Cleveland Isn’t Blaming Tamir Rice for His Own Death. Not Really.The Fate of the Affordable Care Act Rests in John Roberts’ Hands—AgainFraming Suzanne Mazzola’s Death in Childbirth as a Martyrdom Is Disturbing and DangerousPercy Sutton’s 1966 Abortion Rights Bill: Groundbreaking, But Often Unremembered

Cleveland Isn’t Blaming Tamir Rice for His Own Death. Not Really.

by Imani Gandy

Video

Hollywood Stars Give Advice to Young Women

The Oscars may be over, but the advice shared by these women on the red carpet will last a lifetime. Hollywood stars, including Margaret Avery and Felicity Jones, urge women and girls not to let Hollywood or any industry define who they are. [via BuzzFeed]

Vice Investigates Harmful Gay ‘Conversion Therapy’ Practices

Despite numerous bans on gay “conversion therapy” across the country, some organizations continue to provide discredited practices they say can “cure” same-sex attractions in their clients. In part one of Vice’s investigation into organizations that purport to “convert” gay people, Vice visits Journey Into Manhood, a weekend long retreat “designed specifically for men who are self-motivated and serious about resolving unwanted homosexual attractions.” [via Vice]

#ThisIsLuv Campaign Shows Love for Black LGBTQ Community

Former NFL player Wade Davis talks to Melissa Harris-Perry about the #ThisIsLuv campaign, a multimedia campaign that challenges the notion that the Black community is less likely than other communities to accept LGBTQ family and community members. [via MSNBC]

Audio

Abortion Stories, and the Equal Pay Debate

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Renee Bracey Sherman talks about her abortion storytelling advocacy. Also, host Amanda Marcotte looks at why everyone at Fox News is so hostile to equal pay, and the abortion storyline in a recent episode of Girls.

2015 Court Outlook, and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ in Context

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Ian Millhiser talks about how the Obama administration is quietly winning court battles in favor of contraception. Also, host Amanda Marcotte shares clips from Irin Carmon’s interview with Justice Ginsburg and discusses how Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t the first movie to romanticize abusive relationship patterns.

Street Harassment in Mexico City, and MRAs Take On ‘Frozen’

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On this episode of Reality Cast, host Amanda Marcotte chats with Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, creator of the “Stop Telling Women to Smile” art project, about her recent work in Mexico City, where she was joined by Fusion editor Anna Holmes. In another segment, Marcotte looks at the claim that the movie Frozen oppresses men.

News
The West Virginia Senate last week passed a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, four weeks before a fetus is widely recognized as “viable,” the standard for legally-protected abortion in the United States.

The West Virginia Senate last week passed a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, four weeks before a fetus is widely recognized as “viable,” the standard for legally-protected abortion in the United States.

The proposal includes an exemption that would allow religious institutions to forgo offering health insurance plans that include contraception coverage for their employees.

The proposal includes an exemption that would allow religious institutions to forgo offering health insurance plans that include contraception coverage for their employees.

Sabo (right) had a thing or two to say about Islam, immigration, Ted Cruz, and art at the nation's largest conservative gathering.

Sabo, a Los Angeles-based street artist and right-wing folk hero, had a thing or two to say about Islam, immigration, Ted Cruz, and art at the nation’s largest conservative gathering.

Jeb Bush speaks at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Both possible 2016 presidential contenders said changes to immigration law should focus less on family ties and more on economic factors.

Carly Fiorina speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Even in front of this red-meat-friendly audience, references to abortion rights by presidential hopefuls were mostly passing and routine.

Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he would take no action if the Affordable Care Act is gutted as the U.S. Supreme Court decision that could cut off access to affordable health care for millions looms.

Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he would take no action if the Affordable Care Act is gutted as the U.S. Supreme Court decision that could cut off access to affordable health care for millions looms.

Dozens of college students and reproductive justice activists met with lawmakers in Austin Thursday morning.

Dozens of college students and reproductive justice activists met with lawmakers in Austin Thursday morning, asking them to support comprehensive sex ed, increase access to legal abortion care, and give doctors more leeway to make medically sound decisions about their patients.

Telemedicine abortion care isn't available in Arkansas, but a state representative told local media the law would "stop it before it starts."

Telemedicine abortion care isn’t available in Arkansas, but a state representative told local media the law would “stop it before it starts.”

Four Oregon lawmakers Thursday introduced the Comprehensive Women’s Health Bill, intended to ensure access to affordable, full-spectrum reproductive health care for every woman and transgender man in the state.

Four Oregon lawmakers Thursday introduced the Comprehensive Women’s Health Bill, intended to ensure access to affordable, full-spectrum reproductive health care for every woman and transgender man in the state.

If confirmed, Lynch will become the first Black woman to serve as attorney general of the United States.

If confirmed, Lynch will become the first Black woman to serve as attorney general of the United States.

A new discrimination charge filed with the EEOC claims the retailer has a pattern and practice of discriminating against pregnant employees.

A new discrimination charge filed with the EEOC claims the retailer has a pattern and practice of discriminating against pregnant employees.

The Department of Labor announced a rule change that will expand FMLA protections for thousands of legally married same-sex couples.

The Department of Labor announced a rule change that will expand FMLA protections for thousands of legally married same-sex couples.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) defeated incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn (D) after campaigning on a platform of ultra-conservative policies, including curtailing labor unions and workers' rights. Rauner, since being sworn into office, has delivered on those campaign promises.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) defeated incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn (D) after campaigning on a platform of ultra-conservative policies, including curtailing labor unions and workers’ rights. Rauner, since being sworn into office, has delivered on those campaign promises.

Virginia budget negotiators on Monday agreed to a plan that leaves out two anti-choice amendments previously proposed by house lawmakers.

Virginia budget negotiators on Monday agreed to a plan that leaves out two anti-choice amendments previously proposed by house lawmakers.

Kansas state senators approved a bill Friday that is part of coordinated effort to ban a medical procedure used for second-trimester abortions and the management of miscarriage.

Kansas state senators approved a bill Friday that is part of coordinated effort to ban a medical procedure used for second-trimester abortions and the management of miscarriage.

The New Hampshire legislature this month defeated a bill that could have stripped state funding for women’s health centers throughout the state.

The New Hampshire legislature this month defeated a bill that could have stripped state funding for women’s health centers throughout the state.

Since HPV vaccines were introduced almost a decade ago, there has been a fear that vaccinating young girls against sexually transmitted infections will give them license to have sex and increase promiscuity. A new study suggests that the opposite may in fact be true—girls who have been vaccinated are less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior than those who have not.

Since HPV vaccines were introduced almost a decade ago, there has been a fear that vaccinating young girls against sexually transmitted infections will give them license to have sex and increase promiscuity. A new study suggests that the opposite may in fact be true—girls who have been vaccinated are less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior than those who have not.

Public hospitals in Washington are required to provide "substantially equivalent" abortion and maternity care services. A new lawsuit by the ACLU says some hospitals in the state are not complying.

Public hospitals in Washington are required to provide “substantially equivalent” abortion and maternity care services. A new lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union says some hospitals in the state are not complying.

Roundups
The legislative session kicked off in the states with a bunch of new anti-abortion bills and the first-ever conviction in Indiana of a pregnant woman for feticide for a self-induced abortion.

The legislative session kicked off in the states with a bunch of new anti-abortion bills, along with the conviction of an Indiana woman for feticide and neglect of a dependent.

Valentine's Day is a $19 billion holiday. How are folks spending that money?

Valentine’s Day is a $19 billion holiday. How are folks spending that money?

From Catholic hospitals to juries in Indiana, more and more pregnant people are finding themselves pitted against their pregnancies.

From Catholic hospitals to juries in Indiana, more and more pregnant people are finding themselves pitted against their pregnancies.

Commentary
Can the abortion rate be reduced by making it more affordable to have a baby? New data from the Brookings Institution suggests that answer is no, and women have abortions for more complex reasons than simply being too poor to parent.

Can the abortion rate be reduced by improving social services? New data from the Brookings Institution suggests that answer is no, which makes sense: Women have abortions for more complex reasons than simply being too poor to parent.

Phil Robertson speaks at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Among this year’s attempts at conservative “humor”: Sean Hannity’s X-ray utero-vision, Ted Cruz’s quip about not beating his wife, and the guy from Duck Dynasty calling STIs “the revenge of the hippies.”

Our right-wing state lawmakers are so proudly hateful that they actually celebrated banning marriage equality by cutting a cake.

Our right-wing state lawmakers are so proudly hateful that they actually celebrated banning marriage equality by cutting a cake. They’ve also already filed a slate of oppressive and unnecessary legislation this session.

Last week a pharmaceutical company submitted a third claim for approval of a drug to increase female sexual desire amid accusations that the FDA's failure to approve the drug thus far reeks of sexism.  On the flip side, a group of advocates are arguing that no such drug is needed.  Who's right? Who's wrong? And is there any middle ground?

Some advocates are calling the Food and Drug Administration’s historical hesitation to approve a drug that would treat low sex drive in women sexist; others are saying the development of the medication itself is sexist. Who’s in the right?

Supporters of the "men's rights" movement claim to want to defend the interests of men in a supposedly female-dominated society. But if you give them a chance to share their views in a mainstream setting, their underlying misogyny becomes immediately apparent.

Supporters of the “men’s rights” movement claim to want to defend the interests of men in a supposedly female-dominated society. But if you give them a chance to share their views in a mainstream setting, their underlying misogyny becomes immediately apparent.

Pittsburgh organizer Julia Johnson and Jasmine Burnett (right)

Black women do not expect much from those whose inhumane social, political, and economic interests challenge our human rights, but we do expect respect, support, and trust from our progressive allies, who supposedly are on our side.

A lack of understanding of basic anatomy can have enormous consequences on both a personal and legislative level.

As much as we may want to laugh about the possibility that Idaho state Rep. Vito Barbieri did not know that the uterus is not part of the digestive system, a lack of understanding of basic anatomy can have enormous consequences on both a personal and legislative level.

Social conservatives have been getting more obvious about bullying women into accepting their self-sacrificing, self-effacing model of womanhood. They're having to get louder because fewer women are listening.

Social conservatives have been getting more obvious about bullying women into accepting their self-sacrificing, self-effacing model of womanhood. They’re having to get louder because fewer women are listening.

White women: let's not go all "Je Suis Patricia Arquette" on this shit. Let's listen to people who know better than we do about what it's like to be a non-white or non-straight or a non-white non-straight person who is asked, from one of the world's most prominent media platforms, to "fight" for someone who already has so, so much more.

White women: let’s not go all “Je Suis Patricia Arquette” on this shit. Let’s listen to people who know better than we do about what it’s like to be a non-white or non-straight or a non-white non-straight person who is asked, from one of the world’s most prominent media platforms, to “fight” for someone who already has so, so much more.

ABLC Blog
What sounds diabolical to the untrained eye—Cleveland is blaming Rice for his own death!—is actually standard language in a case like this, and we shouldn't let it obscure the bigger injustices at play here.

What sounds diabolical to the untrained eye is actually standard language in a case like this, and we shouldn’t let it obscure the bigger injustices at play here.

To put it plainly, white people, including white women, have advantages simply by virtue of their skin color—advantages that I will never have. These advantages are often invisible. These advantages are also unearned. And that’s why talking to someone who has never considered their privilege about the fact that they have privilege can be so jarring for them.

To put it plainly, white people, including white women, have advantages simply by virtue of their skin color—advantages that I will never have. These advantages are often invisible. These advantages are also unearned. And that’s why talking to someone who has never considered their privilege about the fact that they have privilege can be so jarring for them.

With her words on Sunday night—whether intentional or not (and personally, I believe it was unintentional)—Patricia Arquette gave voice to a system of structural erasure that has been the gold standard in the feminist movement since well before Sojourner Truth stood up and declared “Ain’t I A Woman?”

With her words on Sunday night—whether intentional or not (and personally, I believe it was unintentional)—Patricia Arquette gave voice to a system of structural erasure that has been the gold standard in the feminist movement since well before Sojourner Truth stood up and declared “Ain’t I A Woman?”

Analysis
So far, employers have had a good run before the Roberts Court, thanks in large part to Justice Samuel Alito, who has emerged as the architect and conservative standard-bearer for defending the interests of employers in employment claims.

That’s the question before the Roberts Court in a case that pits the religious rights of employees against the duty of an employer to accommodate them.

Most states have rescinded their requirements that brides and grooms be tested for STDs, but one Oklahoma lawmaker would like to reverse this trend.

Most states have rescinded their requirements that brides and grooms be tested for STDs, but one Oklahoma lawmaker would like to reverse this trend.

If Mississippi gets its way, the right to an abortion will be meaningless in the face of unrestricted state power to regulate reproduction.

If Mississippi gets its way, the right to an abortion will be meaningless in the face of unrestricted state power to regulate reproduction.

Investigations
“The IWF has never taken a stance on abortion,” executive director Sabrina Schaeffer wrote in an email to RH Reality Check. Certainly, that is IWF’s public position. But RHRC has found that the IWF’s behind-the-scenes relationship with anti-choice groups contradicts what its spokespeople say publicly.

“The IWF has never taken a stance on abortion,” executive director Sabrina Schaeffer wrote in an email to RH Reality Check. Certainly, that is IWF’s public position. But RHRC has found that the IWF’s behind-the-scenes relationship with anti-choice groups contradicts what its spokespeople say.

Anti-choice lawmakers across the country have in recent weeks filed barrages of laws that would restrict access to safe and legal abortion.

As state legislative sessions gear up for what could be one of the worst years on record for reproductive rights, anti-choice lawmakers across the country have in recent weeks filed barrages of laws that would restrict access to safe and legal abortion. Many of these laws are identical, or nearly so, to laws that have repeatedly failed in the same states where they are being reintroduced.

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.

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.