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)