Equal Pay Day for (Some) African-American Women‘Water, Water Everywhere’: Racial Inequality and Reproductive Justice in DetroitThe Fault in Our Media‘Water Is a Human Right’: Advocates Call for End to Detroit Water Shutoffs

Equal Pay Day for (Some) African-American Women

by Alex Moffett Bateau

Video

Twelve-Year-Old Speaks Out Against North Carolina’s Voting ID Law

“We, young people, have a serious leadership problem,” Madison Kimrey of Burlington, North Carolina, argues in her speech at a Moral Monday rally last fall on her state’s voter identification law. Kimrey, 12, founded NC Youth Rocks after the North Carolina legislature passed voting restrictions that effectively target young people, women, minorities, and the poor.

First Woman Charged Under Tennessee’s New Pregnancy Criminalization Law

Chris Hayes reports on the first woman in Tennessee charged under the state’s new law that, advocates say, criminalizes pregnant women struggling with drug dependency. Dorothy Roberts, the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, explains why the law is “bad policy.” [via MSNBC]

Bernice Sandler, the ‘Godmother of Title IX,’ Explains How the Civil Rights Law Covers Sexual Assault

Chris Hayes discusses with Dr. Bernice Sandler how U.S. colleges and universities have a legal requirement to address sexual assault on campus under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. [via MSNBC]

Audio

On the Women’s Health Protection Act

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On this episode of Reality Cast, I cover a new bill being offered in the Senate called the Women’s Health Protection Act that could, if it passed, reverse the tide of anti-choice legislation. Kristine Kippins from the Center for Reproductive Rights is on to help flesh out what this bill could do.

‘Hobby Lobby,’ and the Case for Secular Health Care

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On this episode of Reality Cast, I look at the fallout from the Supreme Court’s transparent attempt to force women to include their boss’s opinion in their contraceptive choices. In another segment, Michael De Dora of the Center for Inquiry talks about the role that secularism plays in pushing for better health-care access.

Reproductive Health Care in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, Buffer Zones, and Defining Rape

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On this episode of Reality Cast, I talk to Katrina Anderson, a representative from the Center for Reproductive Rights, about a report on access to reproductive health care in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Also, I cover the Supreme Court’s decision on clinic buffer zones, and the melee over George Will’s column minimizing the problem of campus rape.

News
Black women specifically face a larger wage gap than women overall, and their Equal Pay Day comes more than two months later than the day women's groups normally highlight.

Black women specifically face a larger wage gap than women overall, and their Equal Pay Day comes more than two months later than the day women’s groups normally highlight.

"America's federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people," Obama said before signing the order. "I'm going to do what I can with the authority I have to act."

“America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people,” Obama said before signing the order. “I’m going to do what I can with the authority I have to act.”

At least a thousand people, including local residents, activists, and clergy and attendees of the progressive Netroots Nation political conference, filled the streets of Detroit on Friday to protest water service shutoffs to thousands of low-income residents.

At least a thousand people, including local residents, activists, and clergy and attendees of the progressive Netroots Nation political conference, filled the streets of Detroit on Friday to protest water service shutoffs to thousands of low-income residents.

The protests appear to be motivated in part by the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in the city that will offer a full range of reproductive health services.

The protests appear to be motivated in part by the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in the city that will offer a full range of reproductive health services.

A panel of judges is considering overturning a lower court's ruling that the state's 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional.

A panel of judges is considering overturning a lower court’s ruling that the state’s 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional.

After a U.S. Senate bill proposing to clarify that corporations cannot use religious belief as a justification to opt out of certain kinds of insurance was blocked on the Senate floor this week, state senates are now picking up efforts to curtail the effects of the ruling.

After a U.S. Senate bill proposing to clarify that corporations cannot use religious belief as a justification to opt out of certain kinds of insurance was blocked on the Senate floor this week, state senates are now picking up efforts to curtail the effects of the ruling.

The ruling clarifies that doctors do not need to be present for patients taking the second of a two-dose regime for a medication abortion.

The ruling clarifies that doctors do not need to be present for patients taking the second of a two-dose regime for a medication abortion.

The White House sent a message Thursday to closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby that if they want to opt out of contraceptive coverage, they have to tell their employees.

The White House sent a message Thursday to closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby that if they want to opt out of contraceptive coverage, they have to tell their employees.

In a radio interview, Republican Rep. Cory Gardner (right) said his opponent, Sen. Mark Udall, is “trying to distract voters” by attacking Gardner for his positions on abortion and contraception, which, according to Gardner, "aren't top of mind for people."

In a radio interview, Republican Rep. Cory Gardner said his opponent, Sen. Mark Udall, is “trying to distract voters” by attacking Gardner for his positions on abortion and contraception, which, according to Gardner, “aren’t top of mind for people.”

Democratic Senators failed to garner Republican support for the legislation, and it was blocked.

Democratic Senators failed to garner Republican support for the legislation, and it was blocked.

While witnesses on both sides of the issue claimed to be in favor of protecting women’s health, anti-choice witnesses relied heavily on debunked science and distorted interpretations of the bill to make many of their claims.

While witnesses on both sides of the issue claimed to be in favor of protecting women’s health, anti-choice witnesses relied heavily on debunked science and distorted interpretations of the bill to make many of their claims.

The new southeast Dallas facility will be one of eight legal abortion providers left in Texas after September 1.

The new southeast Dallas facility will be one of eight legal abortion providers left in Texas after September 1.

The law narrows when Medicaid recipients are eligible for coverage of abortions.

The law narrows when Medicaid recipients are eligible for coverage of abortions.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaking at the Henry A. Wolcott Elementary School in West Hartford, Connecticut, on April 5, 2013.

On Monday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Hobby Lobby, requesting that the craft store chain voluntarily provide insurance plans that offer contraceptive coverage to women in Connecticut.

Doctors were devastated to announce last week that their patient, an almost 4-year-old girl was once thought "cured" of HIV,  was found to have detectable viral loads and lowered T-cell counts.

Doctors were devastated to announce last week that their patient, an almost 4-year-old girl was once thought “cured” of HIV, was found to have detectable viral loads and lowered T-cell counts.

Roundups
A porn producer with a large presence in San Francisco has threatened to move to Las Vegas if a condom law is passed.

This week, a new study shows that just one in five sexually active high school students has been tested for HIV; a porn producer with a large presence in San Francisco threatens to move to Las Vegas if a condom law is passed; and a vibrator lets you record your vagina during masturbation.

New research suggests that orgasms promote positive pillow talk.

This week, new research suggests that orgasms promote positive pillow talk and improve intimacy but alcohol has the opposite effect; a study finds that the new HIV-prevention drug Truvada may also reduce the risk of genital herpes; and a vibrator company introduced a Fitbit for your vagina.

A new study suggests that reactions to casual sex are mostly about the individuals who are having it and how authentic they are being to their own sexual mores.

This week, new studies accuse the public health community of ignoring the unique needs of bisexual men, find that casual sex is good for some people’s self-esteem, and show that women who get pregnant naturally at older ages may live longer.

The high court hasn't yet ruled on buffer zones or Hobby Lobby, but it did say a legal challenge to an Ohio elections law can proceed.

The high court hasn’t yet ruled on buffer zones or Hobby Lobby, but it did say a legal challenge to an Ohio elections law can proceed.

A study finds men who hook up on apps like Grindr are more likely to have STIs than those who meet in person.

This week, a study finds men who hook up on apps like Grindr are more likely to have STIs than those who meet in person, there are an estimated 400,000 undiagnosed cases of chlamydia in the United States each year, two bears have frequent oral sex, and more.

FiveThirtyEight looks at whether World Cup players should have sex before a big game,

This week, women prefer different penis sizes depending on whether the man is a one-night stand or long-term lover, FiveThirtyEight looks at whether World Cup players should have sex before a big game, and vibrators go wireless.

Commentary
If non-Native American communities, state governments, and organizations can quickly surround non-Native families suffering such a loss with warmth and kindness, then they should do the same when it comes to Native Americans and the families in their communities.

If non-Native American communities, state governments, and organizations can quickly surround non-Native families suffering such a loss with warmth and kindness, then they should do the same when it comes to Native Americans and the families in their communities.

Kara Walker's Sugar Baby at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, New York.

The controversial photos that some visitors took at the exhibit are not only troublesome because they disrespect the art, but because the mocking and dehumanization of the Black female body has a long history in our society.

Republicans are offering a bill that they claim protects a woman's access to contraception. But it's a poison pill that would reframe contraception not as a medical service, but as a luxury good that should only be available to those who can afford the cost of it.

Republicans are offering a bill that they claim protects a woman’s access to contraception. But it’s a poison pill that would reframe contraception not as a medical service, but as a luxury good that should only be available to those who can afford the cost of it.

Many advocates have understandably focused on the Supreme Court in recent weeks. But what gets lost in that focus are the stories that show the right to basic bodily autonomy is at stake for sex workers, trans people of color, and those who are disproportionately incarcerated.

Many advocates have understandably focused on the Supreme Court in recent weeks. But what gets lost in that focus are the stories that show the right to basic bodily autonomy is at stake for sex workers, trans people of color, and those who are disproportionately incarcerated.

Activists in Texas' Rio Grande Valley

As we mark the anniversary of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion bill being signed into law, much of the focus has been on Austin-based reproductive rights organizing and the work of white women in largely white organizations. Here are some of the the stories of activists of color whose voices have been missing from many of these conversations.

The device has the potential to remove control from women, since everything that can go wrong with remote-controlled devices could happen with this device.

The device has the potential to remove control from women, since everything that can go wrong with remote-controlled devices could happen with this device.

The BBC was recently told it needs to value scientific accuracy over having "all sides" represented. U.S. media should do the same thing, especially when it comes to debates over reproductive rights.

The BBC was recently told it needs to value scientific accuracy over having “all sides” represented. U.S. media should do the same thing, especially when it comes to debates over reproductive rights.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's new memoir, Hard Choices

Women’s empowerment is key to Clinton’s vision of progress, and she is forthright in supporting women’s human rights. As such, it’s curious that the book fails to address, among other things, maternal mortality, abortion, contraception, or the reproductive havoc caused by modern warfare.

Rihanna at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards

Restrictions on access to birth control are at odds with the fact that sexuality, for most of us, takes time to understand and appreciate.

New research shows a number of women say they use the withdrawal method as a backup method or in combination with other contraception methods to prevent pregnancy.

New research shows a number of women say they use the withdrawal method as a backup method or in combination with other contraception methods to prevent pregnancy.

Paul Elam of the men's rights group A Voice for Men

A recent USA Today article on the inaugural conference for men’s rights activists asked whether it marked “A kinder, gentler turn to the gender wars.” In short: No, it didn’t.

The contraceptive wars started with the notorious campaign in the late 19th century of the Postmaster General Anthony Comstock, who successfully banned the spread of information about contraception under an obscenity statute.

The contraceptive wars started with the notorious campaign in the late 19th century of the Postmaster General Anthony Comstock, who successfully banned the spread of information about contraception under an obscenity statute.

Analysis
As Democrats struggle to take back the heavily Republican-dominated state legislature, reproductive rights and health-care access are sure to play out as central issues for both Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his likely opponent Charlie Crist.

As Democrats struggle to take back the heavily Republican-dominated state legislature, reproductive rights and health-care access are sure to play out as central issues for both Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his likely opponent Charlie Crist.

On issues of reproductive rights, the candidates do not differ substantively; both incumbent Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and Democratic nominee Rep. Joe Dorman have staunchly anti-choice voting records.

On issues of reproductive rights, the candidates do not differ substantively; both incumbent Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and Democratic nominee Rep. Joe Dorman have staunchly anti-choice voting records.

Sunday's New York Times report on a 2013 incident at Hobart and William Smith Colleges comes at a time when the failure of U.S. higher education to address campus rape is coming under high scrutiny.

Sunday’s New York Times report on a 2013 incident at Hobart and William Smith Colleges comes at a time when the failure of U.S. higher education to address campus rape is coming under high scrutiny.

The Roberts Court is poised to clarify what employers must do to accommodate pregnant workers on the job. This could be terrible news.

The Roberts Court is poised to clarify what employers must do to accommodate pregnant workers on the job. This could be terrible news.

Burke Balch, director of the National Right to Life Committee's Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, at the 2009 National Right to Life Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to statements made at a recent conference attended by RH Reality Check, the National Right to Life Committee plans to perform stings of abortion clinics, while also pushing for an expansion of the laws that govern abortion to allow third parties to sue the clinics in civil court for alleged violations.

Mary Spaulding Balch, state legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, speaking at a Roe v. Wade anniversary press conference in 2009.

At last weekend’s National Right to Life Committee’s convention, Mary Spaulding Balch criticized the legislative strategy used by other anti-choice groups to pass 20-week abortion bans by claiming the procedure is dangerous to women. The proper approach, she said, is to base the argument around the unborn.

Investigations
Blackstone alumni have risen to positions of influence in state and federal courts, federal government agencies, congressional committees and offices, as well as positions at the United Nations and other intergovernmental agencies.

Welcome to the world of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, an annual program established in 2000 by the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based nonprofit that is swiftly emerging as a major behind-the-scenes player in many of the nation’s most controversial legal cases involving reproductive rights, sexual justice, and a vast range of other moral and social disputes.

The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases will be heard together before the Supreme Court this Tuesday.

New research reveals the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases are a product of deep coordination between anti-choice and free market groups.

Fiscal conservatives are now criticizing a double standard, where the lawmakers backing these bills are more regularly seen opposing other instances of what they call government interference, and decrying so-called “big spending.”

North Dakota is far from alone in spending large sums to defend anti-choice laws. But what makes the state unusual is that fiscal conservatives are now criticizing a double standard, where the lawmakers backing these bills are more regularly seen opposing other instances of what they call government interference, and decrying so-called “big spending.”