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7/24/2014 - From Passion to Progress Briefing Brings Together Feminist Leaders and Hundreds of Young Activists
Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) staff, two congresswomen, and over a hundred DC interns came together yesterday for FMF's Intern Student/Activist briefing in Dirksen Senate building to discuss how to put a women's rights agenda into action. Over plates of donuts and cups coffee, participants listened to a succession of engaging and passionate speeches from congressional and feminist leaders: Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and FMF President Eleanor Smeal....

7/24/2014 - Feminist Leaders and Activists Rally for the Equal Rights Amendment
This morning, Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) led a solid crowd of Equal Rights Amendment activists and supporters just beyond the steps of the U.S....

7/23/2014 - UConn to Pay Over $1.2 Million in Sexual Assault Settlement
The University of Connecticut (UConn) will pay $1.28 million in settlement fees for a sexual assault lawsuit brought against the university by five sexual assault survivors. The federal lawsuit was brought by five women after four of the women had filed complaints with the Department of Education (ED) alleging that UConn had mishandled rape cases and failed to take action on reports of harassment, in violation of Title IX....

7/23/2014 - 100 Days Vigils Held To Support Rescue of Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls
100 days ago today, more than 270 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram....

7/23/2014 - Campaign Against Colorado Personhood Initiative Launches
Women's rights organizations, medical groups, and religious leaders joined several activists yesterday at a rally on the steps of the Colorado state capitol to launch a campaign against a new personhood initiative on the state's November ballot. The No on 67 campaign opposes Amendment 67, otherwise known as the Brady Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the definition of "person" and "child" in the Colorado Criminal Code and Wrongful Death act to include "unborn human beings." A similar initiative was on the ballot in 2008 and 2010, but it was defeated both times by a wide margin. If passed, the amendment would have extreme repercussions, banning abortion in all cases, emergency contraception and birth control, and possibly in-vitro fertilization....

7/22/2014 - Louisiana Pro-Choice Community Stands Up Against Operation Rescue
Saturday, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America launched an aggressive week-long siege against reproductive health clinics and abortion care providers in southern Louisiana. The annual siege is expected to run through Saturday, July 26, but already, several dozen Operation Rescue protesters have moved these forceful assemblies to doctors' private residences, riling neighbors in the process with their megaphones, explicit and invasive signage....

7/21/2014 - Detroit Maternal Death Rate Is Triple the US Average
Women in Detroit are dying from pregnancy-related complications at about three times the US average, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Twenty-six women died in Detroit over the period 2008-2011 as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, and Detroit has the highest rate of infant mortality among major US cities, with 13.5 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. According to Dr....

7/21/2014 - White House: Corporations Must Inform Employees About Refusal to Cover Contraception
The White House clarified on Thursday that closely held for-profit corporations refusing to provide contraceptive coverage will be required to inform their employees. The clarification is a response to the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby v....

7/18/2014 - Research Analysis Finds Covering Contraception is Good for Business
In a new round-up of private sector and public sector research, Guttmacher Institute dispels the myths surrounding the cost to businesses of insurance coverage for contraception....

7/18/2014 - Nigeria Secures $15 Million Grant from Norway to Reduce Maternal Mortality
Norway has provided a $15 million grant to the Nigerian government to help the country reduce maternal and child mortality....

7/18/2014 - Law Limiting Abortion Access Under Medicaid in Alaska Temporarily Blocked
An Alaska state court judge this week temporarily blocked a law that created a narrow definition for when abortions were "medically necessary" and therefore covered under Alaska Medicaid. The law, SB 49, gives doctors a strict list of 21 reasons someone on Medicaid would qualify for a "medically necessary abortion," pulling language from a 2001 decision by the state's Supreme Court which declared that Alaska was required to cover abortion care for women in the Medicaid program when their physicians found them "medically necessary." The law has been criticized for discriminating against low-income women by preventing them from accessing proper abortion care with Medicaid funds. The politicians who passed this law were playing a dangerous game of keep away with women's health by trying to withhold Medicaid coverage from qualified women, said Brigitte Amiri, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)....

7/17/2014 - Federal Judge Finds California Death Penalty Unconstitutional
A federal judge ruled California's death penalty unconstitutional, finding that the sentence "serves no penological purpose." US District Judge Cormac J....

7/16/2014 - New Federal Guidelines On Pregnancy Discrimination Align with Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its pregnancy discrimination guidelines this week for the first time in over 30 years....

7/16/2014 - Lower Court Upholds Affirmative Action at University of Texas at Austin
Affirmative action survived a federal appellate court in Texas on Tuesday....

7/16/2014 - Church of England Votes to Allow Women Bishops
The General Synod, the decision-making body of the Church of England, voted Monday to allow women to become bishops....

7/15/2014 - Financial Disparities Between Tipped and Full-Wage Workers Larger Than Ever
A new study shows that the wage gap between tipped and non-tipped workers is the widest it's ever been in American history. 1966 amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) created protections to hotel, restaurant and other service employees, but also created a sub-wage for tipped workers with the expectation that an employee's tips, when added to the sub-wage, would match or exceed the minimum wage....

7/14/2014 - Study Shows High Rates of Child Marriage and Maternal Death Across Nigeria
The Nigerian Demographic Health Survey of 2013 (NDHS) revealed persistently high child marriage rates and a need for increased family planning resources in Nigeria. Nigeria accounts for 13 percent of global maternal death rates, with 36,000 women dying in pregnancy or child birth each year....

7/14/2014 - Massachusetts Lawmakers Work to Restore Protections for Abortion Clinics Following McCullen
The state of Massachusetts is expected to soon push legislation providing greater protections to reproductive health clinics following the Supreme Court's ruling in McCullen v....

7/11/2014 - Revenge Rape in India Leads to Three Arrests
A man in eastern India was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl this week in "retaliation" for the girl's brother having allegedly sexually assaulted a woman. Three people were arrested in connection with the event: the alleged rapist, the brother of the girl (charged with molestation), and a member of the village council accused of ordering the crime....

7/11/2014 - Tennessee Mom Arrested Under New Pregnancy Outcome Law
A Tennessee woman was arrested Tuesday under a new state law that criminalizes drug dependent mothers. The Tennessee measure, signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam in April, prohibits "the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if [the] child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug." The new mother was arrested and charged with simple assault just two days after giving birth....

7/10/2014 - Georgia Law Banning Insurance Coverage of Abortions Goes Into Effect
A new law just took effect in Georgia that bans coverage of abortion in health plans purchased in the state health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)....

7/9/2014 - LGBT Rights Groups Withdraw Support for ENDA Following Hobby Lobby Decision
In light of the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, several LGBT rights groups have withdrawn their support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) citing increased concerns about the religious exemption included in the bill. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund on Tuesday was the first LGBT rights organization to withdraw its support ENDA on the grounds that the religious exemption, like the ACA exemption and accommodation for contraceptive coverage, might "be used as a similar license to discriminate across the country."The American Civil Liberties Union, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Transgender Law Center subsequently withdrew their support....

7/9/2014 - Congressional Leaders Speak Out Against TPP, Citing Human Rights Concerns
Rep....

7/8/2014 - Democrats to Introduce Bill Reversing Hobby Lobby Decision
Democrats in the House and Senate are expected to introduce companion bills today to reverse the US Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v....

7/8/2014 - Pope Begs Forgiveness of Sexual Abuse Survivors, But Survivors Want Action
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called on Pope Francis yesterday to take "tangible steps" to prevent widespread sexual abuse by clergy members instead of asking for forgiveness from victims. Yesterday Pope Francis met with six people who were sexually abused by clergy members as children to ask for their forgiveness....