Choice News

This Week in Pro-Choice News

This Week in Pro-Choice Newswoman soldier

Super awesome Senator Frank Lautenberg dead at 89: Lautenberg supported or wrote numerous feminist bills, including the domestic violence gun ban, the Family Medical Leave Act, and an act that funded comprehensive sexual health education.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will likely appoint a Republican to fill the vacancy temporarily.  Fortunately, there will be a special election in October that your imaginary boyfriend Corey Booker is likely to win.  So pour one out for Frank tonight.  We don’t have enough elected officials like him left. [NY Times]

The world is terrible and if Lindy West didn’t exist I would cry myself to sleep every night: Seattle’s wonderful and incomparable Lindy West said some important things about how sometimes, even if it’s legal, you shouldn’t make rape jokes that target rape survivors.  How could she!!!!!! Doesn’t she know that free speech means men being allowed to say whatever they want without criticism? In response, a whole bunch of male comics and twitterers made rape threats towards her.  Nice work, Internet.  The idea that comedians—people who make a living by using their words—think that words can have no impact on thought or culture is simply baffling to me.  I guess my humorless lady-brain just can’t get why these jokes are so hilarious.  [Jezebel]

Poorer women have less access to abortion: Many states, most of them poorer than the national average, have become much more rigid in their anti-choice laws in recent years.  Poor women don’t have less demand for abortion than other women, but they do have less access.  This mean that they are likely to seek out unsafe and illegal abortion—and will do so in greater numbers if this trend continues.  [Policy Mic]

The sequester hurts women: In case you forgot, the sequester that went into effect in March cut government spending across the board (unless you belong to a powerful lobbying group that can convince Congress, for example, to fund air traffic controllers so flights won’t have to be cut or delayed.).  Domestic violence programs, including shelters for abused women and children, are already feeling the hit.  In bad economic times, the demand for these resources increases.  Cutting the funding for these programs will only put vulnerable women in more danger.  [Think Progress]

Military not doing enough about sexual assault on its service members: You have probably all heard about the military’s sexual assault problem.  The problem is basically that sexual assault is rampant and the men in charge want to turn a blind eye to it.  Women who report rape are likely to be ostracized and are extremely unlikely to get justice.  Many current and former service members are now filing a lawsuit against the Pentagon alleging that it is ignoring the problem of sexual assault in the military and demanding that it take a more active role in prosecuting these crimes.  [Feministing]

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will not listen to any of your BS: Let’s end this week’s post on a slightly-higher note.  New York Senator laid the smack-down on a bunch of fogey men yesterday, arguing that rape crimes are not about lust or confusion, and rapists—not hormones or hook-up culture or porn—are at fault for rape.  She argued that attorneys, not unit commanders, should prosecute sexual assault crimes in the military.  [Raw Story]


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