Here’s What You Need to Know About the Supreme Court’s Marriage Equality CasesWhen Does an Error Become a Lie? The Case of the Missing Decimal PointA New Era for RH Reality Check and a Farewell to Lauren KelleyIn Sexual Assault Cases, New Laws on Strangulation Aid Prosecution

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Supreme Court’s Marriage Equality Cases

by Jessica Mason Pieklo

Video

Poet Clint Smith on Raising Black Children in the United States

In his TED Talk, Clint Smith talks about the rules his parents set, which effectively stripped away parts of his childhood, “just so that I could come home at night.”

 

 

The ‘Rape Poems’ Aren’t the Problem (Trigger Warning)

Poet Brenna Twohy’s recites “Another Rape Poem” at the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam in Phoenix, Arizona. [via Button Poetry]

On Parenting and Taking Time Off to Find Wonder

HuffPost Live‘s Nancy Redd chats with a group of mothers, including Phenomenal author Leigh Ann Henion and Echoing Ida writer Gloria Malone, about why mothers need time for curiosity and to explore the world.

Audio

Attacks on Reproductive Rights in Colorado, Tennessee

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This week on Reality Cast, Corrine Rivera-Fowler of COLOR explains the fight over “personhood” in Colorado. Also, host Amanda Marcotte discusses allegations of sexism against Rand Paul and anti-abortion legislation in Tennessee.

Anti-Clinton Sexism, and Second-Trimester Abortion Bans

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Meaghan Winter discusses tactics of crisis pregnancy centers on display at a recent conference. Also, host Amanda Marcotte explains how two states have banned a very common abortion procedure, and that sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton started as soon as she announced her candidacy.

Ludicrous Anti-Abortion Bills, and the Search for Better Condoms

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Slate’s L.V. Anderson explains why we need to build a better condom. Also, host Amanda Marcotte discusses a North Carolina bill that would ban med schools from teaching abortion and other recent anti-abortion regulations.

News
The Florida legislature's Republican majority on Friday passed a measure mandating a 24-hour waiting period for people seeking abortions, sending it to Republican Gov. Rick Scott for approval.

The Florida legislature’s Republican majority on Friday passed a measure mandating a 24-hour waiting period for people seeking abortions, sending it to Republican Gov. Rick Scott for approval.

The Roberts Court could decide in May to take up a Mississippi law designed to close the state's only abortion clinic.

The Roberts Court could decide in May to take up a Mississippi law designed to close the state’s only abortion clinic.

The amendment to the Minnesota Health and Human Services omnibus bill was defeated in the state senate by a 32-29 vote, mostly along partisan lines, with four anti-choice Democrats joining Republicans in supporting the measure.

The amendment to the Minnesota Health and Human Services omnibus bill was defeated in the state senate by a 32-29 vote, mostly along partisan lines, with four anti-choice Democrats joining Republicans in supporting the measure.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)  speaking at a markup session in April.

Workers’ rights advocates weren’t expecting 15 Republicans to vote in favor of giving American workers the chance to earn paid sick days, as they did last month.

The bill will now go before the state senate—also majority Republican—where it is expected to pass.

The bill will now go before the state senate—also majority Republican—where it is expected to pass.

A Texas Democrat on Thursday called this year's state legislature the most misogynistic she's seen in her 21 years as a state representative, following a house vote that would have ended legal abortion care for pregnant Texans whose fetuses have medical anomalies that aren't survivable outside the womb.

A Texas Democrat on Thursday called this year’s state legislature the most misogynistic she’s seen in her 21 years as a state representative, following a house vote that would have ended legal abortion care for pregnant Texans whose fetuses have medical anomalies that aren’t survivable outside the womb.

The Illinois Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require religiously affiliated hospitals that refuse to offer certain services to provide patients with accurate information about those procedures and where they are available.

The Illinois Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require religiously affiliated hospitals that refuse to offer certain services to provide patients with accurate information about those procedures and where they are available.

The new version of the ban is likely to include changes to its controversial rape exception, but pro-choice advocates say that's a red herring that ignores the reality of women's health needs.

The new version of the ban is likely to include changes to its controversial rape exception, but pro-choice advocates say that’s a red herring that ignores the reality of women’s health needs.

The union acting on behalf of fired Walmart workers in five states filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the retailer of retaliating against workers organizing for better pay and benefits.

The union acting on behalf of fired Walmart workers in five states filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the retailer of retaliating against workers organizing for better pay and benefits.

Amid a political battle over a Philadelphia City Council ordinance guaranteeing paid sick leave to people who work, Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama, threw support behind the city, calling an effort by state legislators to block the ordinance “dreadful.”

Amid a political battle over a Philadelphia City Council ordinance guaranteeing paid sick leave to people who work, Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama, threw support behind the city, calling an effort by state legislators to block the ordinance “dreadful.”

Lynch waited ten times longer to be confirmed than the average attorney general nominee, according to the Congressional Research Service, and longer than all but two nominees in history.

Lynch waited ten times longer to be confirmed than the average attorney general nominee, according to the Congressional Research Service, and longer than all but two nominees in history.

The federal labor law agency announced it was considering a rule change that would allow unions in so-called "right-to-work" states to process grievance fees for non-members.

The federal labor law agency announced it was considering a rule change that would allow unions in so-called “right-to-work” states to process grievance fees for non-members.

Colorado pro-choice activists on Wednesday decried a bill introduced by state Republicans in response to a grotesque crime against a pregnant woman that would give "personhood" rights to fetuses.

Colorado pro-choice activists on Wednesday decried a bill introduced by state Republicans in response to a grotesque crime against a pregnant woman that would give “personhood” rights to fetuses.

The sponsor of a new bill in the state says the legislation is necessary to protect school children from protests at abortion clinics that are often staged by the very same anti-choice activists who advocated for the bill.

The sponsor of a new bill in the state says the legislation is necessary to protect school children from protests at abortion clinics that are often staged by the very same anti-choice activists who advocated for the bill.

Gov. Steve Bullock

The Montana legislature over the weekend gave final approval to the state’s Medicaid expansion plan, sending the bill to the governor’s desk for a signature.

Gov. Bill Haslam (R) is expected to sign the anti-choice bills seeking to mandate a 48-hour waiting period and increase regulation of clinics that provide abortion services.

Tennessee appears poised to increase restrictions on access to abortion care, as state lawmakers passed bills to mandate a 48-hour waiting period and increase regulation of clinics that provide abortion services.

Republicans in Congress voted Tuesday to overturn a new law that would protect women in Washington, D.C., from being fired due to their reproductive health-care choices.

Republicans in Congress voted Tuesday to overturn a new law that would protect women in Washington, D.C., from being fired due to their reproductive health-care choices.

A study published this week adds to the overwhelming body of evidence that shows there is no connection between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorders.

A study published this week adds to the overwhelming body of evidence that shows there is no connection between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorders.

Roundups
This week, research suggests the keys to more and/or better sex may be different for some men and women.

This week, research suggests the keys to more and/or better sex may be different for some men and women.

According to estimates released last month from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, sex toy injuries have more than doubled in recent years.

This week, we examine a rise in sex toy injuries, the careful marketing sex toy retailers in India must employ to dodge the country’s restrictive laws, and the “wankband,” which harnesses the power of masturbation to create energy.

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.

Commentary
Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience notes that a whopping 95 million adults in the United States have a step-relationship. The book does not gloss over the difficulties involved with these situations, nor does it neglect the humor and affection often present.

Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience notes that a whopping 95 million adults in the United States have a step-relationship. The book does not gloss over the difficulties involved with these situations, nor does it neglect the humor and affection often present.

A few weeks ago, I experienced an Internet first: a troll genuinely apologized to me for his behavior. What happened? I called him out by calling in his family members and his peers. By treating him like a human being, instead of an insult machine with a keyboard and Internet access.

A few weeks ago, I experienced an Internet first: a troll genuinely apologized to me for his behavior. What happened? I called him out by calling in his family members and his peers. By treating him like a human being, instead of an insult machine with a keyboard and Internet access.

I worry that in our excitement to promote long-active reversible contraceptives as an effective way of preventing teen pregnancy, members of the public will overlook the importance of sex education and the need for condoms.

I worry that in our excitement to promote long-active reversible contraceptives as an effective way of preventing teen pregnancy, members of the public will overlook the importance of sex education and the need for condoms.

The bipartisan $200 billion Medicare “doc fix” and health program funding bill includes a two-year extension of the Title V Sec. 510 program, which funds the implementation of ineffective and stigmatizing abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

The bipartisan $200 billion Medicare “doc fix” and health program funding bill includes a two-year extension of the Title V Sec. 510 program, which funds the implementation of ineffective and stigmatizing abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Too often, news stories about people in prison or jail use dehumanizing language to describe those under government control. While this coverage draws attention to widespread abuses in the criminal justice system, it frequently undercuts the humanity of the people featured with derogatory phrases.

Too often, news stories about people in prison or jail use dehumanizing language to describe those under government control. The term “inmate” is the most pervasive of these words; it is widely used by judges, prison and jail officials and staff, and the media.

I sat around stone-cold sober earlier this week listening to my fellow Texans boast about how their innate Texanness somehow demands that they do no less than vocally support a thing called "Confederate Heroes Day," a state holiday that occasionally falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Earlier this week I listened to my fellow Texans boast about how their innate Texanness somehow demands that they vocally support a thing called “Confederate Heroes Day,” a state holiday that occasionally falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Though it's hard to change the minds of those opposed to vaccinations, it seems possible that widespread instances of preventable diseases might be enough to sway some individuals.

Though it’s hard to change the minds of those opposed to vaccinations, it seems possible that widespread instances of preventable diseases might be enough to sway some individuals.

Anti-choicers have mastered the art of minimizing the impact of abortion laws to trick the public into shrugging them off. By using this method, they are poised to restrict second-trimester abortion access in many states without a major fuss.

Anti-choicers have mastered the art of minimizing the impact of abortion laws to trick the public into shrugging them off. By using this method, they are poised to restrict second-trimester abortion access in many states without a major fuss.

Will Clinton work to unleash the political power of Black women, or will she follow the same old scripts?

Will Clinton work to unleash the political power of Black women, or will she follow the same old scripts?

ABLC Blog
ATM, Money, Machine

Gov. Brownback signed a law on Thursday that prohibits people who rely on government assistance to make ends meet from using the money in the way it was intended. It treats poor people like they’re stupid or wasteful, and siphons government funds from them and diverts it into banks’ coffers.

Vijay Chokal-Ingam

In 1998, Mindy Kaling’s brother Vijay Chokal-Ingam posed as a Black man to get into medical school in an attempt to prove that affirmative action in the admissions process is “legalized racism.” In reality, his little “experiment” proves nothing apart from the fact that Chokal-Ingam is full of it.

Despite what conservatives think, liberals and anyone else who believes that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans people are people are not somehow hypocrites for opposing the Indiana RFRA law as it existed before it was amended.

Despite what conservatives think, liberals and anyone else who believes that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans people are people are not somehow hypocrites for opposing the Indiana RFRA law as it existed before it was amended.

Analysis
Anticipating a loss this summer before the Roberts Court in the marriage equality cases, conservatives are now leaning on the precedent set by Hobby Lobby and McCullen v. Coakley.

Anticipating a loss this summer before the Roberts Court in the marriage equality cases, conservatives are now leaning on the precedent set by Hobby Lobby and McCullen v. Coakley.

Almost no independent research has investigated the potential health impacts of long-term feminine hygiene product use. Studies have generally taken place through product manufacturers—who aren't required to release the results in full to the public.

Almost no independent research has investigated the potential health impacts of long-term feminine hygiene product use. Studies have generally taken place through product manufacturers—who aren’t required to release the results in full to the public.

"I’m not sure what the impact will be or how we would comply because the bill is written with non-medical language, and it’s not written by doctors. It’s written by politicians," Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, told RH Reality Check.

“I’m not sure what the impact will be or how we would comply because the bill is written with non-medical language, and it’s not written by doctors. It’s written by politicians,” Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, told RH Reality Check.

Investigations
This is a story about Dr. John Thorp and a Missing Decimal Point, an odd mystery that raises questions about when an error becomes a lie, and when—in the context of court proceedings—a lie becomes perjury.

This is a story about Dr. John Thorp and a Missing Decimal Point, an odd mystery that raises questions about when an error becomes a lie, and when—in the context of court proceedings—a lie becomes perjury.

Advocates are pushing for enhanced charges and new research on strangulation to put more rapists behind bars.

Advocates are pushing for enhanced charges and new research on strangulation to put more rapists behind bars.

Thousands of incarcerated women risk losing parental rights each year due to a combination of state and federal laws that are intended to protect children and speed up the adoption process.

The combination of mass incarceration and inflexible foster laws leads to an extraordinary, disproportionate punishment that overwhelmingly affects poor and minority women, an expert told RH Reality Check.

Q & A
Dr. Chastine fights back against anti-choice threats and intimidation by providing the best possible care to her patients, who often travel long distances as additional political and economic hurdles are put in their way.

Dr. Chastine fights back against anti-choice threats and intimidation by providing the best possible care to her patients, who often travel long distances as additional political and economic hurdles are put in their way.

Gunn, who spoke at a Planned Parenthood South Texas luncheon on Thursday, had equally insightful things to say about bridging the empathy gap, and the top puppy looks for spring.

Gunn, who spoke at a Planned Parenthood South Texas luncheon on Thursday, had equally insightful things to say about bridging the empathy gap, and the top puppy looks for spring.

Rose Rosenblatt,
co-director of Young Lakota, at a strategy session for the REEL Reproductive Justice cohort in 2013.

Chicken & Egg Pictures is the only nonprofit in the United States focused exclusively on funding and promoting women documentary filmmakers. The group’s REEL Reproductive Justice has supported films including After Tiller, No Más Bebés Por Vida, Infanity, Vessel, and Young Lakota.