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Entries in personhood amendment (12)

Friday
Feb082013

Teen Pregnancy Rate Plummets in NYC with Access to Contraception | Catholic Bishops Reject Contraception Compromise

1. Preschoolers and Oral Sex? In an article that begs the question os where America’s sexual revolution is going, The Daily Beast reports that a California lawsuit claims that two 5-year-old girls were performing fellatio on classmates with the knowledge of teachers. The lawsuit has been filed against the First Lutheran Church of Carson School on behalf of one of six children involved in this very disturbing allegations. 

The lawyer explained that ‘“sexual encounters” between the 4- and 5-year-old tots were initiated by a 5-year-old girl in June and again in September. It wasn’t until October, when another girl of the same age was caught by a teacher with her mouth on a 4-year-old boy’s genitals that the Carson School “dealt with the incident internally,” according to a school spokesperson.” The preschool will close its doors on Friday.

2. Woman at Interior. President Obama has appointed Sally Jewell, CEO of outdoor retailer REI to the position of Secretary of the Interior. The appointment has been met with applause on both sides of the aisle.

In a brilliant twist of a nomination, Sally Jewell is described as being much closer to a community organizer than a traditional CEO. REI’s sales were more than $1.8 billion at the beginning of 2012, with 122 stores in 29 states and 11,000 employees. 

An oil industry veteran, Jewel now runs a company that is — for all practical purposes — a cooperative that is owned by its members. REI has ridden the explosion of American snowboarding and mountain-climbing. It ranked eighth on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for 15 consecutive years. 

3. Genetically Engineered Foof 101. The Atlantic attempts to clarify key facts about genetically engineered food exploring six key myths:

Myth: ‘Frankenfoods’ made with GE ingredients are harmful to eat.

Myth: FDA approves GE foods before we eat them.

Myth: Monsanto and other seed developers are the main beneficiaries of GE crops.

Myth: GE crops are environmentally sustainable.

Myth: Mandatory GE labeling would increase consumer choice.

Myth: GE is the best way to increase farm productivity and reduce world hunger. 

The article should be read accompanied by the comments, which clarify and dispute the author’s statements. This is a passionate topic to many, and 700 words can’t do it justice.

4. Female and Male Online Networks. A fascinating study of a multiplayer online game Pardus shows how females and males manage their social networks very differently. Researchers say that behavior differences studied online reflect behavior very similar to real life social systems.

Studying the patterns of 300,000 players — with an estimated 15 percent probability of gender swapping — the paper concludes:

“Females have more communication partners, engage in economic activities to a greater degree, attract positive behavior, organize in clusters, reciprocate friendships, take fewer risks than men, and show a preference for stability in local networks.

Males try to talk most often with those who talk with many, reciprocate friendships with other males much less frequently, and respond quite quickly to female friendship initiatives.” via Science Daily

5. Teen pregnancy down in NYC. The New York Daily News reports that teen pregnancy has plunged in New York by 27% over the last decade, as the numbers of young women using birth control has gone up. In addition to expanded use of contraception, teen are also delaying sexual activity, said Health Commissioner Tom Farley.

Although the decision to dispense condoms, birth control and also the morning-after pill available in the school system was controversial, the benefits are significant.

The Bronx remains the highest teen pregnancy location in the country. And in a staggering differential the pregnancy rate among black girls is 110.7 for every 1000 girls, compared to just 16 for white girls in the city.

Tuesday
Jan152013

W Magazine February 2013 Probes Women's Rights in 'Heavenly Creature' Starring Cara Delevingne by Mikael Jansson

American fashion media is notoriously apolitical, making it rare to see editorials like ‘Heavenly Creatures’ coming out of W magazine, let alone American Vogue. For once, we have a Euro style intellectual commentary on real-life issues for American women, rather than the rah-rah aspirational you, too, can be Barbie if you only try hard enough. 

Photographer Mikael Jansson’s ‘Heavenly Creatures’ images of Cara Delevingne hit head-on the conflict between female sensuality and rights to exist as a free person within the Vatican’s perceived role of women in American society. W is about three years late, but I say welcome to the debate and for heavens sake, put some skin in the game, will you please!

Congressman Paul Ryan Introduced Personhood Bill Again

Just last week, Romney vice presidential candidate Congressman Paul Ryan introduced again the personhood bill into the House of Representatives. This bill equates model Cara Delevingne — or any woman standing in her place in these images — with a fertilized egg.

We are the same in Congressman Ryan’s eyes — and that of the entire Republican party. The rights of that one-celled egg and those of Cara Delevingne or any grown woman with three children and a loving husband are the same. They are identical ‘Heavenly Creatures’. 

At a time when America faces total gridlock in Washington and a Republican party threatening to start a global economic collapse unless they get their way on the debt ceiling crisis — which is only an action to pay for the bills that THEY passed — the Republican party is focused on taking away birth control for American women as a top priority. 

Most forms of birth control will be eliminated if Republicans succeed in overturning a 50-year-old Supreme Court decision on Griswold v. Connecticut which said American women are entitled to birth control as a basic right. Today, Republicans seek to turn back that decision at the behest of Catholic bishops and the Vatican who argue that birth control is a sin and women will go to hell for using it.

The Vatican and other right-wing groups want a theocracy in America — a fear that was paramount in the minds of the founding fathers, who banned Catholicism in 10 of the 13 original colonies. 

Former presidential candidate and Southern Baptist minister Micke Huckabee blames birth control -- which he calls abortion — as a reason for 20 innocent children dying in Newton, Conn. God is punishing America, argues Huckabee, Ryan and the entire Republican party who supports the personhood amendment. 

American Fashion Media Needs to Stand for Women

It’s time for American fashion media to take some lessons from Vogue’s in other countries, not only the edgy fashion press. American Vogue is behind Muslim country Vogue Turkey in it’s refusal to stand up for the real world of its citizens and not some glossy abstract of the perfect life. 

I’m thrilled with Edward Enninful’s styling vision and the entire ‘Heavenly Creatures’ team for taking on this topic about three years too late. Without saying a word, the images speak volumes and can’t be criticized by social conservatives.

Perhaps W agrees with the Vatican! In putting the topic out there for public consumption, Mikael Jansson strikes a neutral chord while entering the world of American women and transvaginal probes. 

I expect other controversy-avoiding fashion media to also stand for the hard-won rights of American women before we lose them all.

This attack plan is for real, people, and the assault on American women must stop. Anne

 

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov052012

Ladies, Tomorrow's Election Day and YOU Will Decide Who Is In Charge of Your Body | Dear Walmart Moms #4

Hi Anne: I am so humbled that you thought of me to include in your conversations with your “Walmart Moms” readership. If I had one thing I would want to say to them i would want to dispel their notions that I have no respect for “LIFE”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I consider childbirth to be one of the most amazing experience we as humans beings can witness; and it is because I feel this way that I accept the “label” PRO-CHOICE. The fact IS I would much prefer to be “labeled” and I do self identify as “pro-autonomous” when it comes to the serious matter of bringing another human being into the world.

Motherhood Is A Huge Responsibility

As a woman, I am the one who is charged with the biological responsibility of giving birth and undertaking years of nurturing and protecting that child until they attain their inherent birthright, which is their own sense of autonomy. This responsibility - I take so seriously – that I would not seek the counsel of any other person to make this decision for me.

Motherhood is a decision I must make on my own – with no intervention from government, religion or family and without the threat of investigation, prosecution jail. Such coercion would feel like torture to me. and as a mater of fact: I believe that autonomy is a fundamental universal human right and the first pillar of Freedom.

Bodily Autonomy & the UN Convention on Torture

In a recent conversation online I was informed about the ruling affirming the right to bodily autonomy in McFall v. Shimp. The US Senate ratified the UN Convention on Torture in 1994. The legal language in Article 1 Sec 9 of the UN Convention on Torture defines torture as:

“The intentional infliction of severe mental or physical pain or suffering by, or with the consent of, state authorities for a specific purpose. Methods of torture include rape, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy/childbirth.”

Are Republicans Violatating Women’s Legal Right to Bodily Autonomy?

In my view, the over 1100 pieces of legislation, some extending “personhood” at the moment of conception, others mandating doctors to force a woman to listen to the heartbeat with a vaginal probe, while they read to her and force her to look at the fetus may violate the UN Convention on Torture. The “personhood” legislation introduced in Congress to outlaw contraception and criminalize abortion in every situation except “legitimate rape” and incest fits into this definition of Torture. Indeed, even the mention of such legislation - feel like torture to my American-ness.

I would never wish this fate on any American woman, even if we do not share the same political affiliations. I am sure NO American woman wants to see another in bondage. And the mounting assault perpetrated by Republicans on the rights of American women feels more like the shackles of bondage as every day goes by.

Desiree Jordan
Founder Unite Women New York

UniteWomenNY.org