The Obama Administration Should Stop Bending to the Religious Right’s WillWant Peace? Killing Black People Needs To Be Treated as a CrimeIt’s Not Just Ferguson: Austin’s Problem With Police BrutalityThe Evidence Is In: Decriminalizing Sex Work Is Critical to Public Health

The Obama Administration Should Stop Bending to the Religious Right’s Will

by Imani Gandy

Video

#FergusonLive: Live Reporting on the Ground in Ferguson, Missouri

Watch a livestream of events in Ferguson, Missouri, provided by CREDO and We Act Radio Live, where police in riot gear have used violence and force against protesters following the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager who was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9.

Melissa Harris-Perry Discussion on the Renisha McBride Case and Michael Brown Shooting

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Jonathan Rosa of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Kai Wright of Colorlines, and Vincent Hutchings of the University of Michigan join Melissa Harris-Perry to talk about the Renisha McBride case and the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri. [via MSNBC]

Rachel Maddow Reports on Anti-Choicers at a NOLA Clinic

Rachel Maddow continues her coverage of anti-abortion protests in the South, most recently organized by Operation Save America. [via MSNBC]

Audio

The Problem With Abortion Polling, and Ireland’s Abortion Law

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Tara Culp-Ressler explains what’s so messed up about most polling data on abortion, and how to fix it. Also, in another segment I discuss Ireland’s new abortion law, which flunked its first major test, and a clash over a strip club.

‘The Silent Sex,’ Parents Against Sex Ed, and Anti-Choice Tactics

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On this episode of Reality Cast, I speak with Chris Karpowitz, co-author of The Silent Sex, on the problem with women not getting heard, even when it really counts. In another segment, I discuss new recordings that show how sleazy anti-choice protesters are, and I report on how even the Bay Area has parents against decent sex education.

‘The Next Hobby Lobby,’ and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Contraception

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Irin Carmon explains the latest wrinkle in the litigation against insurance coverage for contraception. In another segment, I discuss a recent interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg in which she speaks some truth.

News
Critics of the Ohio governor say his appointment this month of Richard "Rick" Hodges to serve as the new director of the state's health department is politically motivated and potentially illegal.

Critics of the Ohio governor say his appointment this month of Richard “Rick” Hodges to serve as the new director of the state’s health department is politically motivated and potentially illegal.

Rogue abortion provider Steven Brigham during a prior arrest.

If the decision is upheld by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners, Brigham will no longer have any valid credentials to practice medicine in the United States. This would also force Brigham to close eight abortion clinics that he operates in New Jersey.

The policy changes proposed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services would, among other things, increase Medicaid funding for health-care providers to provide birth control for women patients as well as vasectomies for men.

The policy changes proposed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services would, among other things, increase Medicaid funding for health-care providers to provide birth control for women patients as well as vasectomies for men.

As September 1 grows closer, a dozen more Texas abortion clinics prepare to close their doors, leaving just eight legal abortion facilities.

As September 1 grows closer, a dozen more Texas abortion clinics prepare to close their doors, leaving just eight legal abortion facilities.

A Syracuse University student at a Monday #HandsUpWalkOut event on the steps of Hendricks Chapel.

Hundreds of students at around ten colleges walked out of class in solidarity on Monday, expressing their anger at the lack of justice for Brown and the other young people of color killed in police shootings.

Jeff Gorell (R-CA), a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 26th District, recently stonewalled someone with a camera asking Gorell his opinions on the Hobby Lobby decision.

Jeff Gorell (R-CA), a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 26th District, recently stonewalled someone with a camera asking Gorell his opinions on the Hobby Lobby decision.

In letters sent Friday to Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente, California officials said that it is against state law for insurers to opt out of comprehensive coverage of abortion, "a basic health care service."

In letters sent Friday to Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente, California officials said that it is against state law for insurers to opt out of comprehensive coverage of abortion, “a basic health care service.”

Signed on Thursday, the law takes the prosecution of military sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and into the hands of civilian prosecutors in California.

Signed on Thursday, the law takes the prosecution of military sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and into the hands of civilian prosecutors in California.

Rev. Dr. William Barber speaking at a Moral Monday rally

Starting on Friday, August 22, a broad coalition of faith, labor, and social justice organizations will hold events in 12 mostly Southern states with a different social justice theme every day.

Advocates asked a federal court to block the measure before it takes effect next month.

Advocates asked a federal court to block the measure before it takes effect next month.

Instead of notifying insurers of their objections, religiously affiliated nonprofits will now file their objection directly with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Instead of notifying insurers of their objections, religiously affiliated nonprofits will now file their objection directly with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan and incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich

Sullivan now faces incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who has said that Sullivan has “positions on women’s health that are truly frightening.” The race will likely play an important role in Republicans’ efforts to regain control of the U.S. Senate this November.

The bill was introduced early this year after the Center for Investigative Reporting found that women in California prisons were being sterilized under potentially illegal circumstances.

The bill was introduced early this year after the Center for Investigative Reporting found that women in California prisons were being sterilized under potentially illegal circumstances.

The clinic decided not to appeal a Hamilton County judge’s ruling that the Ohio Department of Health was within its rights when it revoked the clinic's license earlier this year.

The clinic decided not to appeal a Hamilton County judge’s ruling that the Ohio Department of Health was within its rights when it revoked the clinic’s license earlier this year.

Political consequences may have hung over an Iowa judge's ruling this week in favor of a ban on telemedicine abortion in the state.

Political consequences may have hung over an Iowa judge’s ruling this week in favor of a ban on telemedicine abortion in the state.

Roundups
The Obama administration announced another change to the religious accommodation to the birth control benefit, and predictably conservatives hate it.

The Obama administration announced another change to the religious accommodation to the birth control benefit, and predictably conservatives hate it.

Police in riot gear on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, on Saturday, August 9.

The tragic shooting death of an unarmed Missouri teenager by a police officer is a wake-up call for advocates that police brutality is a reproductive justice issue.

This week, a debate over sexual dysfunction in active duty servicemen, Cosmopolitan.com takes on lesbian sex positions, and the mission continues for those sex geckos in space.

This week, a debate over sexual dysfunction in active duty servicemen, Cosmopolitan.com takes on lesbian sex positions, and the mission continues for those sex geckos in space.

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.

Commentary
Organizers thought it was important to incorporate Women's Equality Day in the Moral Week of Action since many of the policies at issue, including the state's recent voter identification law, adversely affect women.

Organizers thought it was important to incorporate Women’s Equality Day in the Moral Week of Action since many of the policies at issue, including the state’s recent voter identification law, adversely affect women.

At a rally staged by Peoples Power Assembly in New York, demonstrators seek justice for Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and other Black people killed by police.

There can be no reproductive justice for all until the state-sanctioned murder of Black youth in this country is addressed.

A demonstrator in Ferguson holds a sign after Police Chief Thomas Jackson names the officer who shot Michael Brown.

Among other things, Ferguson shows us that systemic racial injustice persists, often with “states’ rights” or “local rights” as justification.

Until the Irish government repeals the Eighth Amendment and replaces the new unworkable law with policies that facilitate rather than obstruct access to abortion, women will continue to be seen simply as means to an end.

Until the Irish government repeals the Eighth Amendment and replaces the new unworkable law with policies that facilitate rather than obstruct access to abortion, women will continue to be seen simply as means to an end.

Making abortion more difficult to access does not wave a magic wand that converts women with unwanted pregnancies into beaming mothers-to-be.

Making abortion more difficult to access does not wave a magic wand that converts women with unwanted pregnancies into beaming mothers-to-be.

A new study confirms that virginity pledges don't work—that is, unless the young person signing them already has a high level of religious commitment.

A new study confirms that virginity pledges don’t work—that is, unless the young person signing them already has a high level of religious commitment.

Are you up for taking the Taco or Beer Challenge?

Are you up for taking the Taco or Beer Challenge?

When the media neglects to cover Black missing person stories, it is omitting the fact that people care about missing Black women and girls, and permitting the conditions for this toxic environment of invisibility and violent actions with no recourse to thrive.

When the media neglects to cover Black missing person stories, it is omitting the fact that people care about missing Black women and girls, and permitting the conditions for this toxic environment of invisibility and violent actions with no recourse to thrive.

Peru has finally issued national guidelines recognizing that women in the country have the right to therapeutic abortion, and outlining the Peruvian government's responsibility to secure this access. It is heartening to see such tireless work pay off, but the work isn't over.

Peru has finally issued national guidelines recognizing that women in the country have the right to therapeutic abortion, and outlining the Peruvian government’s responsibility to secure this access. It is heartening to see such tireless work pay off, but the work isn’t over.

Analysis
The controversy resurfaced last week when Washingtonian.com reported that Washington, D.C.’s Department of Health had similar trouble with posting condom ads to Twitter.

The controversy resurfaced last week when Washingtonian.com reported that Washington, D.C.’s Department of Health had similar trouble with posting condom ads to Twitter.

As the race for governor heats up ahead of the November election, incumbent Gov. Scott Walker has consistently aligned himself with the Republican Party and against the clear front-runner among Democratic primary candidates, Mary Burke, on issues like Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and the economy.

As the race for governor heats up ahead of the November election, incumbent Gov. Scott Walker has consistently aligned himself with the Republican Party and against the clear front-runner among Democratic primary candidates, Mary Burke, on issues like Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and the economy.

Gov. Rick Snyder (left) and Mark Schauer

This November, Michigan residents will decide whether to cast their vote for Republican incumbent Rick Snyder or long-time Democratic politician Mark Schauer in the gubernatorial election. The candidates have already begun to spar over the economy, education, and public health in the state, which will all be central issues leading up to the November election.

Currently, Pennsylvania has two enacted buffer zones, in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, and a proposed bill to establish buffer zones across the state. But like the legal fate of buffer zones in the country following the McCullen decision, the bill remains "in limbo."

Currently, Pennsylvania has two enacted buffer zones, in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, and a proposed bill to establish buffer zones across the state. But like the legal fate of buffer zones in the country following the McCullen decision, the bill remains “in limbo.”

So far two states, Utah and Oklahoma, have filed petitions asking the Roberts Court to uphold their respective state bans on marriage equality. Elsewhere, attorneys for the State of Virginia are reportedly set to file their petition for review with the Roberts Court on Friday.

So far two states, Utah and Oklahoma, have filed petitions asking the Roberts Court to uphold their respective state bans on marriage equality. Elsewhere, attorneys for the State of Virginia filed their petition for review with the Roberts Court on Friday.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson didn't just block an Alabama admitting privileges requirement. He also made a powerful case for how targeted regulations of abortion providers further stigmatize abortion providers and patients.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson didn’t just block an Alabama admitting privileges requirement. He also made a powerful case for how targeted regulations of abortion providers further stigmatize abortion providers and patients.

Investigations
Ned Ryun, who appears with his wife and daughter in an ad that targets North Carolina's incumbent senator, Democrat Kay Hagan, has a long history as a Republican operative with close links to the Tea Party and the Koch brothers.

The Susan B. Anthony List is known for misleading ads. So it may come as a small surprise that a recent ad it sponsored featuring the Ryun family doesn’t mention the family patriarch’s long history as a Republican operative with close links to the Tea Party and the Koch brothers.

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.

Q & A
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.

Just in time for STD Awareness Month, Dr. Tonia Poteat answers questions about queer sexual health.

Just in time for STD Awareness Month, Dr. Tonia Poteat answers questions about queer sexual health—from the most common sexually transmitted infections among queer women to describing how we can protect ourselves and reduce the risk of transmission.