April 2, 2007
Equal Rights Amendment
"Federal and state lawmakers have launched a new drive to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, reviving a feminist goal that faltered a quarter-century ago when the measure did not gain the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.
The amendment, which came three states short of enactment in 1982, has been introduced in five state legislatures since January. Yesterday, House and Senate Democrats reintroduced the measure under a new name -- the Women's Equality Amendment -- and vowed to bring it to a vote in both chambers by the end of the session." by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Link to Article (last visited 4-2-07 NVS)
Donating Frozen Embryos for Stem-Cell Research
"There are a half-million or so frozen human embryos stored in freezers across the country, and two of them belong to Jodi Kreiser and her husband. Like thousands of couples trying to have families through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), they faced a wrenching choice: what to do with embryos they created at great financial and emotional cost that are not destined to become their children. Most couples keep them frozen indefinitely, and eventually, experts say, they are destroyed.
Now, the Kreisers are among the first in the state to have a new choice. Their embryos will be donated to the University of Minnesota for embryonic stem-cell research. The step is emerging as an option amid intensifying political debate on the use of stem cells." By Josehine Marcotty, Star TRibune, Link to Article (last visited 4-2-07 NVS)
April 1, 2007
Sexual Abuse and Juvenile Detention
To most Texans, the West Texas State School here is the troubled institution at the center of a sexual abuse scandal that has shaken the state’s juvenile detention system.
But to the residents of this town of 129 and the neighboring communities, it is a source of badly needed jobs.
That is why about 200 people gathered outside the county courthouse in Monahans on Tuesday to oppose a state auditor’s recommendation to close the school, and why nine residents made the 750-mile round trip drive to Austin this week to address legislators on the matter.
“This facility has been a part of the community since 1965,” said Donna Garcia, community relations coordinator at the school. “It feels like a personal vendetta against this community. We feel like the Legislature needs somebody to blame this on.”
In February, news accounts reported that from 2003 to 2005 two officials at West Texas State had had late-night sexual encounters with incarcerated boys and then were allowed to resign without facing criminal charges. Responding to the disclosure, and to pressure from the Legislature, Gov. Rick Perry forced the resignation of the Texas Youth Commission board and ordered a review of all of its facilities.
The agency is currently investigating 1,200 complaints against juvenile facilities around the state.
“Obviously, we’re outraged at the kind of things that are alleged,” Judge Greg Holly of the
By Barbara Novovitch, N.Y. Times Link to Article (Last visited 4-1-07 NVS)
Stigma of Third Divorces?
"“The stigma of divorce is lower than in the past, even the stigma of a second divorce,” said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of public policy at Johns Hopkins University who specializes in marriage and divorce trends. “Researchers used to think that people in third marriages were very different — not as good at keeping a marriage together by temperament or taste.”
“But these days, with so much more divorce, third marriers aren’t necessarily so different.”
There is little information on people who marry three or more times because the demographic is relatively small. Census surveys show that only 3 percent of men and women marry three times or more, compared with 13 percent of men and 14 percent of women who marry twice.
But third marriages are, by logic, more common among older Americans, and when broken down by age the census figures show a significantly higher incidence of marriage for certain groups. Eight percent of men and 6 percent of women in their 50s had married three or more times, 2001 figures show, and so had 7 percent of men and 6 percent of women in their 60s.
That’s likely to rise as people who grew up in the 1970s, when divorce became more commonplace, reach midlife, Dr. Cherlin said." By Mireya Navarro, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 4-1-07 NVS)