The Little Sisters of the Poor Joined Trump Administration To Attack Contraception Coverage At SC

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The Little Sisters of the Poor Joined Trump Administration To Again Attack Contraception Coverage At SC

Conservatives have spent the better part of a decade arguing the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, which provides insurance coverage for a host of contraception without additional cost or co-pay, violates religious freedom principles. Those efforts have had mixed results. Despite two turns before the U.S. Supreme Court, dozens of lower court orders, and a handful of executive orders from President Trump, the benefit remains in place—but employers who object to it can avoid complying with it.

This week, the Roberts Court will consider taking up a case that could settle the birth control benefit’s fate once and for all.

The case is The Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence v. California. Yes, that’s right. The Sisters are at it again.

To understand how yet another case like this could end up before the Roberts Court, let’s revisit for a moment the history of the contraception mandate. Originally proposed in 2012, the birth control benefit requires most employers to include coverage of FDA-approved contraceptives without co-pay in their employer-sponsored health insurance plans. The benefit contains an exemption for religious employers and an accommodation for religiously affiliated employers. The benefit, and the exemption and accommodation, launched a wave of objections and lawsuits that has not yet receded. The first batch of those lawsuits reached the Roberts Court in 2014 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Court ruled that some for-profit employers could take advantage of the accommodation process.

Many Americans Viewed New York Harbor's Lady Liberty as a False Idol of Broken Promises

Top image: THIS MAP APPEARED IN THE MAGAZINE  PUCK  DURING THE EMPIRE STATE CAMPAIGN, A HARD-FOUGHT REFERENDUM ON A SUFFRAGE AMENDMENT TO THE NEW YORK STATE CONSTITUTION—THE REFERENDUM FAILED IN 1915. Lower image: ‘Madre Luz’ by Pablo Machioli, installed in Baltimore at the site of a Confederate monument removed after Charlottesville. It was destroyed.  via

Top image: THIS MAP APPEARED IN THE MAGAZINE PUCK DURING THE EMPIRE STATE CAMPAIGN, A HARD-FOUGHT REFERENDUM ON A SUFFRAGE AMENDMENT TO THE NEW YORK STATE CONSTITUTION—THE REFERENDUM FAILED IN 1915. Lower image: ‘Madre Luz’ by Pablo Machioli, installed in Baltimore at the site of a Confederate monument removed after Charlottesville. It was destroyed. via

Many Americans Viewed New York Harbor's Lady Liberty as a False Idol of Broken Promises

By Angela Serratore. First published on Smithsonian.com as ‘The Americans Who Saw Lady Liberty as a False Idol of Broken Promises’.

It was a crisp, clear fall day in New York City, and like many others, Lillie Devereaux Blake was eager to see the great French statue, donated by that country’s government to the United States as a token of friendship and a monument to liberty, finally unveiled. President Grover Cleveland was on Bedloe’s Island (since renamed Liberty Island), standing at the base of the statue, ready to give a speech. Designed in France, the statue had been shipped to New York in the spring of 1885, and now, in October 1886, it was finally assembled atop its pedestal.

“Presently the veil was withdrawn from her beautiful calm face,” wrote Blake of the day’s events, “and the air was rent with salvos of artillery fired to hail the new goddess; the earth and the sea trembled with the mighty concussions, and steam-whistles mingled their shrill shrieks with the shouts of the multitude—all this done by men in honor of a woman.”

Blake wasn’t watching from the island itself, though—in fact, only two women had been invited to the statue that day. Blake and other members of the New York State Women’s Suffrage Association, at that point New York’s leading women’s suffrage organization, had chartered their own boat in protest of the exclusion of women not just from the statue’s unveiling, but from the idea of liberty itself.

Blake’s protest is one of several highlighted at the new Statue of Liberty Museum, which opened earlier this month on Liberty Island. While the statue’s pedestal did at one point hold a small museum, the new space’s increased square footage allowed historians and exhibit designers to expand the story of Lady Liberty, her champions and her dissenters.

Women Have Been The Fueling Energy Of Christian Right Demands For Decades

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Women Have Been The Fueling Energy Of Christian Right Demands For Decades

By Emily Suzanne Johnson, Assistant Professor of History, Ball State University. First published on The Conversation

Alabama’s new abortion restrictions were signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey. But more has been said recently about the fact that the bill was passed by 25 white men in the state Senate. Media reports have pointed to how this law will disproportionately affect black and poor women.

Only four women currently serve in Alabama’s state Senate. Three voted against the bill, while one abstained.

In response to the Alabama vote, Democratic State Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison compared men’s votes on abortion legislation to “a dentist making a decision about heart surgery.”

“That’s why we need more women in office,” Coleman-Madison said.

Across the country, women are underrepresented in legislatures. But the question is: Would voting more women into office necessarily shift the politics of abortion?

The Escalation of Anti-Abortion Violence Ten Years After Dr. George Tiller’s Murder

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The Escalation of Anti-Abortion Violence Ten Years After Dr. George Tiller’s Murder

By Jill Heaviside & Rosann Mariappuram. First published on Rewire.News

As we mark the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, it is incredible to think that, just over a month ago, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse was really asking how “the pro-life position is in any way violent.”

Violence has been a central tenet of the anti-abortion movement since before the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. As activists have sought control over the reproductive freedom of millions of people—particularly women of color, low-income women and families, and queer, gender-nonconforming, and transgender communities—they have used violence as a tactic of control, abuse, and fear across the United States.

Dr. Tiller was Wichita’s only abortion provider for 40 years and was known for his deep commitment to trusting women and their families’ reproductive health decisions. Because of his work, Dr. Tiller was a target of many anti-abortion groups; before he was killed, he survived a clinic bombing and a prior shooting.

Dr. Tiller’s murder wasn’t an isolated incident. Anti-abortion extremists have killed at least 11 people since the 1990s. Their violent history includes the first recorded murder of an abortion provider, Dr. David Gunn, in 1993, and the 2015 shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, which claimed three lives and injured nine people.

Major Film Studios Follow Netflix In Putting Georgia On Notice Over Illegal Abortion Law

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Major Film Studios Follow Netflix In Putting Georgia On Notice Over Illegal Abortion Law

It was a slow start on whether or not America’s film industry would become involved in Georgia politics, threatening to abandon existing projects and future expansion of filming major projects like the revolutionary, Oscar-winning ‘Black Panther’ movie.

Netflix was the first major studio to take a stand against the medical-quackery ‘heartbeat bill banning abortion at about six weeks, joining the ACLU lawsuit in fighting the law not only as an infringement of Roe v. Wade, but as pseudo-science that has no basis in medical facts.

Today, an onslaught of new studios including Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBC Universal and Warner Media raises their collective business voices against the new law.

MacKenzie Bezos Joins Gates & Buffett 'The Giving Pledge', Sharing Half of Her New Fortune

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MacKenzie Bezos Joins Gates & Buffett 'The Giving Pledge', Sharing Half of Her New Fortune

There aren’t many solo images of MacKenzie Bezos out there. Even though the mom of four is a successful writers and played her own roll in the formation of Amazon, almost all images of MacKenzie include her husband Jeff Bezos.

Vogue US interviewed one of the world’s richest women in 2013 in advance of her “gripping new novel Traps”. The interview by Rebecca Johnson describes MacKenzie as a “bookish and she” girl who spent hours in her bedroom writing elaborate stories. She attended first Hotchkiss and then Princeton, a very deliberate choice that gave her access to writer Toni Morrison. One of America’s most important voices became Bezos’ mentor and called her in 2013 “one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative-writing classes . . . really one of the best.”

The Evolution of the Medieval Witch – and Why She’s Usually a Woman

The Evolution of the Medieval Witch – and Why She’s Usually a Woman

By Jennifer Farrell, Lecturer in Medieval History, University of Exeter. First published on The Conversation.

Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls alike. But where did this gendered stereotype come from? Part of the answer comes from medieval attitudes towards magic, and the particular behaviours attributed to men and women within the “crime” of witchcraft.

Taking one aspect of the witch’s characterisation in popular culture – her association with flight – we can see a transformation in attitudes between the early and later Middle Ages. In the 11th century, Bishop Burchard of Worms said of certain sinful beliefs:

Some wicked women, turning back to Satan and seduced by the illusions and phantasms of demons, believe [that] in the night hours they ride on certain animals with the pagan goddess Diana and a countless multitude of women, and they cross a great span of the world in the stillness of the dead of night.

According to Burchard, these women were actually asleep, but were held captive by the devil, who deceived their minds in dreams. He also believed that none but the very “stupid and dim-witted” could think that these flights had actually taken place.

Naomi Wolf's 'Outrages' Book Exposed On Air By BBC As Full Of Major Errors About Victorians

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Naomi Wolf's 'Outrages' Book Exposed On Air By BBC As Full Of Major Errors About Victorians

Author, activist Naomi Wolf is living the worst nightmare for a writer. She did not properly investigate the term "death recorded", a key research term in her new book 'Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalization of Love, '

The error is a whopper, one that goes to a core premise of her book, which deals with people not only being imprisoned for 'illegal love acts' but -- according to Naomi -- being executed.

Wolf was interviewed on BBC Radio Thurs. where she apparently sat with interviewer Matthew Sweet , as he read to Wolf the definition of “death recorded,” a 19th-century English legal term. “Death recorded” means that a convict was pardoned for his crimes rather than given the death sentence.

The legal term means the exact opposite of what Naomi assumed. The error speaks volumes about her lack of scholarship and a book that is on sale as we speak.