Anti-Choice Groups Seek to Stack State CourtsEqual Pay Day for (Some) African-American Women‘Water, Water Everywhere’: Racial Inequality and Reproductive Justice in DetroitThe Fault in Our Media

Anti-Choice Groups Seek to Stack State Courts

by Zoe Greenberg

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

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.

Reproductive Health Care in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, Buffer Zones, and Defining Rape

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On this episode of Reality Cast, I talk to Katrina Anderson, a representative from the Center for Reproductive Rights, about a report on access to reproductive health care in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Also, I cover the Supreme Court’s decision on clinic buffer zones, and the melee over George Will’s column minimizing the problem of campus rape.

News
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.

The Montana Supreme Court publicly declared District Judge G. Todd Baugh guilty of misconduct in the case of a Billings teacher who admitted to raping a 14-year-old student.

The Montana Supreme Court publicly declared District Judge G. Todd Baugh guilty of misconduct in the case of a Billings teacher who admitted to raping a 14-year-old student.

The administration has announced it is revising the process for religiously affiliated nonprofits to opt out of providing insurance plans that cover birth control for their employees.

The administration has announced it is revising the process for religiously affiliated nonprofits to opt out of providing insurance plans that cover birth control for their employees.

Forty-six percent of Texas' legal abortion providers have closed since May 2013, according to the study.

The study is the first academic evaluation of the impact of HB 2 to be released since the law passed last year.

The World Health Organization wants men who have sex with men to work with their health-care providers to assess their personal risk and determine whether PrEP is right for them.

Contrary to some initial reports, the World Health Organization did not declare that all men who have sex with men should start taking PrEP as a means of preventing HIV. Instead, the group wants this population to work with their health-care providers to assess their personal risk and determine whether PrEP is right for them.

Opponents of Amendment 67 rally at the Colorado State Capitol Monday.

Abortion rights organizations in Colorado launched a campaign Tuesday opposing a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would add “unborn human beings” to the state’s criminal code.

Black women specifically face a larger wage gap than women overall, and their Equal Pay Day comes more than two months later than the day women's groups normally highlight.

Black women specifically face a larger wage gap than women overall, and their Equal Pay Day comes more than two months later than the day women’s groups normally highlight.

"America's federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people," Obama said before signing the order. "I'm going to do what I can with the authority I have to act."

“America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people,” Obama said before signing the order. “I’m going to do what I can with the authority I have to act.”

At least a thousand people, including local residents, activists, and clergy and attendees of the progressive Netroots Nation political conference, filled the streets of Detroit on Friday to protest water service shutoffs to thousands of low-income residents.

At least a thousand people, including local residents, activists, and clergy and attendees of the progressive Netroots Nation political conference, filled the streets of Detroit on Friday to protest water service shutoffs to thousands of low-income residents.

The protests appear to be motivated in part by the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in the city that will offer a full range of reproductive health services.

The protests appear to be motivated in part by the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in the city that will offer a full range of reproductive health services.

A panel of judges is considering overturning a lower court's ruling that the state's 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional.

A panel of judges is considering overturning a lower court’s ruling that the state’s 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional.

Roundups
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.

A study finds men who hook up on apps like Grindr are more likely to have STIs than those who meet in person.

This week, a study finds men who hook up on apps like Grindr are more likely to have STIs than those who meet in person, there are an estimated 400,000 undiagnosed cases of chlamydia in the United States each year, two bears have frequent oral sex, and more.

FiveThirtyEight looks at whether World Cup players should have sex before a big game,

This week, women prefer different penis sizes depending on whether the man is a one-night stand or long-term lover, FiveThirtyEight looks at whether World Cup players should have sex before a big game, and vibrators go wireless.

Commentary
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.

Rihanna at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards

Restrictions on access to birth control are at odds with the fact that sexuality, for most of us, takes time to understand and appreciate.

New research shows a number of women say they use the withdrawal method as a backup method or in combination with other contraception methods to prevent pregnancy.

New research shows a number of women say they use the withdrawal method as a backup method or in combination with other contraception methods to prevent pregnancy.

Analysis
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.

Burke Balch, director of the National Right to Life Committee's Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, at the 2009 National Right to Life Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to statements made at a recent conference attended by RH Reality Check, the National Right to Life Committee plans to perform stings of abortion clinics, while also pushing for an expansion of the laws that govern abortion to allow third parties to sue the clinics in civil court for alleged violations.

Investigations
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.

The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases will be heard together before the Supreme Court this Tuesday.

New research reveals the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases are a product of deep coordination between anti-choice and free market groups.