Hobby Lobby Allegedly Fired Employee Due to PregnancyAnti-Choice Groups Seek to Stack State CourtsEqual Pay Day for (Some) African-American Women‘Water, Water Everywhere’: Racial Inequality and Reproductive Justice in Detroit

Hobby Lobby Allegedly Fired Employee Due to Pregnancy

by Sofia Resnick

Video

Karen Refugees on Violence in Burma

The American Jewish World Service (AJWS) reports on the more than 400,000 refugees who have fled Burma following attacks committed by the Burma military. According to the AJWS, about 100,000 refugees from the Karen State live in camps in Thailand, where women are striving to recover and move forward.

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]

Audio

Todd Akin Is Back, and Anti-Choice Protesters Terrorize New Orleans

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On this episode of Reality Cast, RH Reality Check Reporting Fellow Teddy Wilson explains what’s going on with anti-choice protests in New Orleans. Also, I discuss Todd Akin’s comeback, and how the fallout from Hobby Lobby continues.

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.

News
The order gives attorneys for the state time to file a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court order blocking limitations on RU-486.

The order gives attorneys for the state time to file a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court order blocking limitations on RU-486.

Pamela Harris speaking at the National Press Club on September 16, 2013.

Senate Republicans opposed Harris’ nomination and accused Democrats of trying to stack the federal appeals court ahead of a pending challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

The closure leaves the state with just three clinics that provide abortion care.

The closure leaves the state with just three clinics that provide abortion care.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a bipartisan, independent agency responsible for investigating civil rights issues, held a briefing on Friday to discuss the effects of recent federal guidance on Title IX sexual harassment law in schools, and whether that guidance might come in conflict with the First Amendment.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a bipartisan, independent agency responsible for investigating civil rights issues, held a briefing on Friday to discuss the effects of recent federal guidance on Title IX sexual harassment law in schools, and whether that guidance might come in conflict with the First Amendment.

The lawsuit brought by conservative legal advocates accused the health-care provider of over $200 million in fraudulent billings.

The lawsuit brought by conservative legal advocates accused the health-care provider of over $200 million in fraudulent billings.

Reproductive rights advocates and pro-choice politicians in the state argue that Wisconsin Republicans are misunderstanding and incorrectly applying the Hobby Lobby ruling.

Reproductive rights advocates and pro-choice politicians in the state argue that Wisconsin Republicans are misunderstanding and incorrectly applying the Hobby Lobby ruling.

The hospital has threatened to perform cesarean surgery on Jennifer Goodall "with or without [her] consent."

The hospital has threatened to perform cesarean surgery on Jennifer Goodall “with or without [her] consent.”

The state's latest government mandate on doctor's office communications requires doctors to read an as-yet-unwritten script to pregnant patients after delivering the diagnosis of prenatal Down syndrome.

The state’s latest government mandate on doctor’s office communications requires doctors to read an as-yet-unwritten script to pregnant patients after delivering the diagnosis of prenatal Down syndrome.

An anti-choice protest in Jackson, Mississippi, as depicted in the trailer for the film The Last Clinic.

The complaint cites incidents dating back to 1996 in which the Jackson police detained, threatened arrest, and arrested Pro-Life Mississippi members while protesting what is today the state’s only remaining abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has supported SD 2106 from the beginning and is expected to sign it.

The legislation was filed in direct response to the Supreme Court’s McCullen v. Coakley decision, which found Massachusetts’ 35-foot buffer zone law to be unconstitutional. Gov. Deval Patrick has supported the legislation from the beginning and is expected to sign it.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), speaking, with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-CA) at a rally Thursday morning in front of the Supreme Court.

Democratic legislators and women’s rights advocates called out the Supreme Court as they rallied to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing equal rights to women.

Sovaldi is a breakthrough drug that can cure 90 percent of chronic Hepatitis C infections, but industry experts and lawmakers are questioning whether it should cost $84,000 per person.

Sovaldi is a breakthrough drug that can cure 90 percent of chronic Hepatitis C infections, but industry experts and lawmakers are questioning whether it should cost $84,000 per person.

The lawsuit makes several allegations, most basically that the state has created a series of bureaucratic hurdles that essentially prohibit access to the state’s Medicaid program.

The lawsuit, brought by three legal advocacy groups, makes several allegations, most basically that the state has created a series of bureaucratic hurdles that essentially prohibit access to the state’s Medicaid program, making it the most difficult state in which to enroll in Medicaid.

Starting this month, transgender state employees in Maryland can access transition-related health care under the state insurance plans.

The change came as the result of a lawsuit filed on behalf of a transgender employee of the University of Maryland.

Operation Save America protesters held a “wake” for what was said to be an aborted fetus in Jackson Square.

Operation Save America protesters have focused primarily on harassing the staff, volunteers, and patients of reproductive health-care clinics in New Orleans this week. They held a “wake” for what was said to be an aborted fetus in Jackson Square, and gathered at the home of a physician who is an abortion provider.

Roundups
This week, LA County is reviving an at-home STI testing service, a new study shows that male circumcision can reduce rates of HIV among women as well as men, and an Australian company gets approval to produce a microbicide condom.

This week, LA County is reviving an at-home STI testing service, a new study shows that male circumcision can reduce rates of HIV among women as well as men, and an Australian company gets approval to produce a microbicide condom.

The legal landscape after the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision is taking shape, and it's a mess.

The legal landscape after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is taking shape, and it’s a mess.

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.

Commentary
Last week activists interrupted a New Orleans Unitarian Universalist service to hector the congregants, demonstrating how the anti-choice movement is seeking to attack the long-standing American tradition of religious tolerance.

Last week activists interrupted a New Orleans Unitarian Universalist service to hector the congregants, demonstrating how the anti-choice movement is seeking to attack the long-standing American tradition of religious tolerance.

“Youth” is just one of many identities we experience during our lives, and stigmatizing or shaming a person because of age fails any social movement fighting against oppression.

“Youth” is just one of many identities we experience during our lives, and stigmatizing or shaming a person because of age fails any social movement fighting against oppression.

Central American migrant woman and her baby at La 72 take a walk outside the shelter while awaiting decisions from Mexican government on whether or not they get a visa to stay in Mexico.

“Justice?” says one of the women who took desperate steps to leave the violence in her home country. “That’s for those who have money. For the poor, there is none.”

The answer to countering right-wing attacks on Americans with uteri isn't to create a turban-wearing bogeyman looming half a world away, but to look at what's happening right here in our own country, in our own statehouses, at our own national capitol.

The answer to countering right-wing attacks on Americans with uteri isn’t to create a turban-wearing bogeyman looming half a world away, but to look at what’s happening right here in our own country, in our own statehouses, at our own national capitol.

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.

Analysis
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has branded himself as willing to risk almost anything to work against the Affordable Care Act. It will be interesting to see if that includes a second term.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has branded himself as willing to risk almost anything to work against the Affordable Care Act. It will be interesting to see if that includes a second term.

Two rulings released within minutes of each other Tuesday show that the legal fight over health-care reform is not about the law but rather about the politics of the Affordable Care Act.

Two rulings released within minutes of each other Tuesday show that the legal fight over health-care reform is not about the law but rather about the politics of the Affordable Care Act.

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.

Investigations
Though the multibillion-dollar, nearly 600-store chain took its legal claim against the federal government all the way to the Supreme Court when it didn’t want to honor the health insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the company forbids its employees from seeking justice in the court of law.

Though the multibillion-dollar, nearly 600-store chain took its legal claim against the federal government all the way to the Supreme Court when it didn’t want to honor the health insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the company forbids its employees from seeking justice in the court of law.

Stung by the wave of state court cases consolidating marriage equality across the country, conservative groups in many states are now focusing on judicial elections to ensure the array of laws they’ve passed are upheld when challenged in state courts.

Stung by the wave of state court cases consolidating marriage equality across the country, conservative groups in many states are now focusing on judicial elections to ensure the array of laws they’ve passed are upheld when challenged in state courts.

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.