Archive for the ‘Women’s Issues’ Category

Don’t lean in: Lean back, get married, have some kids….

March 31st, 2014 29 comments

Dana Milbank

Opinion Writer

Conservatives to women: Lean back

The conservative minds of the Heritage Foundation have found a way for Republicans to shrink the gender gap: They need to persuade more women to get their MRS degrees.

The advocacy group held a gathering of women of the right Monday afternoon to mark the final day of Women’s History Month — and the consensus was that women ought to go back in history. If Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s mantra is “lean in,” these women were proposing that women lean back: get married, take care of kids and let men earn the wages.

“We’re gathered to celebrate Women’s History Month but I don’t celebrate Women’s History Month,” announced writer Mona Charen, one of the panelists. “It doesn’t interest me whether a person who happens to share my chromosomes sits in the Oval Office. It doesn’t interest me how many women members of the Senate there are.”

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Categories: General, Women's Issues Tags:

Supreme Court: Collision of rights?

March 25th, 2014 77 comments

boss supreme

The Supreme Court on Tuesday prepared to hear a second challenge to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, this time to decide whether employers must provide their workers with insurance coverage for contraceptives even if the owners say it would violate their religious principles.

What is likely to be the signature ruling of the court’s term presents the justices with complicated questions about religious freedom and equality for female workers. It could have long-term implications for what other legal requirements companies could decline because of religious convictions. And it asks a question the court has never confronted: whether the Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that protects an individual’s exercise of religion extends to secular, for-profit corporations and their owners.

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Private school issues clarion call to swarm City Hall Chambers tonight

March 10th, 2014 25 comments


Nooo, we aren’t singling out abortion clinics for special treatment.  Noooooo, we aren’t blurring the lines between church and state.  Found on the front page of  Sentinel, a weekly newsletter from Elizabeth Anne Seton School for parents and students:

Citizen Time

On Monday, March 10th at some time after 5:30 pm in City Hall Council Chambers, the Manassas City Council will vote on Marc Aveni’s proposal to require new medical facilities (to include abortion clinics) come before Council and the public before locating in the City. Your prayers, attendance and possible speaking during citizen time in favor of this effort are needed again.

I suppose that once again there will be a sideshow over at City Chambers where everyone will be strutting out their most pious behavior. Marc Aveni is getting himself some free advertisement for his cause.  (Will I get a thank you note for providing some coverage for him?)  I don’t think those of us in the County can pick up City channels so we will miss the show but I expect it will be a rendition of Brother Love’s traveling Salvation Show of Neil Diamond Fame.

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Behind the scenes at Moonhowlings: When the story becomes the story

March 4th, 2014 23 comments

Yesterday’s story actually became the story.  Most of our contributors know that there is a certain decorum around here and nearly everyone goes along with it without question.  I think all of our ‘in moderations’ have even been turned loose and that we all agree that the rules around here really aren’t so bad.  Hell, we even let people cuss and more than a few people last week used a socially inappropriate word or two without having to sit in the naughty chair.

One of the major rules here is about county employees.  I went back through the thread and its comments just to make sure that *I* had adhered to our own rules.  I think I did.  I think I urged others to do the same.  We also encourage people to be respectful of each other as much as is humanly possible during political debate.  That extends to name calling.

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Huckabee’s brand of slut-shaming

February 11th, 2014 20 comments

When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!  Mike Huckabee apparently has never heard that wise old adage.  Huckabee needs to put down the shovel and stop digging.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee on Friday defended recent comments he made about  women’s libidos, saying “it was just a colorful expression” about something  that’s wholesome and God-given.

“My point was, not that I believe this, but I said the Democrats act as if  women are only concerned about these reproductive issues,” Huckabee said on Fox  News’s “Cavuto.

Huckabee last month came under fire when he slammed Democrats for accusing the  GOP of waging a war on women.

“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe  that they are helpless without ‘Uncle Sugar’ coming in and providing for them a  prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their  libido or reproductive system without the help of the government, so be it,” he  said at a luncheon address to the Republican National  Committee’s winter meeting in Washington.

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Guttmacher Institute Report: Abortion rate at lowest point since 1973

February 2nd, 2014 12 comments

The abortion rate in the United States dropped to its lowest point since the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in all 50 states, according to a study suggesting that new, long-acting contraceptive methods are having a significant impact in reducing unwanted pregnancies.

There were fewer than 17 abortions for every 1,000 women in 2011, the latest year for which figures were available, according a paper published Monday from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion-rights think tank. That is down 13 percent from 2008 and a little higher than the rate in 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The study did not examine the reasons for the drop. But the authors suggested that one factor was greater reliance on new kinds of birth control, including intra-uterine devices such as Mirena, which can last for years and are not susceptible to user error like daily pills or condoms.

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Categories: Reproductive Rights, Women's Issues Tags:

Judge rules pregnant brain dead woman must have life support removed

January 25th, 2014 10 comments

New York Times:

FORT WORTH — A Texas judge ruled on Friday that a Fort Worth hospital must remove the life support of a pregnant brain-dead woman, siding with the husband and family in a case that has drawn national attention.

The judge, R. H. Wallace Jr. of State District Court in Tarrant County, ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to pronounce the woman, Marlise Muñoz, dead, and remove her from life support by 5 p.m. on Monday.

Ms. Muñoz, 33, has been on life support since Nov. 26, when she collapsed on her kitchen floor from what appeared to be a blood clot in her lung. She was 14 weeks pregnant. Ms. Muñoz’s husband, Erick Muñoz, 26, as well as her mother and father, said they were told by the hospital that she was brain-dead. They said they had asked the doctors to remove her from respirators, as Ms. Muñoz had urged them to do if she was ever in that situation.

Doctors refused, citing a state law that prevents them from withdrawing or withholding “life-sustaining treatment” from a pregnant patient, and her husband filed suit asking a judge to order the doctors to remove her from the machines.

Mr. Muñoz’s lawyer argued Friday that keeping her on life support would set a dangerous precedent in future cases of pregnant brain-dead women.

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Huckabee and “Uncle Sugar,” whoever he is….

January 24th, 2014 29 comments

I thought Mike Huckabee was smarter than this.  Obviously, he ignores the figurative speech about War on Women.  He would be ok if we didn’t have the slut-shame attempt aimed at Sandra Fluke, aspirin remarks coming from GOP high donors, and countless bills aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood and other centers that receive Title X funding.  He would be ok if there weren’t efforts to deny birth control to women going around every corner.  He would be OK if literally hundreds of new laws weren’t passed in state legislatures by Republican politicians that restrict reproductive rights, via any hook or crook they could think of.

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Supreme Court Justices question 35 foot buffer zone at MA clinics

January 15th, 2014 25 comments

Supreme Court justices on Wednesday aggressively questioned whether a Massachusetts law that creates buffer zones around abortion clinics unconstitutionally inhibits the free-speech rights of antiabortion activists.

Several justices made clear in their questioning that they felt the law’s restrictions on who can enter a 35-foot space around a facility’s entrance unfairly targets those who want to hand out leaflets or speak to the women planning abortions.

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Categories: Reproductive Rights, Women's Issues Tags:

He isn’t against birth control–he just doesn’t want to pay for others to have sex

November 27th, 2013 8 comments


UPDATE — 12:26 p.m.: Branco gave the following statement on the cartoon to HuffPost:

I’m not against birth control or nor do I feel that it is any of my business what people do sexually. However, I do feel that contraceptives are inexpensive and accessible enough that I shouldn’t have to pay for them through my taxes. I also feel that my government shouldn’t be promoting promiscuous sex as though condoms are the answer to all STDs and promiscuous behavior.


More idiot statements.  STD’s?  Promiscuous sex?  Government promotion of condoms?  What rock does this dude live under?  The use of contraceptives and condoms saves lives.  I guess that is immaterial.  To suggest that contraception is inexpensive is simply ludicrous and ignorant.  Unless people live close to clinics with free samples, oral contraception is pretty darn expensive, in particular if one is counting one’s pennies to get by each month.

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Cooch Watch sends a message to Ken Cuccinelli

November 1st, 2013 26 comments

What a contrast!  When I was coming of age I don’t think people even said the word ‘abortion’ out loud.  The procedure wasn’t legal and only girls “who got themselves in trouble” had them.  In case you don’t believe me, watch Dirty Dancing for the refresher course.

Of course, back in those days you had to be married to get the pill.  Things loosened up and you could get parental permission if you were under 21.  Is it any wonder that the vintage women were the trail-blazers?  Many of us simply rejected the paternalism of the medical profession and of course the state houses and have spent most of our adult lives keeping abortion safe and legal.

Abortion wasn’t the only issue.  The vintage women (and men) also fought for safe reliable contraception and access to that contraception.  Our issues remain, but it’s time to pass the baton to the younger set. Too many younger women took a great deal for granted.  They never knew the old days, when girls got sent away to their aunt’s house to bear that shameful child out of wedlock.  We were always told they were spending a year in Europe or helping out an aunt with her children because she was going back to work or some other lie.

The younger generation never knew the days when contraception was unattainable or when abortion was illegal. I think they have gotten a wake up call.  Throughout the United States thousands of anti choice bills have been drafted and hundreds have made it to the governors’ mansions for a signature and have become law.

Here in Virginia, we have seen some of the most virulent anti choice legislation ever.  Who has been leading the charge?  Ken Cuccinelli.  The Cooch Watch folks will not let him forget it either. Young women and men simply don’t have the filters that the vintage women had/have.  We all but handled things like this with white gloves.  Not the Cooch Watch women.  They tell  it like it is.  While it isn’t MY way, more power to them!

FCHC sues the State of Virginia: May the force be with them!

October 10th, 2013 1 comment

A challenge to Virginia’s strident anti abortion regulations moved forward today.
Rosemary Codding is the director of Falls Church Healthcare Center. In the above video, Rosemary is shown accepting an award from NARAL for her continuing efforts in the field of reproductive rights. That night she announced that FCHC filed a petition in circuit court in Arlington to set aside the onerous TRAP laws that will close most clinics in Virginia. Today, an Arlington County circuit court judge ruled that FCHC could move forward with its suit challenging the new TRAP laws.

The Falls Church Medical Center is seeking to overturn an April decision by the Virginia Board of Health that applies strict, hospital-style building codes to the clinics. Among other things, the rules mandate the width of hallways and doorways as well as the number of parking spaces. Some providers have said costly renovations needed to comply would put them out of business.

Attorneys for the medical center argued in court that abortion clinics have been treated differently than other outpatient medical facilities. Solicitor General Earle Duncan Getchell Jr. defended the regulations, saying that the Board of Health simply followed the General Assembly’s directive and the law.

Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Kendrick denied a request by the state to dismiss the case. He predicted that the contentious lawsuit will eventually go to the state appeals court.

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Virginia women prefer McAuliffe by a 24-point margin over Cuccinelli

September 24th, 2013 17 comments

Democrat Terry McAuliffe has vaulted into the lead over Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II in a Virginia governor’s race that has left many voters sour on both candidates, according to a new Washington Post-Abt SRBI poll.

McAuliffe leads 47 percent to 39 percent among likely voters, with Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis’s 10 percent suggesting an unrest among voters not satisfied with either major-party contender. In a one-on-one matchup without Sarvis in the mix, the poll shows a narrower, 49-to-44-percent race between McAuliffe and Cuccinelli among likely voters — but still flips Cuccinelli’s 10-point lead from this spring.

The shift in the race has come almost exclusively from female voters, who prefer McAuliffe by a 24-point margin over Cuccinelli. The candidates were effectively tied among women in a Washington Post poll in May.

McAuliffe’s strength among women is probably due in part to an intense campaign to portray Cuccinelli as a threat to women and the issues they care about most deeply. A new McAuliffe ad, for instance, features a Norfolk OB-GYN speaking directly to the camera about how she is “offended” by Cuccinelli’s position on abortion.

The challenge for Cuccinelli is stark: Nearly half of all voters view him unfavorably, and they trust his opponent as much as or more than the Republican on every major issue in the race, according to the poll. On trust to handle issues of special concern to women, McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli by 23 points.

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Categories: Reproductive Rights, Women's Issues Tags:

Why the woman vote matters in Virginia

September 14th, 2013 8 comments

The Virginia governor’s election is possibly the most watched race in the entire country. Far right attorney general Ken Cuccinelli is running against former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe. Neither man appears to be particularly popular with Virginia voters. Ken Cuccinelli is running against a backdrop of scandal.

In recent polls, Terry McAuliffe leads Ken Cuccinelli by 5 points. In a low voter turn out those points would not be significant. However, there is an 18 point gender gap in the governor’s race in Virginia. It is possibly the most watched race in the entire country.

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Categories: Reproductive Rights, Women's Issues Tags:

Cuccinelli’s attempts to ban no fault divorce

September 5th, 2013 8 comments

A recent Washington Post story explored Cuccinelli’s relationship with the fathers’ rights movement, which seeks to influence state and federal laws to give men a better position in  divorce and custody cases. Many fathers’ rights groups have pushed to end or reform no-fault divorce laws, and Cuccinelli did the same during his time in the state Senate.

“2008. Ken Cuccinelli writes a bill to give Virginia among the most extreme divorce laws in America,” says the announcer in McAuliffe’s (D) new ad. “If Cuccinelli had it his way, a mom trying to get out of a bad marriage, over her husband’s objections, could only get divorced if she could prove adultery or physical abuse or her spouse had abandoned her or was sentenced to jail.  Why is Ken Cuccinelli interfering in our private lives? He’s focused on his own agenda. Not us.”

Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix said her boss was proud of his record.

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