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You Oughta Know: We've Been Fighting the Same Fight to Protect Title X for 20 Years

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: June 17, 2015 at 10:34 am

Twenty years ago this summer, I stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and watched a group of pro-family planning Members of the House save the Title X family planning program from losing all of its funding. I was 29 years old and had only been working in the House for a few months (and was listening to Alanis Morrisette’s “Jagged Little Pill” repeatedly). Because my boss, Representative Nita Lowey, had made saving Title X one of her top priorities, I had the privilege of helping her organize this fight. She and a group of other Representatives — Democrats and Republicans, men and women — joined together to save this critical program. And, they did save it — by only 20 votes.

I’m flashing back today because this morning the House leadership released a bill that once again attempts to de-fund this critical health program. And it makes no more sense today than it did 20 years ago.

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Supreme Court Lets Doctors Practice Medicine, Not Politics

Posted by Rachel Easter, Fellow | Posted on: June 16, 2015 at 03:54 pm

Yesterday was a good day for women’s health and the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship. The Supreme Court refused to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision striking down a coercive North Carolina law that inserted politicians’ views where they don’t belong.

The law, passed in 2011, would have subjected every woman in North Carolina to an unnecessary and invasive procedure before she could get an abortion. And it forced doctors to prioritize the messages of anti-abortion politicians over good medicine. Every court that has considered this law, including a federal district court and the Fourth Circuit, found it unconstitutional.

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The Fifth Circuit Grants Texan Politicians' Wish

Posted by Christine Castro, Intern | Posted on: June 16, 2015 at 02:47 pm

In June 2013, as I was bracing myself for my first year of law school, Wendy Davis’ famous filibuster made headline news. At the time, I was unaware of Texas’ anti-abortion bill (H.B. 2) and its devastating impact. H.B. 2 was specifically designed to shut down almost all abortion clinics in Texas. Earlier this week the Fifth Circuit upheld two dangerous provisions in H.B. 2, thereby endangering the health and safety of Texas women.

Abortion is Safe, These Requirements Are Unnecessary  

H.B. 2 mandates that physicians performing abortions have admitting privileges with a local hospital despite the fact that abortion is an extremely safe procedure throughout pregnancy. The bill also requires that all clinics providing abortion comply with expensive and unnecessary building standards, such as hall width and parking lot design. Neither provision promotes patient safety. Instead, they impose arbitrary and often impossible to meet standards so that clinics will be forced to close their doors. In fact, H.B. 2 was opposed by major medical groups.

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Turf Wars in the World Cup and Title IX

Posted by Daphne Assimakopoulos, Intern | Posted on: June 16, 2015 at 02:37 pm

The Women's World Cup recently began in Canada, with the best soccer teams in the world facing off against one another in a thrilling tournament. I love the World Cup, and I watch most of the games that I can. There’s nothing more exciting than an unexpected goal, or a come-from-behind win in the last few minutes. This tournament is usually pretty identical to the men's World Cup, if not more exciting. However this time there's one glaring difference: the women are playing on turf. 

Blatant Gender Discrimination

Until this year, the FIFA World Cup has always been played on real grass. The men’s tournament hosted in Brazil last year was played on grass, and the 2018 and 2022 tournaments have also been scheduled to be played on grass. FIFA has long had issues with sexism, but this clear lack of respect for the women’s game has been too blatant to overlook.

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Biochemist's Comments Reveal Continuing Sexism in STEM

Posted by Rebecca Ojserkis, Legal Intern | Posted on: June 12, 2015 at 03:50 pm

In high school, I was the only woman from my class on our academic team (a group like quiz bowl). My male teammates sidelined me in one competition when the questions focused on biology. As a woman interested in the humanities, I was pigeon-holed as inferior in the sciences. When I knew the answers to the questions they got wrong, I became frustrated. Why hadn’t I stood up for myself?

The reason might have been the entrenched stereotype, exemplified by the recent comments of biochemist and Nobel laureate Tim Hunt, that women and science don’t mix.

Hunt’s Comments and Twitter’s Response

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Michigan Legislators Propose Raising Taxes on the Working Poor

Posted by Maureen Moody, Intern | Posted on: June 12, 2015 at 09:41 am

I grew up in Michigan, a state known for its beautiful lakes and beaches, its tart cherries, and for giving birth to the auto industry. Among Michiganders, the state is also known, a little less fondly, for its enormous potholes. Our potholes are so infamous, in fact, that in past years local breweries have crafted and sold beer, like the Pothole Stout, to raise funds for fixing the roads.

You might expect a local business to use its talents to help fill a pothole, but you would never expect someone to fill a pothole with food from a family’s table. But that’s essentially what the Michigan House of Representatives voted to do this week, approving a bill that would eliminate the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in a misguided attempt to find funds to repair Michigan’s roads.

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