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The Texas Abortion Law's "Undo"able Burden

Posted by Hannah-Alise Rogers, Intern | Posted on: October 17, 2014 at 01:28 pm

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court temporarily blocked parts of the recent Texas law that had closed all but eight abortion clinics in the state. The order allows clinics to remain open while the case moves through the courts.

While the Supreme Court’s intervention in the case is a hopeful sign, we need to keep in mind that abortion opponents aren’t giving up. Just last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott defended the law by saying, “[T]he vast majority of Texans” still live “within comfortable driving distance (150 miles)” of an abortion clinic. In commenting on women who live in more rural areas, Mr. Abbott promised, “Abortion can be accessed by driving approximately 230–250 miles — an inconvenience, but still a manageable one.”  

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Poverty Among Seniors is Dramatically Higher Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 01:50 pm

For anyone who thinks that poverty among seniors is a thing of the past, the data released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau should serve as a wake-up call.

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Today's Lesson: Inequality

Posted by Gail Zuagar, Outreach Associate | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 01:12 pm

I remember learning about inequality in math class back in the day. I’m sure you remember too—the lessons usually involved Pac-Man—and the terms “greater than” and “less than”. 

I encountered mathematical inequalities again when I taught them to my third graders. But since becoming a part of the team at the National Women’s Law Center, I’ve learned a lot about the other types of inequality in schools. Unfortunately, it’s no math lesson—and too many African American girls are on the “less than” side of it.

Our new report: Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity describes the barriers that African American girls encounter in school and the educational and employment outcomes that stem from these barriers. Unlocking Opportunity also offers recommendations for addressing these barriers and changing these outcomes.

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5 Public Programs that Lifted Millions of Women and Children Out of Poverty in 2013

Posted by Anne Morrison, Fellow | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm

In 2013, Social Security kept 12.0 million women and 1.2 million children out of poverty.

This new statistic can be calculated based on data released today by the Census Bureau. Also part of the release of new data is a report on the supplemental poverty measure (SPM) [PDF] which takes into account the impact of public programs, as well as medical out-of-pocket and other expenses on families’ economic security. (For more about poverty measurement, see our FAQ.)

This past September, the Census Bureau released the official poverty numbers for 2013, which showed that women’s poverty remained historically high, with 18.0 million women (14.5 percent) in poverty. Our report detailed what the numbers looked like and the trends over time. But what we didn’t get to see in that data was how many people’s incomes were pulled above the poverty line by specific public programs, some of which are counted in the official poverty measure and some of which aren’t. Today, we can delve deeper into how many people were lifted out of poverty by these programs and who they were.

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The Hobby Lobby Decision Takes a Fundamentally Flawed Approach to Reproductive Health

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 10:50 am

It is hard to underestimate the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s decision Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on women’s equality. That is the case in which the Court held that some for-profit corporations could refuse to provide health insurance coverage of birth control for their employees despite the federal contraceptive coverage law that required it. The Court’s decision, at heart, is rooted in a very old and very outdated misunderstanding about women. And that is the idea that women’s reproductive health is somehow “extra,” “different,” or “separate.” This fundamentally wrong assumption about women’s reproductive health has been used for ages to take away women’s rights. By reinforcing this dangerous approach to women’s reproductive health, the Court has put all aspects of women’s rights at risk. Here’s how it works:

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The Persistent Inequality in Women's Economic Security

Posted by Alana Eichner, Program Assistant | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 10:36 am

Here at NWLC, the work we do on behalf of women and families recognizes that without economic security, women cannot truly achieve equality.  Take a quick glance at our latest numbers on women living in poverty, and you’ll see that we have a long way to go.

Data released last month from the Census Bureau showed the continuation of a long-standing reality – that women are far more likely to be poor than men.  The poverty rate for women was 14.5%, compared to only 11% for men. 11% is higher than pre-recession poverty rates for men, yet still lower than women’s record-low poverty rate, which was 11.5% back in 2000.  This disparity holds true across racial and ethnic groups— in 2013 Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women all had higher poverty rates than their male counterparts. 

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Raising The Wage is “Simple Common Sense”

Posted by Agata Pelka, Fellow | Posted on: October 10, 2014 at 01:34 pm

Shortly into the National Minimum Wage Day, we’re already getting good news of increased support to raise the minimum wage from some unexpected (but very welcome!) allies.

The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, has announced plans to name Kip Tindell as its chairman next month. Tindell is the CEO of the Container Store Group Inc., where he has prioritized an employee-focused business model by paying workers as much as double the typical retail wage and providing health care coverage even for part-time staff.

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Building Momentum to #RaiseTheWage

Posted by Agata Pelka, Fellow | Posted on: October 10, 2014 at 09:54 am

An article in Forbes yesterday pointed out that employers paying their employees the minimum wage are sending them a loud statement that “It’s not legally possible for me to value your work any less than I already do.” The article argues that’s a poor business practice, ensuring low morale and high turn-over. But it also raises a broader issue: what kind of message is Congress sending those employees?

A woman working full time, year round at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour earns just $14,500—more than $4,000 below the poverty line for a family of three. Congress has allowed these employees’ wages to decrease every year since the current level went into effect in 2009 by neglecting to tie the minimum wage to inflation, and it has yet to heed the President’s call to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Fortunately, states and cities across the country aren’t waiting for Congress to act.

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