Abortion Care, Elections, Friday Femorandum, Health Care Reform, Hospital Mergers, War on Women

Friday Femorandum: Why Feminist Killjoys?

“In some cases, the information provided would be of little or no relevance to patients.” At RH Reality Check, we weighed in on hospital policies released to the Department of Health last week and the one simple thing that would have made them easier to navigate for consumers.

Resigning: Kathleen Sebelius.

“There’s one definite good thing that’s likely to come out of this newly passed pointless exercise in stroking the Tea Party: It’s likely to make for some pretty good ads for Democrats this fall.” In an act of strange political symbolism, the House passed the Ryan Budget this week — which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, and is unlikely to pass the Senate — and Wonkette has a point.

“That kind of protesting is not appropriate in front of a school where children have to walk by they have to be inundated.” In Texas, extreme anti-choice activists are targeting students at a Fort Worth high school, prompting local parents to pressure the school board to consider a buffer zone.

Equal Pay Day was Tuesday. President Obama observed it by announcing two executive orders to bolster federal contractors’ existing equal pay protections. But not everyone felt like celebrating…

 “Are Republicans in the Senate so repulsed by equal pay for hard-working American women that they can’t even stomach the thought of debating the issue?” The embarrassing answer to Harry Reid’s sensible question, reports Roll Call, is yes.

“Does [Justice] Scalia Have a Conflict of Interest on Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones?” asks Robin Marty at Care2 this week. The answer? Oh, probably.

“The average length of stay for a pregnant detainee in the El Paso center was nearly 26 days, according to the data obtained.” Fusion reports that 40 pregnant women were detained in an El Paso US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) processing center last year. ICE later retracted that number, and had earlier claimed to limit detaining pregnant women to “extraordinary circumstances.” Fusion’s go-to critic of detaining pregnant women? Our own US Senator Patty Murray.

“The panel said Tuesday that patients would most likely suffer irreparable harm if the rules took effect because they would lose access to a common abortion procedure.” Good news from the NY Times! A federal appeals court has upheld last week’s stay on Arizona’s medication abortion law, which would have baselessly outlawed medication abortions after only 7 weeks of pregnancy.

And: A murder charge against a Mississippi woman who delivered a stillborn baby — that would have set a dangerous precedent for criminalizing pregnant women — has also been thrown out.

In case you missed it: Here at A Few Choice Words, we wrote about last week’s heartbreaking case of a 10-year-old in Senegal who was raped and is now pregnant with twins, and cannot access abortion care because of Senegalese law. There’s more to the story than sensationalist headlines – here’s what it can tell us about arcane colonial laws, women’s rights, and similar cases closer to home.

Why Feminist Killjoys? A few Friday Femorandum subscribers have asked us why we celebrate a Feminist Killjoy every week. The term originated as an insult that operates on the silly premise that people who support gender equality are a bunch of feminist killjoys ruining the sexism party. Obviously, this isn’t true — a “sexism party” is no party at all.

We think it takes guts to be a feminist killjoy. And we think that bravery should be recognized. So every week, we highlight someone who has used their political power to advance gender equality, or spoken out against sexism, or done something that makes us want to stand up and applaud in the middle of the workday.

This week’s Feminist Killjoy is Dr. Caroline Heldman, the Occidental College politics professor and frequent political commentator who has led the charge to strengthen college sexual assault policies and enforcement following the news that Occidental was inadequately reporting and addressing sexual assault on campus. Dr. Heldman was among the professors who filed a Title IX complaint last April, stating that Occidental had violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which has led to a nationwide push for greater accountability on the way sexual assault is addressed on college campuses. She’s also a great speaker who said this in a TEDx talk on the politics and repercussions of self-objectification:

….and she’ll be in Seattle next month.

Have the best weekend.

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