Abortion Limit Remains Same in UK Last night members of parliament rejected amendments to lower the time period for a legal abortion from 24 weeks to 12, 16, 20 and 22 weeks. On the amendment for a 22 week limit the pro-choice majority had a slim margin of 71 votes meaning the time limit could be adjusted downward if conservatives win seats in the next election as many in the UK believe will happen. Other European nations such as France, Portugal, Austria,
Belgium, Germany, Greece and Spain enforce a 12 week limit. Philip Cowley, a professor of politics at the University of Nottingham, said "One of the problems for the Tories’ position is that once you state the
argument for viability of the child and science, the abortion time
limit will only go down. It’s never going to go up again."
Virginia Abortion Law Overturned, Again Meanwhile in Virginia the state’s abortion law was declared unconstitutional with the federal appeals court saying "it is more restrictive than the federal ban on late-term abortion that the U.S. Supreme Court approved last year." The Virginia decision is causing the usual blathering of misinfomration and demands for right-wing judicial activism, aka legislating from the bench, on far-right blogs. As opposed to understanding that Carhart II opened up a vast gray zone of interpretation, anti-choice bloggers are seizing on the term "accidentally" in the decision to make it sound like the woman or the doctor don’t know what they are doing. They repeat a patently false statement suggesting these procedures are never needed for the life or health of the mother, when in fact that is the only time they are needed, and their disgust at our democracy and the judiciary continues to seethe, not to subside, and seems that it will until they impose their values on the rest of us, by way of an "independent judiciary," of course.
Clinton Speaks Out on Misogyny On Tapped Dana Goldstein comments on an audio interview the Washington Post did with Hillary Clinton in which she speaks candidly about the pervasive misogyny in our world. Please read Dana’s post as it quotes Clinton more extensively, or listen to the interview in its entirety, but Dana highlights this bit:
The treatment of women is the single biggest problem we have politically and socially in the world. If you look at the extremism and the fundamentalism, it is all about controlling women, at it’s base.
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Dana goes on to say that it is
frustrating that Clinton insists upon comparing sexism to racism instead of
acknowledging that both continue to be major problems worldwide. But some of what she’s saying here is quite important and, coming from the lips
of a presidential candidate and U.S. Senator, almost unprecedented.
I know Clinton would agree that both racism and misogyny are ongoing, pervasive problems in the world despite her not saying so explicitly in this interview and no thinking person could deny that she has been subjected to sexism from myriad sources throughout this campaign. Check out this CNN clip from just last night in which a GOP strategist defends the use of the word "bitch" to describe Hillary Clinton:
Guttmacher Study on Teen Sex Yesterday Amie wrote about the study released by Guttmacher yesterday that "breaks the myth that teens are substituting oral or anal sex for
vaginal intercourse in order to continue to claim they are still
virgins." Dr. Karen Rayne takes issue with some aspects of the study’s conclusions.