Roundup: Kansas AG Says Faltering Economy to Blame for Uptick in Domestic Violence

Emily Douglas

Kansas AG blames economy for uptick in domestic violence; North Carolina House passes sex ed bill; undercover at a crisis pregnancy center; from "pro-life feminist to pro-choice mama."

Kansas AG Blames Economy for Uptick in Domestic Violence
Kansas Attorney General Steven Six recently claimed that "the recession is fueling an increase in domestic violence," the Wichita Eagle
reports.  ""A tough economy tends to increase stress on families and
unfortunately, that often leads to violence," Six said.  The Wichita
YWCA has seen a 70% increase in women and children needing shelter from
abuse specifically. 

Unemployment especially worsens the problem, particularly among
those men who are already prone to abusive behavior and drinking, [Wichita YWCA executive director Chryle Nofsinger-Wiens] said.

By itself, unemployment doesn’t cause abuse,  Nofsinger-Wiens said.

 

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North Carolina House Passes Sex Ed Bill

The North Carolina House approved a bill that would allow parents to choose the sexuality education their children receive:
an abstinence-only program or a more comprehensive option with
information about contraception.  Parents could also choose not to
expose their children to any sex ed, WSOCTV.com reports.  "The abstinence until marriage curriculum is the current offering in
most school districts. A handful of systems offer a program that
teaches about contraception. The bill would require all systems to
offer both tracks."  The measure heads next to the Senate.

Undercover at a Crisis Pregnancy Center

For the Pasadena Weekly, Tina Dupuy went undercover to a Los Angeles County crisis pregnancy center after a friend of hers, who went to the CPC for a pregnancy test and left after volunteers tried to "save" her. 

Avenues is a California primary clinic, fully licensed and accredited
by the state. So exactly what kind of medical facility lures women with
the promise of free pregnancy tests and leaves them fearing eternal
damnation?

Even before she was given a pregnancy test, Dupuy reports, CPC staff told her an ultrasound would be necessary to test whether her fetus was viable — and moments later she signed a release form stating that the ultrasound wouldn’t give her medical information.

Other nuggets?

In the backroom, Melissa tells me about all the reasons I should never
have intercourse. “Every woman, when she has sex, gives away a little
piece of her heart,” she says, then hands me a fistful of abstinence
literature…

“True love,” it says, “protects 100 percent of the time.”

 

From "Pro-Life Feminist to Pro-Choice Mama"

On EcoChildsPlay.com, Cate Nelson has a thoughtful piece on shifting her beliefs from "pro-life feminist to pro-choice mama" during the time of her pregnancy with her first child.  She writes,

I felt Little L move very early for a first pregnancy (12 weeks). I
am thankful for him every day. I was thankful for him every day that I
was a single mom, too. No matter how I struggled at times. But Little L
and I had incredible people in our lives. People who babysat for free
so I could work. People who bought us loads of clothes or sent us Whole
Foods gift cards. People who thought about what we needed and gave and
gave and gave, without us ever asking.

Most women—most poor families—do not have that.
How can we ask women to stay safe, protect the children they have, and
leave a bad relationship without support? How can policymakers
simultaneously rail against abortion while cutting funding for food
stamps or TANF or proposing “welfare reform”?

News Politics

In Kansas Debate, Roberts Says Calling Abortion Rights ‘Settled Law’ is ‘Unconscionable’

Emily Crockett

A Kansas Senate debate on Wednesday between pro-choice independent Greg Orman and anti-choice Republican Sen. Pat Roberts featured a heated exchange about abortion.

A Kansas Senate debate on Wednesday between pro-choice independent Greg Orman and anti-choice Republican Sen. Pat Roberts featured a heated exchange about abortion.

Orman, who could unseat the long-serving incumbent Roberts, has been called a “political enigma.” It’s unclear whether he would caucus with Democrats or Republicans in the Senate if elected, though many of his policy stances are not in line with current GOP views.

His position on abortion rights, however, is clear.

“I trust that the women of Kansas are smart and they can make decisions on their own about their own reproductive health,” Orman said in response to a debate question about whether the state’s forced ultrasounds should be implemented nationwide.

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When asked in a follow-up question whether he is pro-choice or “pro-life,” Orman answered, “pro-choice,” without hesitation or qualification.

He later pointed out that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts called abortion “settled law” during his confirmation hearing, and that America needs to move on and discuss other critical issues.

“I think we spend a whole lot of time in this country talking about this issue, and we have spent a whole lot of time over the last couple of decades talking about it and I think it prevents us from talking about other important issues,” Orman said.

Sen. Roberts, in an emotional response, called Orman’s remarks “unconscionable.” He took issue with the idea that lawmakers should “get past” the abortion discussion.

“Get past the rights of the unborn?” he said.

Sen. Roberts went on to mention the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which dealt with contraceptive methods that do not cause abortion.

“Well, it isn’t settled law, because we had a great fight over Hobby Lobby, didn’t we?” Roberts said. “And the rights of individual business people to say that, ‘I’m sorry, we’re not going to accept Obamacare because it strikes at our religious beliefs,’ and Hobby Lobby won.”

A national Tea Party group is scheduled to hold a news conference with Sen. Roberts on Monday, but leaders did not say whether the group would endorse Roberts.

“It will be an announcement,” Tea Party Express Executive Director Taylor Budowich told the Wichita Eagle in an interview.

A Tea Party Express endorsement of Roberts would be noteworthy, since the group had earlier thrown its weight behind Roberts’ primary challenger, Milton Wolf, who had attacked the longtime Kansas senator for voting to raise the debt ceiling, supporting Congressional earmarks, and endorsing former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a former Kansas governor.

The Tea Party-backed Wolf, a doctor, found himself in hot political water during the Republican primary election when it was revealed that he had posted his patients’ X-rays on Facebook with mocking commentary.

Wolf came far closer than expected to beating Roberts in a bruising campaign that, like many races this year, pitted an insurgent Tea Party candidate against a supposedly “establishment” Republican incumbent whose views are just as staunchly conservative as the challenger’s, especially on choice issues.

Orman, who had a comfortable lead in early September, was slightly ahead of Roberts in a poll by Public Policy Polling released Monday. The Kansas race is one of several that could determine whether or not Republicans take over the U.S. Senate in November. 

Roundup: Georgia Eliminating State Funds for Domestic Violence Prevention

Beth Saunders

Georgia will use federal TANF money for domestic violence shelters which could eliminate services for women without children, what do state ant-abortion bills say about women, Arizona enacts more anti-abortion legislation, and Starbucks selling a maternal health benefit CD.

Georgia will use federal TANF money for domestic violence shelters which could eliminate services for women without children, what do state ant-abortion bills say about women, Arizona enacts more anti-abortion legislation, and Starbucks selling a maternal health benefit CD.

  • Georgia is trying to eliminate all state spending on domestic violence prevention, and instead will fund shelters with federal dollars taken from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  Domestic violence prevention advocates in the state are concerned that the shelters will no longer be able to provide services to women without children. Money from TANF can be used for “preventing and reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies as well as encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.” Advocates say that “certainly we are not in the business of maintaining two-parent families where domestic violence is involved.”
  • What can you gather about women if you read state anti-abortion bills that have been introduced or passed this year? Susan Nielsen of The Oregonian says the bills paint women as “impulsive, lying, vulnerable and childlike creatures.”
  • Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who recently signed a bill banning race and sex-selection abortions in that state, just signed a bill that requires a physician to administer medication abortion to women. Previously, trained nurse practitioners could administer the drug. The legislation also bans the practice of telemed abortions, which increase access to women in rural areas.
  • Would you like to add maternal health to your morning latte order? Starbucks is releasing a CD produced by model-turned-maternal health advocate Christy Turlington with tracks by Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Lopez and others that will benefit CARE and Every Mother Counts.

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