Nigerian ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Activists Not Celebrating Ceasefire Deal YetWhat #GamerGate and the Anti-Choice Movement Have in CommonPregnant Texans Are Being Charged With Crimes That Don’t ExistCelebrate the HB 2 Win, But Beware the Coming Supreme Court Showdown Over Equal Rights

Nigerian ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Activists Not Celebrating Ceasefire Deal Yet

by Samuel Okocha

Video

2014 Midterms: Anti-Abortion Ballot Initiatives in Three States

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry details the anti-abortion ballot initiatives appearing in Colorado, North Dakota, and Tennessee this November. [via MSNBC]

‘The Gutting’ Tells the Honest and Harrowing Truths About Rape

Beck Cooper’s “The Gutting” is a powerful poem that exemplifies the struggles with identity, sexuality, and self-worth a rape victim faces after the horrific event.

Anita Sarkeesian Discusses Harassment and Sexism for Women in Games

Media critic Anita Sarkeesian speaks at the XOXO Festival about her experience with her two-year struggle with harassment since the development of her video series “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.”

Audio

Who Is Sean Fieler?

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On this episode of Reality Cast, I talk with Sharona Coutts, vice president of investigations and research at RH Reality Check, about a relatively unknown but extremely generous funder of all sorts of religious right causes. In another segment, I discuss the Supreme Court decision to stay part of Texas’ abortion law, and George Will claims the “war on women” is a myth.

Katha Pollitt on Abortion Rights, and Reality TV’s Right-Wing Radicalism

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Katha Pollitt talks about her new book arguing for abortion rights. I have more on the Texas abortion law and a segment on radical right wingers on reality TV.

From Nicki Minaj to ‘House of Cards': How Is Abortion Portrayed in Pop Culture?

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In this episode of Making Contact Radio, a weekly series concentrating on social justice issues, experts and advocates weigh in on pop culture representations of abortion and reproductive decision-making—and why these stories really matter.

News
Marriage equality gains across the country have created significant divisions within the Republican Party, with  right-wing activists threatening to leave the party and actively campaign against some lawmakers over their support for same-sex marriage.

Marriage equality gains across the country have created significant divisions within the Republican Party, with right-wing activists threatening to leave the party and actively campaign against some lawmakers over their support for same-sex marriage.

While Congressional Republicans continue to call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a growing number of Republican state governors have begun to qualify that position. Ohio Governor John Kasich on Monday added himself to that list, telling the Associated Press that repealing Medicaid expansion under the ACA is “not gonna happen.”

While Congressional Republicans continue to call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a growing number of Republican state governors have begun to qualify that position. Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday added himself to that list, telling the Associated Press that repealing Medicaid expansion under the ACA is “not gonna happen.”

Abortion rights organizations say the Denver Post's endorsement of senatorial candidate Cory Gardner contradicts the paper's long-held editorial stance on choice, among other things.

Abortion rights organizations say the Denver Post‘s endorsement of senatorial candidate Cory Gardner contradicts the paper’s long-held editorial stance on choice, among other things.

Indiana will next year cut off food stamp benefits to tens of thousands of residents who have not secured jobs or participated in work training programs.

Indiana will next year cut off food stamp benefits to tens of thousands of residents who have not secured jobs or participated in work training programs.

A massive new detention facility would harm immigrant women and children and reverse administration policy on family detentions, according to a letter sent Thursday by a group of leading Senate Democrats to the Department of Homeland Security.

A massive new detention facility would harm immigrant women and children and reverse administration policy on family detentions, according to a letter sent Thursday by a group of leading Senate Democrats to the Department of Homeland Security.

A leading online streaming-video service has rejected an advertisement that features a rape victim who opposes Colorado’s "personhood" amendment, because the issue of abortion is too “controversial.” But Hulu runs ads on other political issues.

A leading online streaming-video service has rejected an advertisement that features a rape victim who opposes Colorado’s “personhood” amendment, because the issue of abortion is too “controversial.” But Hulu runs ads on other political issues.

Democrat Bruce Braley on Thursday attacked Republican Joni Ernst for saying one thing and supporting another when it comes to abortion and contraception during the final Iowa Senate debate.

Democrat Bruce Braley on Thursday attacked Republican Joni Ernst for saying one thing and supporting another when it comes to abortion and contraception during the final Iowa Senate debate.

In an order released early Saturday morning, a majority of the justices refused to reinstate a lower court ruling that blocked the law from being enforced in the November election.

In an order released early Saturday morning, a majority of the justices refused to reinstate a lower court ruling that blocked the law from being enforced in the November election.

Seven members of the Sayreville high school football team now face criminal charges, including three who are charged with aggravated sexual assault. It is unclear whether the coaches knew what was going on and what will happen to them.

Seven members of the Sayreville high school football team now face criminal charges, including three who are charged with aggravated sexual assault. It is unclear whether the coaches knew what was going on and what will happen to them.

The Maine Democratic Party recently sent campaign mailers that reignited a controversy caused by state Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s (R) statements comparing abortion and rape.

The Maine Democratic Party recently sent campaign mailers that reignited a controversy caused by state Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s (R) statements comparing abortion and rape.

Missouri state employees will now be able to enroll their same-sex spouses in the state's health-care program after a ruling by a judge this month.

Missouri state employees will now be able to enroll their same-sex spouses in the state’s health-care program after a ruling by a judge this month.

Tennesseans on Election Day will decide whether or not state lawmakers will have the power to enact, amend or repeal state laws regulating abortion.

If passed, Amendment 1 would amend the state constitution to include language that says “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.” The amendment would also allow state lawmakers to “enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion.”

A Kansas Senate debate on Wednesday between pro-choice independent Greg Orman and anti-choice Republican Sen. Pat Roberts featured a heated exchange about abortion.

A Kansas Senate debate on Wednesday between pro-choice independent Greg Orman and anti-choice Republican Sen. Pat Roberts featured a heated exchange about abortion.

A New Hampshire Republican state lawmaker wrote in a blog post last week that U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) will not win her re-election bid because she is "ugly as sin" and facing off against a more attractive Republican opponent.

A New Hampshire Republican state lawmaker wrote in a blog post last week that U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) will not win her re-election bid because she is “ugly as sin” and facing off against a more attractive Republican opponent.

The legislation passed without the unrelated anti-gun control amendment that Republican lawmakers had tacked on at the last minute.

The Pennsylvania state legislature Thursday morning passed a bill to protect victims of domestic violence from home eviction after calling the police for emergency help. The legislation passed without the unrelated anti-gun control amendment that Republican lawmakers had tacked on at the last minute.

A new Economic Policy Institute report and "Fight for 15" protests have a common theme: Because employers pay their workers too little to live on, workers have to rely on government assistance to get by and taxpayers foot the bill.

A new Economic Policy Institute report and “Fight for 15″ protests have a common theme: Because employers pay their workers too little to live on, workers have to rely on government assistance to get by and taxpayers foot the bill.

Opponents of Colorado’s “personhood” amendment have devised an online campaign to urge women nationally to stand with them to defeat the measure. Otherwise, they warn, the next "personhood" initiative might be in your town.

Opponents of Colorado’s “personhood” amendment have devised an online campaign to urge women nationally to stand with them to defeat the measure. Otherwise, they warn, the next “personhood” initiative might be in your town.

A panel of federal appeals court judges found there was not enough evidence to prove Judge Edith Jones made improper discriminatory statements during a 2013 lecture.

A panel of federal appeals court judges found there was not enough evidence to prove Judge Edith Jones made improper discriminatory statements during a 2013 lecture.

Roundups
This week, six lab-grown penises are almost ready for implantation, and an Italian couple apparently became stuck together after a tryst at the beach went awry.

This week, six lab-grown penises are almost ready for implantation, and an Italian couple apparently became stuck together after a tryst at the beach went awry.

More tweets on the "weekend of resistance" in Ferguson, Missouri, October 10-13.

More tweets on the “weekend of resistance” in Ferguson, Missouri, October 10-13.

A roundup of tweets on the "weekend of resistance" in Ferguson, Missouri, October 10-13.

A roundup of tweets on the “weekend of resistance” in Ferguson, Missouri, October 10-13.

Commentary
If Colorado expands the definition of "person" and "child" in its criminal code to include "unborn human beings," the results would be especially devastating for Latina women and other women of color.

If Colorado expands the definition of “person” and “child” in its criminal code to include “unborn human beings,” the results would be especially devastating for Latina women and other women of color.

Anyone who believes that adoption or foster care is a real solution to growing restrictions on reproductive rights is kidding themselves.

Anyone who believes that adoption or foster care is a real solution to growing restrictions on reproductive rights is kidding themselves.

The media’s bad job of reporting on teenage pregnancy and parenting has real-life consequences and effects on teenage families, including depression and generational poverty. By removing these stereotypes, and changing to more positive story lines and outcomes, people in the media can make it easier on teens to create thriving families.

The media’s bad job of reporting on teenage pregnancy and parenting has real-life consequences and effects on teenage families, including depression and generational poverty. By removing these stereotypes, and changing to more positive story lines and outcomes, people in the media can make it easier on teens to create thriving families.

If we in the pro-choice movement don't start paying serious attention to the ways in which our own practices contribute to the dehumanization of people with disabilities, we can’t keep claiming to operate under a reproductive justice framework at all.

If we in the pro-choice movement don’t start paying serious attention to the ways in which our own practices contribute to the dehumanization of people with disabilities, we can’t keep claiming to operate under a reproductive justice framework at all.

Protesters in Ferguson refused to be ignored this weekend. They are the reason that while we might not be able to claim that America is the land of the free, it is most definitely still the home of the brave.

Protesters in Ferguson refused to be ignored this weekend. They are the reason that while we might not be able to claim that America is the land of the free, it is most definitely still the home of the brave.

The impact of targeted regulations on abortion providers extends beyond financial—it can also make it challenging to sustain a vision of quality "woman-centered" care.

The impact of targeted regulations on abortion providers extends beyond financial—it can also make it challenging to sustain a vision of quality “woman-centered” care.

Pollitt's well-crafted defense of abortion as a social and ethical good will likely come as no surprise to most reproductive justice activists. But she's really targeting those who aren't convinced either way on the issue.

Pollitt’s well-crafted defense of abortion as a social and ethical good will likely come as no surprise to most reproductive justice activists. But she’s really targeting those who aren’t convinced either way on the issue.

We are proud to announce our collective partnership in forming In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, an organizational initiative designed to amplify and lift up the voices of Black women at national and regional levels in our ongoing fight to secure reproductive justice for all women and girls.

We are proud to announce our collective partnership in forming In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, an organizational initiative designed to amplify and lift up the voices of Black women at national and regional levels in our ongoing fight to secure reproductive justice for all women and girls.

The prosecution of Jennifer Whalen for purchasing her daughter abortion-inducing medication is reminiscent of the way that hospitals, Child Protective Services, and law enforcement have historically responded to drug use during pregnancy.

The prosecution of Jennifer Whalen for purchasing her daughter abortion-inducing medication is reminiscent of the way that hospitals, Child Protective Services, and law enforcement have historically responded to drug use during pregnancy.

Many opponents of Obamacare have been offering over-the-counter birth control as an alternative. But here are the six main reasons why "Obamacare vs. over-the-counter birth control" is a false choice.

Many opponents of Obamacare have been offering over-the-counter birth control as an alternative. But here are the six main reasons why “Obamacare vs. over-the-counter birth control” is a false choice.

The lack of data surrounding a single aspect of domestic violence prevention programming is no reason for advocates to give up altogether, no matter what one NBC News writer implied in a recent article.

The lack of data surrounding a single aspect of domestic violence prevention programming is no reason for advocates to give up altogether, no matter what one NBC News writer implied in a recent article.

Jennifer Cramblett and her partner are suing a sperm bank, citing unexpected emotional and financial distress, after they were given the wrong sperm and their daughter was born Black.

Two women are suing a sperm bank, citing unexpected emotional and financial distress, after they were given the wrong sperm and their daughter was born Black. But society owes all women of Black and brown children reparations for sustaining a reality in which their parenthood is inextricably linked to dealing with extraneous emotional distress.

ABLC Blog
voter

In which I GIF-splain the voting restrictions shenanigans that may affect the upcoming midterms. Grab a beverage, because this is a long’un.

Busting through your proverbial wall with some facts about voter ID laws.

Getting a photo ID to vote is actually a pretty huge deal for a lot of Americans—and it’s why voter ID laws are so insidiously effective at disenfranchising people.

Since Gov. Rick Perry first signed Texas' omnibus anti-abortion bill into law, HB 2 has bounced from court to court, with some granting reprieves from the legislation and some allowing its enforcement. Confused? Never fear, a GIFsplanation is here!

Since Gov. Rick Perry first signed Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion bill into law, HB 2 has bounced from court to court, with some granting reprieves from the legislation and some allowing its enforcement. Confused? Never fear, a GIF-splanation is here!

Analysis
Despite its ubiquity in our culture, abortion stigma has garnered relatively little scholarly attention. Now, after two years of effort, there's a new issue of the academic journal Women and Health that focuses entirely on abortion stigma.

Despite its ubiquity in our culture, abortion stigma has garnered relatively little scholarly attention. Now, after two years of effort, there’s a new issue of the academic journal Women and Health that focuses entirely on the subject.

Women are being sent to prison for up to 40 years in El Salvador based on a test that, according to a new report, researchers deemed unreliable more than 100 years ago.

Women are being sent to prison for up to 40 years in El Salvador based on a test that, according to a new report, researchers deemed unreliable more than 100 years ago.

Women's economic inequality only gets worse as they age. Lawmakers and advocates are trying to mobilize women voters around fixing that.

Women’s economic inequality only gets worse as they age. Lawmakers and advocates are trying to mobilize women voters around fixing that.

Investigations
Since 2010, Sean Fieler, a New Jersey-based hedge fund manager and fervent Catholic, has personally contributed nearly $18 million to political candidates and causes that align with his anti-choice, anti-LGBT, and pro-theocracy views, according to an analysis of tax filings and campaign finance records by RH Reality Check.

Since 2010, Sean Fieler, a New Jersey-based hedge fund manager and fervent Catholic, has personally contributed nearly $18 million to political candidates and causes that align with his anti-choice, anti-LGBT, and pro-theocracy views, according to an analysis of tax filings and campaign finance records by RH Reality Check.

Many of the employers suing the federal government over the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive benefit, including Wheaton College in Illinois, fail to offer employees robust parental leave coverage, an analysis by RH Reality Check shows.

Many of the employers suing the federal government over the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive benefit, including Wheaton College in Illinois, fail to offer employees robust parental leave coverage, an analysis by RH Reality Check shows.

A recent investigation by RH Reality Check demonstrates that Nebraska’s attorney general, like numerous others throughout the country, has particularly close relationships with extreme sections of the anti-choice movement, and that many extreme right-wing and fundamentalist Christian groups enjoy a high degree of access with government officials.

A recent investigation by RH Reality Check demonstrates that Nebraska’s attorney general, like numerous others throughout the country, has particularly close relationships with extreme sections of the anti-choice movement, and that many extreme right-wing and fundamentalist Christian groups enjoy a high degree of access with government officials.

Q & A
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.

Founders of Not Alone: (from left to right) Brett, Sherry, and Beth Matusoff Merfish

RH Reality Check recently spoke with Beth Matusoff Merfish, co-founder (with her sister, Brett, and mother, Sherry) of Not Alone about how her organization combats abortion stigma through storytelling. As Merfish explains, these stories have the potential to “open people’s minds” and hearts.