<\body> Stories in America: Hawaii to Secure Right to Choose, While Anti-Choicers Dream of Banning Birth Control

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hawaii to Secure Right to Choose, While Anti-Choicers Dream of Banning Birth Control

Reproductive Rights

Bill intends to shield right to abortion - Star Bulletin
For the first time since abortion was legalized in Hawaii in 1970, the Legislature is preparing to amend the law. Since Hawaii became the first state to legalize abortions, advocates and opponents largely left the law untouched because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that women had the right to an abortion with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Now, supporters fear two new conservative judges on the high court might change the ruling and that women in Hawaii would need a state law that would be difficult to pass in a heated political climate.

Abortion issue in Alaska gets new fuel - Anchorage Daily News
South Dakota's recent adoption of tough restrictions on abortion could bring new life to an old political fight in Alaska.
Alaska has long been one of the least restrictive states in the nation on abortion, a distinction grounded in the state's libertarian leanings. Alaska's standard, however, hasn't loomed nearly as large as Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's 1973 decision that declared abortion a right under the U.S. Constitution, affecting all 50 states. But that could change if a challenge to the South Dakota law reaches the Supreme Court. Abortion opponents hope that the court's two new members will tip the balance in their favor.

Abortion lessons from Latin America - LA Times
It's been a long since the days of back-alley abortions in the U.S. Perhaps that's why South Dakota Gov. Michael Rounds signed into law a ban against abortion in his state, with one narrow exception: protecting the life of the pregnant woman. Perhaps Rounds, who was only 19 when Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, doesn't remember what it was like to live in a country where women had no right to a safe, legal abortion. But there is a place he could visit if he wants to refresh his memory: Latin America. Abortion is illegal in most countries in Central and South America, though the law waives criminal penalties for women who have abortions in certain circumstances: after rape or incest or if their life or health is endangered by the pregnancy. Over the last five years, I have interviewed dozens of women and girls who faced unwanted pregnancies and had abortions in Argentina, Mexico and Peru, all countries that limit access to contraceptives, sex education and abortion. The most common tale I heard was one of desperation. "I don't have $10 a month for contraceptives — I need that money for milk for my children." "I didn't even want to have sex, let alone become pregnant." "If I have this child, I won't be able to take care of the others." "My father raped me." The list goes on.

The battle to ban birth control - Salon
On the face of it, their fight seems doomed. The vast majority of Americans support access to birth control: According to a National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association poll last year, even 80 percent of anti-choice Americans support women's access to contraception. And with the exception of a dwindling number of devout Catholics, a large majority of American women have used or regularly use some form of contraception. Perhaps most telling of all, no mainstream antiabortion organization has yet come out against contraception, a sign that they know it would be a political disaster. Still, the anti-birth-control movement's efforts are making a significant political impact: Supporters have pressured insurance companies to refuse coverage of contraception, lobbied for "conscience clause" laws to protect pharmacists from having to dispense birth control, and are redefining the very meaning of pregnancy to classify certain contraceptive methods as abortion.

In the Workplace

Write to the Department of Labor by March 28th to Oppose Elimination of a Vital Anti-Discrimination Tool - National Women's Law Center
The U.S. Department of Labor office charged with ensuring that federal contractors provide equal opportunity to their workers has proposed to eliminate a critical tool for detecting wage discrimination and other discriminatory practices in the workplace. Act now to let the Department know that you oppose this latest attempt to weaken the civil rights laws. The Department has extended the deadline for comments. Comments from the public are due no later than March 28th.


Australian women shrink the pay gap - Christian Science Monitor
Equal pay for equal work has eluded generations of American women. But Australia - a country where men still refer to the ladies as "sheilas" and male bonding in pubs is often seen as a national right - has nearly closed the gender pay gap.
In a comparison of gender-pay ratios among developed nations from previous years, Australia ranks an impressive second. Women here make 91 cents to a man's dollar - far ahead of US women at 79 cents.


Black Women More Likely to Die From Breast Cancer - HealthDay News
Black American women are 19 percent more likely than white women to die of breast cancer, a new study finds. And a second study in the March 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that minority women in the United States are half as likely as white women to receive recommended post-surgical drug treatment for breast cancer. This may partially explain why black women are more likely to die from breast cancer, the researchers said.


Post a Comment

<< Home