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Entries in contraception (49)

Tuesday
Jun112013

Reports of Rampant Use of Prostitutes In State Dept Security | Israeli Judge Resigns After Saying "Some Girls Enjoy Rape" 

1.CBS News on Monday uncovered documents suggesting that the State Department may have covered up allegations that employees engaged in activities ranging from soliciting prostitutes to obtaining narcotics from an “underground drug ring.”

The memo, reported by CBS News’ John Miller, cited eight specific examples, including allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

2.Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward has been named as the new director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office within the Air Force. Woodward has served in the Air Force since 1983 and was most recently commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, which includes responsibility for the President’s Air Force One. She replaces Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, himself charged with sexual assault.

3. The Obama Administration announced on Monday that it will follow court orders, allowing the most popular morning after pill, Plan B, to be available over the counter to women of all ages, dropping its appeal of a federal court order.

The Justice Department had been fighting no age restrictions on Plan B One-Step without a prescription, going against the recommendations of its own FDA, medical professionals nationwide and women’s rights advocates who support Obama. In a letter to Judge Edward R. Korman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the administration said it would comply with his demands.

4. Salon profiles the involvement of documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras’s in the revelations about U.S. government surveillance. Poitras is a MacArthur genius grantee who was nominated for an Oscar for 2006′s “My Country, My Country” on the impact of the Iraq War on ordinary Iraqis, the first of a trilogy of documentaries about American post-9/11 policies. The second documentary, “The Oath,” is followed by one in the works about whistle-blowers.

Laura Poitras is “one of the bravest and most brilliant people I’ve ever met,” Glenn Greenwald tells Salon.

5. Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni commented on the resignation of Israeli Judge Emeritus Nissim Yeshaya from his post as chairman of an appeals committee, after his courtroom comment that “some girls enjoy rape”.

“The judge announced his retirement and this is the right and fitting thing to do in this serious case,” said Livni. “Only this way, will the public’s faith in the justice system be restored. This wasn’t just some expression, but an invalid and twisted perception that women have fought for years, that lays the blame on the rape victim. Such a statement from the mouth of judge may, even if unintentionally, give legitimacy rape to warped minds.”

Monday
May132013

America's New Mothers More Educated Than Ever | Heritage Foundation's Jason Richwine Resigns

1. Federal judge Edward R. Korman slammed the Obama administration on Friday, denied the government’s request that he suspend his ruling making the morning-after emergency contraceptive pill available to women and girls of every age and without a prescription.

The Ronald Reagan appointed judge called efforts to delay distribution of the pill based on “frivolous” and “silly” arguments and not scientific evidence. Korman is so angry over the efforts by secretary of health and human services Kathleen Sebelius to deny full implementation of the pill that he questioned her credibility and integrity.

Judge Korman postponed the enforcement of his order until today, allowing lawyers for the Justice Department to take their case to the appeals court. via NYT

2. In an attention-getting opening line, celebrity interviewer Lynn Hirschberg writes “The only thing that worried Michael Douglas about playing Liberace, the flamboyant Las Vegas superstar, was the fourteen-inch penis.”

Who knew!! Douglas opens up on playing Lee, as Liberace was known to friends, in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra’. The focus is the famed entertainer’s life with Scott Thorson, played by Matt Damon, who was Liberace’s live-in boyfriend for five years.

The movie represents a return to public eye for Douglas, who reveals more of himself in questions about his battle with stage four cancer and his son’s imprisonment.

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3. New mothers are more educated than ever, writes PEW Research. In 2011, 66% of new mothers had some college education, with 34% having a high school diploma and 14% not having finished high school.

The trend reflects a continuous rise in educational levels of all American women, as well as a decline in births set in motion with the Great Recession in late 2007. Between 2008 to 2011, the number of new mothers with no high school degree dropped 17%, as the number with only a high school diploma dropped 15%.

4. Co-author of the Heritage Foundation’s disputed immigration study Jason Richwine resigned on Friday, as questions mounted about the racially-charged conclusions in his previous work. Richwine as hired by the ultra-conservative think tank in 2010, and his departure comes less than five weeks after former Republican senator Jim DeMint assumed leadership of Heritage.

To date, the organization defends its methodology, one rejected by libertarian groups like the Cato Institute. The report argues that low-skilled immigrants have less education and lower IQs, making them likely to earn less money and need more taxpayer-supplied benefits.

In 2007, a similar Heritage report helped derail immigration reform, arguing that the plan would cost $2.7 trillion, instead of last week’s $6 trillion.

5. PEW Research reports that Hispanic high school graduates have passed whites in their rate of college enrollment. In post recession America, a record 69% of Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college. As the rates of Hispanic college enrollment have risen from 49% in 2000 to 69% in 2012, the rate of college enrollment has dropped among white high school grads to 67%.

In 2011 only 14% of Hispanic 16-24-year-olds were high school dropouts, 50% less than the 2000 level of 28%. PEW suggests that some educational growth may be driven by declining employment among young Latino youths, where unemployment has risen by 7 points, compared to 5 points among whites.

Hispanics are less likely to be in a four-year college, be enrolled full time, and complete a bachelor’s degree.

Wednesday
Apr172013

GOP Ices Sanford Campaign | Judge Keeps Jackson Abortion Clinic Open | Teen Sex Primarily Uses Contraception

1. GOP ices Sanford Campaign. The House GOP’s campaign committee announced Wednesday that it will no longer have any involvement in the comeback bid for Congress from former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford.

The decision comes after yesterday’s news that Jenny Sanford, the former governor’s ex-wife, has accused him of trespassing at her home more than once and in violation of their divorce settlement. The couple is due in court two days after a special House election on May 7 between Sanford and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Busch is a businesswoman and older sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, who is helping her campaign.

The couple divorced in 2010 after Mark Sanford admitted to having an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina. The then governor disappeared for days, leaving his wife, staff and voters clueless as to his whereabouts. Sanford is now engaged to Maria Belen Chapur. Jenny Sanford has custody of the couple four sons.

“I am doing my best not to get in the way of his race,” Jenny Sanford told the AP this week about her ex-husband’s race. “I want him to sink or swim on his own. For the sake of my children, I’m trying my best not to get in the way, but he makes things difficult for me when he does things like trespassing.”

2. Judge keeps Jackson abortion clinic open. The Jackson Free Press reports that a celebratory mood turned quickly to panic yesterday at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization “when a young bearded man wearing a military-style waist pack entered the abortion clinic unescorted and without an appointment.” After putting his hands in the air, proclaiming that he was unarmed, a police officer escorted him out of the clinic.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III halted a process that seemed likely to close JWHO, making Mississippi the first state without an abortion clinic. Jordan ruled that the state cannot close the clinic before the conclusion of a pending federal lawsuit over a 2012 state law requiring all abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges from a local hospital.

The Republican-appointed judge Jordan said that Mississippi was attempting to create a patchwork of law in which constitutional women’s rights apply in some states and not others. JWHO is owned by Diane Derzis, who finds herself engaged in a similar lawsuit in the state of Alabama.

Leslie Hanks, a pro-life demonstrator from Colorado, says she recently helped put Personhood on the ballot for the fourth time in Mississippi.

3. CA Gay Conversion Ban in Court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is hearing arguments for and against a new California law banning gay ‘conversion therapy’ for minors. The new law which is the first of its kind in America, bars licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of people under the age of 18.

A small group of therapists — frequently conservative Christians — challenge scientists, arguing that reparative therapy intervenes where gender confusion is caused by childhood trauma, resulting in reshaping one’s sexual orientation.

Large numbers of gay men say they suffered deep harm over reparative counseling that left them guilt-ridden and anguished.

The lawsuits to be argued on Wednesday were brought by two conservative legal groups, the Pacific Justice Institute, based in Sacramento, and Liberty Counsel, which is affiliated with Liberty University in Virginia, reports the New York Times.

The state of California’s brief argues that the law “prohibits licensed mental health professionals from treating children and teenagers with a discredited, ineffective, and unsafe therapy in a misguided effort to change their sexual orientation.” 

Similar bills have been introduced in New Jersey and Massachusetts.

4. Women = ‘vaginas’. New Hampshire state rep Peter Hansen is under severe criticism after referring to women as ‘vaginas’in an email sent on New Hampshire House internal email. Hansen was arguing with Republican Rep Steve Vaillancourt, who defended retreating from violence, rather than confronting the force with force. Hansen said that his colleague hadn’t considered the case of women and children. Choosing not to use those words, Hansen initially wrote:

‘What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina’s [sic] of course,’ he wrote. 

The comments were imemdiately picked up by Democrat State Rep Rick Walrous, who wrote: ‘Are you really using ‘vaginas’ as a crude catch-all for women? Really? he wrote.

‘Please think before you send out such offensive language on the legislative listserve.’

Local political blogger Susan the Bruce reported the exchange adding ‘That the representative chose to describe women as ‘vagina’s’ is certainly an affront to half the population. That he failed to properly pluralize the word adds insult to idiocy.’

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5. Teen Sex Survey. “Policymakers and the media often sensationalize teen sexual behavior, suggesting that adolescents as young as 10 or 11 are increasingly sexually active,” writes lead author Lawrence Finer, about his new study of sexual activity in America’s youngest adolescents. “But the data just don’t support that concern. Rather, we are seeing teens waiting longer to have sex, using contraceptives more frequently when they start having sex, and being less likely to become pregnant than their peers of past decades.”

Among adolescents were did report having sex said that it was coerced. Sixty-two percent of females who had sex by age 10 said it was coerced, as did 50% of those who experienced sex by age 11.

Contraceptive use is common among teens, according to the study, with use among girls as young as 15 similar to that of older teens. More than 80% of 16-year-olds used a method at first sex. A year after having first sex, 95% of those teens had used contraceptives. via Guttmacher Institute

Related: 2008 State-Level Teen Pregnancy Data Now Available. (Yes, 5 yrs. later)