Female Veterans May Suffer From PTSD, Too
Thanks to Feministing for pointing us to Courtney E. Martin’s latest column at The American Prospect,
which addresses PTSD among female veterans who are sexual assault
survivors. They may not be combat veterans, but they deserve coverage
for PTSD regardless, Courtney argues:
It makes a certain amount of sense that the Veterans Affairs Office is
compelled to differentiate combat from non-combat veterans. Those who
have been exposed to improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the stress of direct negotiation, and the trials of patrol on a daily basis certainly
have a higher rate of PTSD and other disabilities following their tour
than those who have not. But it’s not a zero-sum game. When the sexual
assault rates among female veterans are so astronomically high — at least 30, and as high as 70 percent, according to Helen Benedict, author of the new book The Lonely Soldier
— the "combat" classification becomes a moot point. Keep in mind that
sexual assault is a hugely underreported crime; even the Pentagon admits that only 10 to 20 percent of cases are probably being reported.
Sebelius Received More Funds than Reported from Tiller
HHS Secretary nominee Kathleen Sebelius received more in campaign
donations from Dr. George Tiller than she reported to the Senate
Finance Committee, the AP reports.
In a response to questions from the Senate Finance Committee made
public last week, Sebelius wrote that she received $12,450 between
1994-2001 from Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation’s few late-term
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But in addition to those campaign donations,
records reviewed by The Associated Press show that Tiller gave at least
$23,000 more from 2000-2002 to a political action committee Sebelius
established while insurance commissioner to raise money for fellow
Nonetheless, "The Finance Committee was expected to vote this month on forwarding
Sebelius’ nomination to the full Senate. There was no immediate
indication from committee Republicans that her omission on the Tiller
contributions would upset that timing."
Kansans Protest Abortion Bill
A bill requiring doctors to inform women seeking abortions that they
will "terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human
being" amounts to state-mandated ideology, says Peter Brownlie of
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri in the Lawrence Journal-World.
State Senators have also criticized the bill: "n dire situations, such
as when a woman decides to have an abortion
because of anencephaly, in which the fetus hasn’t developed a brain,
the woman is suffering enough mental anguish without being informed
that she is terminating a life, [State Senator Marci] Francisco said."
The legislature has approved the bill; it’s not clear whether Gov.
Kathleen Sebelius will sign or veto.
Learning Relationship Skillls through Sex Ed
Wondering what negotiation and relationship skills in an effective sex
ed curriculum would look like? On her Adolescent Sexuality blog, Dr.
Karen Rayne offers an example of a workshop she teaches.
One of the activities I do with my middle school students is have
them role-play saying "No" to sexual advances and requests for a date.
I do this not because I think they are in the thick of needing to say
no to would-be-suitors and would-be-sexual partners, but because they
will eventually be in the thick of it.
The need to say no is an issue that, for whatever reason, has been
coming up a lot both in my personal life and in my professional life.
It is something of an art, really, being kind and yet crystal clear.