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NWLC’s Weekly Roundup: January 16-20

Welcome to another weekly roundup! We’ve got a few quick hits today, including the possible future of some domestic violence shelters, recognition for an inspiring young scientist, good news in the health care world, and a few celebrations coming up.

This first story starts out in a pretty sad place, but ends with some hope for the future. It involves a Kansas City woman who was a victim of domestic abuse and was nearly beaten to death by her boyfriend. Following the attack, she was able to find a domestic violence shelter to support her, but she initially received some disheartening news: the shelter had a “no pets” policy – meaning this victim couldn’t bring along her Great Dane, who saved her life by throwing himself over her body while her boyfriend beat her, and taking most of the blows himself.

But Susan Miller, the director of the domestic violence shelter in this situation, made an exception to the “no pets” policy, allowing the victim and her dog shelter. Even better? The shelter – the Rose Brooks Center – is expanding to include a new pet shelter.

As Jezebel points out, few shelters are pet-friendly, and many victims often stay in dangerous situations out of fear of harm coming to their pets. Hopefully we’ll start to see more domestic violence shelters welcome animals in the future so that both victims and their pets can get the support they need together.

 

Early this week, I read about Samantha Garvey, one of the 300 semi-finalists of the Intel Science Talent Search. She’s a high school senior who’s been studying aquatic ecosystems for the past three years. It’s amazing to see a motivated young women excelling and getting excited about STEM fields, but Samantha has one thing she has to deal with that most of her fellow semi-finalists probably aren’t dealing with: her family is homeless.

The internet has really taken to Samantha over the past week or so. She’s been invited to attend the State of the Union next week, and her family was contacted after her story took off and will be moving into a new home soon. She was even on Ellen this week to share her story – and was surprised with $50,000 scholarship to help her attend the college of her choice. We wish Samantha the best of luck with her research and the competition! We’re confident the future will hold big things for her.

 

Some good news in the health care front: Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has rejected a hospital merger in Kentucky that would have put women’s health at risk if approved. The Center worked with local advocates and doctors to oppose the merger, which would have joined three hospitals in the state, including the publicly-owned University of Louisville Hospital. If the merger had been approved, the three hospitals would have gone on to operate as one hospital under control of Catholic Health Initiatives.

That’s where the risk comes in: the Catholic Health Initiatives intended to run the hospital under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services – meaning women at the hospital could be denied a full range of care when it came to reproductive health, making it harder for women in the region to get health care they need. For more on the dangers that can lie in mergers like these, see our report, Below the Radar Fact Sheet: Religious Refusals to Treat Pregnancy Complications Put Women in Danger.

We’ll wait and see what happens now that this merger has been rejected so we can keep you updated.

 

I wanted to give you a head’s up about two upcoming events: the first is Trust Women Week, which kicks off today, to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the decision in Roe v. Wade. Want to get involved? You can start by taking part in our virtual march. Stay tuned next week for blogs and more on Roe and what we can continue to do to protect women's access to safe and legal abortion.

The second is National Girls and Women in Sports Day, coming up on February 1. As we get closer, we’ll be sharing some bits on some of our favorite female athletes and why sports are so important for women and girls – so keep an eye out!

 

Lastly, we received word today that the ABC, um, “comedy” Work It has been cancelled. A YouTube user has been kind enough to share a memorial video in dedication to this short-lived show. Watch below.

 

That’s all for this week! Want to share an interesting article you read over the past week, tell us about your favorite female athlete, or what you’re planning on doing to celebrate the anniversary of Roe? Leave it in the comments!

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