Four Reasons To Be Hopeful for 2015Sexuality Doesn’t Vanish When You Turn 65Here They Are: The Vincent Rue Emails the Texas Attorney General Didn’t Want You to SeeSix States to Watch for Anti-Choice Laws in 2015

Four Reasons To Be Hopeful for 2015

by RHRC Staff

Video

How We Talk About Police Intervention

#TalkAboutTheTalk shows the ways in which Black and white families may be having different conversations about police intervention, and how we need to make sure everyone is having the same conversations about race, respect, and fairness under law.

High School Teacher Gives Lesson on Privilege

A simple lesson with crumpled up scrap paper and a recycling bin helped some students understand how privilege can be as helpful as it is harmful to certain people. The students closer to the bin had an easier time landing their paper into the recycling bin, while students in the back of the classroom had a much harder time. The teacher explained to the students, “The closer you were to the recycling bin, the better your odds. This is what privilege looks like.”

The Importance of Faith in Healing Our Nation’s Racial Wounds

The alarming number of unarmed Black men and women dying because of police brutality and racial discrimination has caused tensions to flare in the United States. Though we continue to fight for justice, we must also find ways to heal and grow from our past to create better relationships in the future. One way to heal is to seek faith and forgiveness through religion. On MSNBC, Rev. Jacqui Lewis and Rev. Serene Jones talk with Melissa Harris-Perry about the importance of faith during this time of hardship.

Audio

Press Call: Maternal Health Advocates to Challenge Wisconsin Law That Tramples Pregnant Women’s Rights

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On December 11, the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, the Carr Center for Reproductive Justice, and Perkins Coie hosted a teleconference on the dangers of allowing states to detain pregnant women under harmful laws.

Fight Over Rape in New Orleans, Anti-Sex Ed Battle in California

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Kat Stoeffel tells a story that shows how hard it still is for people to deal with sexual assault appropriately. In another segment, I discuss how the UVA story is causing the mainstream right to become a bunch of rape truthers, and parents in Northern California throw a fit over sex education.

UVA Rape Story Goes Viral, and a Virginity Pledger Explains Why She Changed Her Mind

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On this episode of Reality Cast, I speak to Andreea Nica about why she left the purity movement. I also discuss the University of Virginia rape story and the incident in which a congressional staffer judged Sasha and Malia Obama.

News
Some advocates say the bill could be interpreted to reverse the Hobby Lobby decision in D.C., but the bill's sponsors say it merely protects employees from being unjustly fired.

Some advocates say the bill could be interpreted to reverse the Hobby Lobby decision in D.C., but the bill’s sponsors say it merely protects employees from being unjustly fired.

The American Legislative Exchange Council laid out its blueprint for 2015 at its annual meeting in early December, making public a plan that includes attacks on labor unions, paid sick leave, and minimum wage increases that have proven popular across the political spectrum.

The American Legislative Exchange Council laid out its blueprint for 2015 at its annual meeting in early December, making public a plan that includes attacks on labor unions, paid sick leave, and minimum wage increases that have proven popular across the political spectrum.

Some student advocates are criticizing the federal government for supporting secrecy in a high-profile campus sexual assault records case in Montana.

Some student advocates are criticizing the federal government for supporting secrecy in a high-profile campus sexual assault records case in Montana.

Missouri in 2014 led all state legislatures in introducing bills designed to restrict reproductive rights. It appears that lawmakers in the state are working to ensure that Missouri may once again earn that distinction in 2015.

Missouri in 2014 led all state legislatures in introducing bills designed to restrict reproductive rights. It appears that lawmakers in the state are working to ensure that Missouri may once again earn that distinction in 2015.

Bill Walker takes the oath of office to become the 11th governor of the State of Alaska on December 1, 2014 in Juneau's Centennial Hall.

Alaska’s newly elected Gov. Bill Walker adamantly campaigned on a platform to expand Medicaid, but whether he’ll be able to meet his promise with a Republican-dominated legislature isn’t so clear.

The Senate confirmed 34 Obama nominations, including a dozen judges who will serve lifetime appointments on the federal bench. Controversial anti-choice nominee Michael Boggs was not among them.

The Senate confirmed 47 Obama nominations, including a dozen judges who will serve lifetime appointments on the federal bench. Controversial anti-choice nominee Michael Boggs was not among them.

A new charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accuses the retailer of failing to accommodate pregnant workers with temporary disabilities.

A new charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accuses the retailer of failing to accommodate pregnant workers with temporary disabilities.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday that the president's executive actions on deferred deportations was unconstitutional, but did not strike the orders from taking effect.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday that the president’s executive actions on deferred deportations was unconstitutional, but did not strike the orders from taking effect.

The surgeon general post could put Vivek Murthy in an ideal position to advocate for sensible, science-based reproductive health policy.

The surgeon general post could put Vivek Murthy in an ideal position to advocate for sensible, science-based reproductive health policy.

The decision from a National Labor Relations Board ordered the retail giant to stop retaliating against workers who want to join a union.

The decision from a National Labor Relations Board ordered the retail giant to stop retaliating against workers who want to join a union.

There is cautious optimism from government officials and industry experts that Affordable Care Act sign-ups will exceed the Obama administration's projected nine million enrollees for 2015.

There is cautious optimism from government officials and industry experts that Affordable Care Act sign-ups will exceed the Obama administration’s projected nine million enrollees for 2015.

Ironically, a pair of right-wing senators objecting to Obama’s immigration reform have given Senate Democrats the chance to vote on 12 district court nominees and 11 executive branch nominees.

Ironically, a pair of right-wing senators objecting to Obama’s immigration reform have given Senate Democrats the chance to vote on 12 district court nominees and 11 executive branch nominees.

The Roberts Court declined to take up a request by attorneys for the State of Arizona to overturn a federal appeals court decision calling the case for medication abortion restrictions "non-existent."

The Roberts Court declined to take up a request by attorneys for the State of Arizona to overturn a federal appeals court decision calling the case for medication abortion restrictions “non-existent.”

More than a hundred congressional staffers, along with a few members of Congress, walked out of their offices on Thursday to show solidarity with the families of Mike Brown and Eric Garner and peaceful protesters across the country.

More than a hundred congressional staffers, along with a few members of Congress, walked out of their offices on Thursday to show solidarity with the families of Mike Brown and Eric Garner and peaceful protesters across the country.

The Cromnibus bill passed includes funding for homeless programs, but provides $300 million less than what was asked for by the administration.

The Cromnibus bill passed includes funding for homeless programs, but provides $300 million less than what was asked for by the administration.

There are some steps forward and some steps backward for reproductive and sexual health issues, but in some ways the bill is most remarkable for adhering to the status quo.

There are some steps forward and some steps backward for reproductive and sexual health issues, but in some ways the bill is most remarkable for adhering to the status quo.

More than 300,000 wage and salary workers in California and New York are victims of wage theft, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Labor.

More than 300,000 wage and salary workers in California and New York are victims of wage theft, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) hit another roadblock on Thursday when a vote on the bill was blocked in the Senate, but it won't be the last that the chamber sees of the bill.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act hit another roadblock on Thursday when a vote on the bill was blocked in the Senate, but it won’t be the last the chamber sees of the bill.

Roundups
Between the high-tech sex toys, transplanted uteri, lab-grown penises, and perils of hookup apps, 2014 sometimes sounded like a science fiction novel. But we can't forget the news about IUDs and STIs that came out this year, either.

Between the high-tech sex toys, transplanted uteri, lab-grown penises, and perils of hookup apps, 2014 sometimes sounded like a science fiction novel. But we can’t forget the news about IUDs and STIs that came out this year, either.

A New York grand jury failed to indict the officers involved in Eric Garner's death, while the Roberts Court heard arguments in two big cases for equality advocates.

A New York grand jury failed to indict the officers involved in Eric Garner’s death, while the Roberts Court heard arguments in two big cases for equality advocates.

With a grand jury failing to indict Darren Wilson for Michael Brown's murder, the country is left asking if justice is even possible anymore.

With a grand jury failing to indict Darren Wilson for Michael Brown’s murder, the country is left asking if justice is even possible anymore.

Commentary
If anti-choicers truly cared about women to the degree they claim, surely they would treat abortion procedures just like any other reproductive health need—and leave decisions about safety and comfort up to women and their doctors.

If anti-choicers truly cared about women to the degree they claim, surely they would treat abortion procedures just like any other reproductive health need—and leave decisions about safety and comfort up to women and their doctors.

Federal early child-care and education policies must require states to raise caretaker and teacher salaries, or else qualified workers will continue to struggle, earn less than they deserve for this vital work and leave the field, while the children—at their most critical development stage—will receive lower quality care.

Federal early child-care and education policies must require states to raise caretaker and teacher salaries, or else qualified workers will continue to struggle, earn less than they deserve for this vital work, or leave the field, while the children—at their most critical development stage—will receive lower quality care.

Just months after Texas Monthly lauded Davis as a potentially serious political threat, the magazine flung her into a cow pasture in an act of pure, derisive mockery—all for the crime of running for office and losing.

Just months after Texas Monthly lauded Davis as a potentially serious political threat, the magazine flung her into a cow pasture in an act of pure, derisive mockery—all for the crime of running for office and losing.

Abortion is overwhelmingly safe, but somehow conservatives' lies about its danger have become "fact" in laws and courts. In this, anti-choicers are borrowing a page from creationists and climate change denialists.

Abortion is overwhelmingly safe, but somehow conservatives’ lies about its danger have become “fact” in laws and courts. In this, anti-choicers are borrowing a page from creationists and climate change denialists.

Maya Schenwar's book uses her family's personal experiences with incarceration as a framing device for more general statistics about how the legal system works, addressing the racism, classism, heterosexism, and misogyny at the heart of law-and-order policies.

Maya Schenwar’s book uses her family’s personal experiences with incarceration as a framing device for more general statistics about how the legal system works, addressing the racism, classism, heterosexism, and misogyny at the heart of law-and-order policies.

Treating Nadia Ezaldein’s tragic death as an anomaly diminishes the pervasiveness of domestic abuse throughout the country—and it erases why it is imperative for communities to make preventing and intervening in domestic violence a central concern.

Treating Nadia Ezaldein’s tragic death as an anomaly diminishes the pervasiveness of domestic abuse throughout the country—and it erases why it is imperative for communities to make preventing and intervening in domestic violence a priority.

Yet the Entertainment Software Rating Board, responsible for rating all games in the United States and Canada, has only given a content warning for "sexual violence" twice in more than a decade.

Yet the Entertainment Software Rating Board, responsible for rating all games in the United States and Canada, has only given a content warning for “sexual violence” twice in more than a decade.

This year, Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission, and the departments it oversees, are up for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission. It can't hurt to start amassing your "fingers crossed" GIFs now.

This year, Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission, and the departments it oversees, are up for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission. It can’t hurt to start amassing your “fingers crossed” GIFs now.

About 9 percent of teenagers identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning; as many as six million Americans have an LGBT-identified parent. Yet when I reached out for recommendations on more diverse sex ed books aimed at adolescents, there were few options to be found.

About 9 percent of teenagers identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning; as many as six million Americans have an LGBT-identified parent. Yet when I reached out for recommendations on more diverse sex ed books aimed at adolescents, there were few options to be found.

ABLC Blog
Just in case you were getting nostalgic for the days of Todd Akin-style stupidity from the GOP.

Just in case you were getting nostalgic for statements from the GOP as stupid as Todd Akin’s.

Which is funny since I didn't know that we had anointed Piers Morgan as The Rape Decider—you know, the guy who decides who has or hasn't been raped.

Which is funny, because I didn’t know that we had anointed Piers Morgan as The Rape Decider—you know, the guy who decides who has or hasn’t been raped.

Andrew Sullivan's hysterical claim that WAM! is in cahoots with Twitter to stifle the speech of the poor oppressed straight white male is just the latest example of his frequent failure to fact-check.

Andrew Sullivan’s hysterical claim that WAM! is in cahoots with Twitter to stifle the speech of the poor oppressed straight white male is just the latest example of his frequent failure to fact-check.

Analysis
Intrauterine devices were popular until the '70s, when one model caused infertility and even death in some women. Though the new generation of IUDs are safe and effective, it has been a slow climb back to their previous rates of acceptance.

Intrauterine devices were popular until the ’70s, when one model caused infertility and even death in some women. Though the new generation of IUDs are safe and effective, it has been a slow climb back to their previous rates of acceptance.

How can pro-choice advocates change the cultural conversation that can help win policy victories? For starters, according to speakers at this year’s Rootscamp, don’t be afraid to say “abortion.”

How can pro-choice advocates change the cultural conversation that can help win policy victories? For starters, according to speakers at this year’s Rootscamp, don’t be afraid to say “abortion.”

According to Tamara Loertscher and her attorneys, unbeknownst to her, as hospital workers were preparing a prescription to treat Loertscher’s thyroid condition, they were also initiating unborn child protection proceedings on behalf of Loertscher’s then 14-week-old fetus.

According to Tamara Loertscher and her attorneys, unbeknownst to her, as hospital workers were preparing a prescription to treat Loertscher’s thyroid condition, they were also initiating unborn child protection proceedings on behalf of Loertscher’s then 14-week-old fetus.

Investigations
The emails show Texas’s key consultant putting words into the mouths of the state’s so-called expert witnesses, attempting to persuade them to selectively exclude data that did not match his anti-choice bias, and, in one case, walking extremely close to the line of outright ghostwriting what were supposed to be independent reports.

The emails show Texas’ key consultant putting words into the mouths of the state’s so-called expert witnesses, attempting to persuade them to selectively exclude data that did not match his anti-choice bias, and, in one case, walking extremely close to the line of outright ghostwriting what were supposed to be independent reports.

Why are states continuing to pass abortion restrictions based partly on erroneous theories that abortion harms women?

Why are states continuing to pass abortion restrictions based partly on erroneous theories that abortion harms women? And why are state attorneys general calling as expert witnesses some of the very people who proffered these spurious notions to state legislatures in the first place?

The issues might have changed, but the techniques now widely used by conservatives to distort science and, with it, public policy, remain the same.

The issues might have changed, but the techniques now widely used by conservatives to distort science and, with it, public policy, remain the same.

Q & A
These young activists are leading local sexual and reproductive health and rights movements around the world.

From a 21-year-old who first saw the need for sex ed when he was the only out gay man at his Catholic school in Louisiana, to the 27-year-old web editor of one of the most popular love and relationship sites in India, these young activists are leading local sexual and reproductive health and rights movements around the world.

Diane Rosenfeld, lecturer on law and director of the Gender Violence Program at Harvard Law School, first began focusing on Title IX and its applications when a group of Harvard students approached her about sexual violence on campus in 2001.

Pretending that sexual assault only happens on other campuses makes it harder to keep students safe, says Title IX expert Diane Rosenfeld.

The law provides an expansive host of benefits, including requirements that employers provide simple accommodations for pregnant workers. To get a better sense of this law and the strategy that made it win, RH Reality Check spoke with Debra Fitzpatrick of the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The law provides an expansive host of benefits, including requirements that employers provide basic accommodations for pregnant workers. To get a better sense of this law and the strategy that made it win, RH Reality Check spoke with Debra Fitzpatrick of the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.