Supreme Court, Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, said yesterday.


Iranian Police Attack Women's Rights Activists - Worldpress.org
Human rights organization Amnesty International stated in a recent report that discrimination against women still exists in 36 countries. Iran is among those on the list. Discrimination against women in Iran is not the same as in Saudi Arabia or other Arab countries where women cannot drive or vote. In Iran women can drive; they can even participate in car races. They not only can vote, but have been elected numerous times as Members of Parliament -- though they are excluded from presidential candidature. In the arts, Iranian women have won acclaim as painters, poets, film directors, and film stars.
One of the chief areas of discrimination against women is found in the country's Islamic judiciary system, where the difference between the sexes in terms of the legal remedies afforded in matters of marriage, divorce, and inheritance are stark. The subject of feminism has become a taboo subject. The new hard-line government of President Mahmood Ahmadinejad has issued a statement that movies in which feminist values are emphasized must be banned.

Nepal women hail divorce ruling - BBC
Women's rights activists in Nepal have hailed a Supreme Court's ruling to scrap a law that allowed men to seek divorce if their partner was infertile. Under the 43-year-old law, men were able to file for divorce if they could prove through a doctor their wives were unable to conceive for 10 years. Activists said the court verdict was a milestone towards scrapping laws that were discriminatory towards women.

EGYPT: Women still marginalised from judiciary - IRIN
"When I was appointed by the Constitutional Court in 2003, I felt Egypt had taken a very important step towards building a freer, more equal merit-based society," said Tehany al-Gebaly, Egypt's only female judge. "Three years on, I am saddened to see that the obstacles to women joining the judiciary remain firmly in place." In Egypt's approximately 6,000-strong judicial body, al-Gebaly is the only woman in an executive judicial role. She was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2003 following a long-standing battle with the system to include women in the ranks of the judiciary, which essentially remained the only public position women were barred from well after they gained the rights to vote and run for political office in 1956.

Pakistan gets women combat pilots - BBC
The Pakistani Air Force (PAF) has inducted four women as fighter pilots for the first time. The women were part of a batch of 36 cadets who were awarded flying badges after three years of gruelling training at the PAF academy at Risalpur. Being a fighter pilot has until now been a purely male domain. Women could join the armed forces but only for non-combat jobs like the medical corps.


At 3/31/2006 10:59 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

I don't get what the big deal is about the "Choose Life" tags. But then I could care less if they decided to put "Choose Death" tags on their car either. Hey, it's your car do what you want. What's the BFD?

Damn, people sure are thin-skinned these days. Like those "Bring the Troops Home" postage stamps...I may not agree that an immediate withdraw is the best thing to do, but if it gets my letter through the mail, I'm happy. How about we try exercising a little of that "tolerance" stuff we hear so much about?

At 4/01/2006 7:45 AM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

Why is it that so many people consider it worse to be annoyed by a prolifer than killed by a prochoicer?

The National Abortion Federation runs a national hotline that promises referrals to safe abortion facilities, but their only goal is to refer her to a NAF member, even if the member is a dangerous quack who has already killed abortion patients through gross malpractice. But I have never seen the prochoice movement get upset about that.

Where the hell are your priorities?! NAF is killing women under the guise of offering them safety, but that's not worth even mentioning. But if somebody shows her a fetus picture -- perish the thought! Bring out the heavy artillery!

It makes me sick.

At 4/01/2006 8:26 AM, Anonymous prochoice mom said...

You know what makes me sick, Granny? So-called prolifers who deceive and scare women into having children they don't want. Then they give them a crib and a few packs of diapers and send them on their way. Once the unwanted child is born, the mother is on her own.

No one likes abortion, granny. Maybe if we'd stop passing laws to ban sex education and birth control, and actually talk openly about the fact that young women are having sex, we wouldn't have so many abortions.

At 4/01/2006 8:27 AM, Anonymous prochoice mom said...

I will look into your claims about the NAF.


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