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Entries in women's health (27)


New Texas Abortion Law Limits Contraception For Poor Women By Closing Majority Of Planned Parenthood Centers

Debate — and we use the term loosely — on proposed changes to Texas abortion law resumes tomorrow in the second special session called by Gov. Rick Perry, who insists that the law be passed. The first special session ended in chaos, after an 11-hour filibuster by Sen. Wendy David, D-Fort Worth.

Hanging in wait are three dozen licensed health centers in the state, where women can obtain an abortion, along with other medical services including family planning and screenings for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. The majority of those centers will close, leaving facilities only in Austin, Dallas, For Worth, Houston and San Antonio, writes the Star-Telegram.

“The Texas bills are a compilation of overreaching measures to control when, where and how a woman has an abortion,” said Dr. Lisa M. Hollier, Texas district chairwoman of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “The bills would erode women’s health by denying the women of Texas the benefits of well-researched, safe and proven protocols.”

Both supporters and opponents of the new law will be in Austin tomorrow, the opposition wearing orange, with supporters in blue.

Those opposed to the new abortion restrictions are planning a march beginning tomorrow evening in Austin, at 8pm. Called Stand and March with Texas Women - Round 2, the official route for the march is Congress to Cesar Chavez, Cesar Chavez to Lavaca, Lavaca to 11th, and 11th back to the Capitol.

The Facebook event page — on which I have been a very active member this weekend — advises via march organizer Kristian Caballero:

… there will be a designated area for volunteer pedicabs to pickup people who are not mobile enough to physically endure the march (i.e. pregnant women, handicapped, and elderly). Please be sure to gather near the front gate of the Capitol, close to 11th Street and Congress Avenue.

Once again, I’ve been coordinating with APD and they will provide police escort to keep us safe from traffic. They have been incredibly cooperative and supportive, and they vow to protect our constitutional right to assemble and have this march; but they strongly advise each individual to avoid any violent or destructive action, otherwise they will be forced to make arrests. So please keep the safety of yourself and others in consideration.

Texas and Teen Pregnancy

AOC has followed the onslaught against women’s rights in Texas for several years now. When any accommodation is made to meet the health care needs of poor women in the state, abortion opponents led by Gov. Rick Perry go after Planned Parenthood in another way.

Access to contraception for poor women in Texas — the #5 state in teen pregnancy rates in 2011 and #1 state in repeat teen pregnancies — will again be decimated with the closing of so many Planned Parenthood facilities.

Click to read more ...


Pro-Choice Texas Women Make New Alamo Of Republican War on Women Abortion Laws | Filibuster Set

Many friends of mine were in Austin, Texas last Thursday, as an all out battle over proposed Texas abortion legislation launched by the Republican War on Women and Texas pro-choice women. After a middle of the night protest Thursday night, prochoice activists returned Sunday afternoon at 1pm in a protest session that went on until 4:30 am.

Rachel Maddow — and my Texas friends — just reported that after Republicans in the Senate failed to muster enough votes to suspend a rule that prevents bills from being debated for 24 hours, Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis, of Forth Worth, will take to the floor and talk for 13-hours straight until sine die strikes at midnight Tuesday. Republicans had hoped to force a 36-hour filibuster but couldn’t muster the votes.

Rise Up! Shoulder to Shoulder for the Equal Rights Amendment

Meanwhile, a new Facebook group — of which I am a founding member -- formed today, bringing together some of the best women’s rights activists committed to finally passing an Equal Rights Amendment for America. Many of us have worked together across a wide range of women’s rights projects.

The project is a digital one, and not a specific one you must attend, like the April 28th, 20121 national women’s rights rallies. Please join us!!

1. Following the Food Network saying it would not be renewing its contract with Paula Deen, the southern hostess with the mostess — when the topic is butter and lard to fee the family southern style — lost another business relationship — Smithfield Foods, who says they will cut all ties with Deen as her legal case proceeds. Deen and her brother are accused of racial discrimination in her business empire.

2. New documents show that the IRS targeted liberal groups much more extensively than Republicans reported in their assertion that the tax agency improperly singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny and harassment.

“There was a wide-ranging set of categories and cases that spanned a broad spectrum” on the lists, newly appointed IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said on a conference call with reporters.

Groups whose titles included ‘Progressive” and ‘Occupy” went through the same scrutiny as Tea Party groups writes the New York Times.

3. Italy’s former Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute during infamous “bunga bunga” parties and then using his influence to launch a cover-up.

Berlusconi, 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life. There are two more levels of appeal before the sentence is final. Prosecutors had initially asked for a six-year prison term and lifetime ban on public office.

Italy recently ratified a treaty combating violence against women in a bid to redress growing violence against women, including acid attacks.

4. The Sunday People reported yesterday that Nigella Lawson is preparing to divorce husband Charles Saatchi. Especially in America, it’s believed that Nigella’s career will nosedive under the appearance of a woman who accepts domestic abuse.

An aide in touch with the Sunday People all last week said: “Neither she nor Charles are interested in counselling or trying to save the marriage. It seems they’re done and she is broken and desolate.”

A separation agreement is expected shortly and a divorce in two years.

5. 18-year-old Pakistani actress Bushra Waiz, known as Shazia Aziz, is in critical condition, the victim of an acid attack in the early hours of Saturday morning. Her brother Akhtar Waiz told CNN that the family was asleep in their courtyard in the city of Nowshera, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province when the man executed the acid attack as a reprisal for Bushra Waiz’s rejection of a marriage proposal.

According to, 150 acid attacks were recorded in Pakistan, with 17 percent related to turned down proposals. via Daily Mail UK


Rep. Michael Burgess Says 15-Week Old Male Fetuses Masturbate For Pleasure | House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

1. Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess says that he supports the proposed federal ban on abortion at 20 weeks because he has personally witnessed male fetuses with their hands “between their legs” pleasuring themselves at 15 weeks.

“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful,” he continued. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?”

2. Personhood Ohio’s Director Patrick Johnson is trying to raise money for a mailing and has decided to sell off some of his assault rifles, high capacity magazines and ammunition.

“I’m a firm believer that the Second Amendment protects the future of freedom, but not as much as justice for the preborn. See, if God’s against you, your guns won’t help you at all. The shedding of innocent blood will bring God’s wrath on the land – and then you can wave freedom goodbye. So protecting Ohio’s children is more important than securing your right to keep and bear arms.”

Johnson is selling his weapons on his Facebook page and will provide safety lessons to the buyers.

3. The US Supreme Court will decide tomorrow whether or not it will put Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems on the 2014 docket. The suit challenges a December 2012 decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that declared the Oklahoma Ultrasound Act, which requires the performance, display and explanation of a pre-abortion ultrasound, to be “facially unconstitutional”.

The specific requirements of HB 2780 mandate physicians perform an ultrasound at least one hour before proceeding with an abortion, display the ultrasound images to the pregnant woman, and also provide a simultaneous medical description of the ultrasound images. via RH Reality Check.

4. The first study by the Center for Disease Control of a vaccine against a cervical cancer virus cut infections in teen girls by half. Prior studies done on the HPV vaccine were equally strong. 

Only about half of US teen girls have gotten at least one dose of the expensive $130 a dose vaccine, with only a third of teen girls having had all three shots. Among the girls who received the vaccine, the drop in HPV infections was 88 percent. 

An estimated 75 to 80 percent of men and women are infected with HPV during their lifetime. Most don’t develop symptoms and clear it on their own. But some infections lead to genital warts, cervical cancer and other cancers.

5. Nigella Lawson was lensed in London without her wedding ring, writes The Sun. Nigella has been at an expensive weekly rental apartment in central London since Monday. Her husband Charles Saatchi has not been seen there. Saatchi has issued a statement saying that Lawson left their Chelsea home “till the dust had settled” after what he called their “playful tiff” in which shocking images of his hands around Nigella’s throat went global.