Monday, September 7, 2009

Uganda's Plan to Distribute Female Condoms Encounters Resistance from Funders Including PEPFAR

Time Magazine (8/30): The Battle in Uganda Over Female Condoms, by Nick Wadhams:

Uganda Flag On the surface, it seems like a fine idea; reproductive rights groups certainly think so. In July, the Ugandan government announced that, using cash from the U.N. Population Fund, it would distribute 100,000 female condoms in a bid to stop a resurgence of HIV/AIDS. Advocates cheered the initiative, saying it would give women more control over their own bodies. But in the weeks since, major funders of anti-HIV/AIDS programs have shown far less enthusiasm, with many deciding not to back the plan. Instead of serving as a surefire weapon against the spread of HIV, Uganda's female condoms initiative has become the latest example of the limitations faced by governments, advocacy groups and donors in the fight against the virus....

September 7, 2009 in International, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Controversial Anti-Abortion Bishop Resigns Post

Time Magazine: Was an Anti-Abortion Bishop Too Vocal for the Vatican?, by Amy Sullivan:

For suddenly departing politicans and CEOs, the standard line is to "spend time with my family." Now the Catholic church may have its own version of this unconvincing, stock answer. On Monday controversial Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino stunned longtime church-watchers by announcing that he was resigning his post because of problems with insomnia and fatigue.

The controversial Catholic leader, who has gained national prominence for his outspoken pro-life advocacy and aggressive criticism of pro-choice Democratic politicians, was still more than a decade away from reaching the Church's automatic retirement age of 75. Martino's abrupt resignation, along with the fact that he was not reassigned to another position within the Church, has some church insiders suggesting that the highly unusual move was far from voluntary — and quite possibly the work of a Vatican that has been decidedly less openly critical of the Obama Administration. 

Whether Martino is leaving willingly or not, his departure means that one very vocal critic of the Administration has lost his bully pulpit. . . . 

September 7, 2009 in Abortion, International, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Abortion Remains at Center of the Health-Care Debate

Newsweek (8/29): Return of the Abortion Question, by Eleanor Clift:

Opponents of health-care reform are gearing up to bring abortion back into the debate.

Much has been made in the coverage of Sen. Ted Kennedy's death about his religious faith and how he would often slip away in the middle of the afternoon to sit alone in the pews of a Catholic church on Capitol Hill. In his final months, a priest from his parish on Cape Cod came to the Kennedy house each Sunday to hold a private mass in the living room. And just two weeks before he succumbed to brain cancer, the Massachusetts senator was well enough to lead the family in prayer after the death of his sister Eunice.

Kennedy's strong Catholicism coexisted with his commitment to preserving a woman's right to choose, and is one more in a long list of reasons why he will be missed as the health-care-reform battle crescendos this fall. Along with anxiety about rationing care at the end of life and fear that illegal immigrants will gain benefits they don't deserve, the anti-reform movement is gearing up to make abortion the next big donnybrook. . . . 

September 7, 2009 in Abortion, Congress, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sudanese Court Fines Woman for Wearing Pants

NY Times: A Fine but No Lash for Sudan Woman Who Wore Pants, by Jeffrey Gettleman:

Sudan Flag NAIROBI, Kenya — A Sudanese court on Monday decided not to lash a woman for wearing trousers in public but convicted her of violating the country’s decency laws and fined her the equivalent of $200.

The woman, Lubna Hussein, an outspoken journalist who recently worked for the United Nations, was facing 40 lashes in a case that generated widespread interest inside and outside Sudan.

Mrs. Hussein, 34, will appeal the sentence, her lawyers said on Monday, and she still insists that she has a right to wear pants in public.

Sudan is partly governed by Islamic law, which calls for women to dress modestly. But on Monday, dozens of women — many wearing pants — gathered in front of the courthouse in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, where Mrs. Hussein’s case was being heard, to express their solidarity. Many Sudanese women have said the law is vague and discriminates against women. . . . 

September 7, 2009 in Culture, In the Courts, International, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Deborah Tuerkheimer on Domestic Violence Homicide

Deborah Tuerkheimer (DePaul University) has posted Control Killings on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

A defendant on trial for murdering his intimate has forfeited his constitutional right to confront her as a witness, provided that, by taking her life, he intended to 'isolate the victim and to stop her from reporting abuse to the authorities or cooperating with a criminal prosecution.' This, the rule of forfeiture recently announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in California v. Giles, requires lower courts to consider the dynamics of battering when inferring the defendant’s intent. However, current legal conceptualizations of domestic violence homicide are underdeveloped. This comment on Professor Tom Lininger’s important contribution to a rich scholarly discourse treating the Confrontation Clause advances a conversation about what I call 'control killings.' My hope is that this conversation will penetrate the law and, in particular, inform judicial inquiries into the mens rea of the batterer who kills.

September 5, 2009 in Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Linda McClain and Joanna Grossman on Gender Equality and Citizenship

Linda C. McClain (Boston University) and Joanna L. Grossman (Hofstra University) have posted Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Citizenship is the common language for expressing aspirations to democratic and egalitarian ideals of inclusion, participation, and civic membership. However, there continues to be a significant gap between formal commitments to gender equality and equal citizenship – in the laws and constitutions of many countries as well as in international human rights documents − and the reality of women’s lives. This volume presents a collection of original works that examine this persisting inequality through the lens of citizenship. Distinguished scholars in law, political science, and women’s studies investigate the many dimensions of women’s equal citizenship, including constitutional citizenship, democratic citizenship, social citizenship, sexual and reproductive citizenship, and global citizenship. Gender Equality takes stock of the progress toward – and remaining impediments to – securing equal citizenship for women, develops strategies for pursuing that goal, and identifies new questions that will shape further inquiries.

September 5, 2009 in Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reports Shows Dallas Leading Nation in Repeat Teen Births

The Dallas Morning News: Dallas leads nation in repeat teen births, study finds, by Robert T. Garrett:

AUSTIN – Dallas leads the nation in the percentage of teen births that aren't the mother's first delivery, a nonpartisan national research group finds in a new report.

Dallas had the highest percentage of teen births that are repeat births – 28 percent – among 73 major U.S. cities in 2006, the latest year for which city-level data are available.

Texas has the highest repeat rate of any state – 23 percent of teen births. And five of the 15 worst-ranked cities are in Texas, according to the group Child Trends, in a report to be released Wednesday....

September 5, 2009 in Pregnancy & Childbirth, State and Local News, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Abortion's Stigma Affects Doctors' Willingness to Provide

Wash. Post: Abortion Stigma Affects Doctors' Training And Choices, by Sandra G. Boodman:

When Devin Miller, leader of the abortion rights group Medical Students for Choice at Virginia Commonwealth University, heard about the slaying of George Tiller, a Kansas physician who performed late abortions, she "took a step back" to ponder her future. The second-year student plans to become an obstetrician-gynecologist or family physician and expects she would sometimes terminate pregnancies. But the May 31 death of Tiller, who was shot in the head at church, allegedly by an antiabortion activist, has left the 23-year-old deeply shaken.

...Thirty-six years after it was legalized, abortion remains one of the most common procedures in American medicine -- and the most stigmatized. In 2005, 1.2 million abortions were performed, dwarfing the number of appendectomies (341,000), gallbladder removals (398,000) and hysterectomies (575,000). "There's this feeling it's dirty and should not be spoken about," said Miller. "It's hard to be brave and seek everything out yourself."...

September 1, 2009 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Three Americans Prosecuted Under New International Child-Sex-Trafficking Initiative

Wash. Post: 3 Americans Face Child-Sex Charges, by Ashley Surdin:

Men Held in Cambodia Are the First Prosecuted Under Trafficking Initiative

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 -- Three Americans accused of traveling to Cambodia to have sex with children are expected to be charged in federal court here, officials said Monday, marking the first prosecutions under a new international initiative intended to combat child-sex tourism.

The initiative, Operation Twisted Traveler, targets Americans who exploit children for sex in Cambodia, which experts describe as a top destination for child predators. U.S. and Cambodian authorities, as well as nongovernmental organizations, were involved in the effort.

"This level of cooperation is unprecedented," said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, which coordinated the initiative with the Justice Department. . . .

September 1, 2009 in International, Sexual Assault, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dr. Tiller's Death Won't Deter Nebraska's Dr. LeRoy Carhart From Providing Abortions Late in Pregnancy

Newsweek: The Abortion Evangelist, by Sarah Kliff:

LeRoy Carhart is determined to train as many late-term-abortion providers as possible—or the practice just might die with him.

Carhart knows there are people who want him dead, too. A few days after Tiller's murder, Carhart's daughter received a late-night phone call saying her parents too had been killed. His clinic got suspicious letters, one with white powder. It's been like this since Carhart started performing abortions in the late 1980s. On the same day Nebraska passed a parental-notification law in 1991, his farm burned down, killing 17 horses, a cat, and a dog (the local fire department was unable to determine the fire's cause). The next day his clinic received a letter justifying the murder of abortion providers. His -clinic's sidewalks have been smeared with manure. Protesters sometimes stalk him in airports. The threats, the violence, now the assassination of his close friend—all of it has left Carhart undaunted, and the billboard-size sign over his parking garage still reads, in foot-high block letters, ABORTION & CONTRACEPTION CLINIC OF NEBRASKA. . . . 

See also: Iowa Independent: Iowans participate in Nebraska abortion demonstration, by Lynda Waddington:

BELLEVUE, Neb. — The battle over a woman’s right to choose abortion has been reignited in Kansas since the May 31 murder of Dr. George Tiller. Over the weekend, the battle moved north to this small town near Omaha where Dr. LeRoy Carhart provides abortion services. Several Iowans were among the individuals from at least 17 states who came to let their voices be heard....

September 1, 2009 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Man is Arrested After Threats to a Colorado Abortion Provider

NY Times: Man Arrested in Threats to Colorado Abortion Clinic, by Kirk Johnson:

DENVER — Threats telephoned to an abortion clinic in Boulder, Colo., have led to the arrest of a man who, according to a federal indictment, gave chilling details about how two people would be dispatched to kill the family of the clinic’s director.

The man, Donald Hertz, 70, of Spokane, Wash., was arrested Wednesday in Spokane. He was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

Mr. Hertz’s indictment was the first in an abortion case since the killing of Dr. George R. Tiller, an abortion provider from Wichita, Kan., who was shot to death in May while attending church, a Department of Justice spokesman said.

Mr. Hertz’s lawyer, W. Russell Van Camp, said Mr. Hertz, a retired real-estate and insurance broker who was released without bail Wednesday after a court appearance, would plead not guilty. . . .  Mr. Hertz faces a maximum prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of up to $350,000 if convicted. . . .

The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, passed by Congress in 1994, makes it a federal crime to injure, intimidate or interfere with, by force or threat of force, employees of a facility that provides reproductive health services.

September 1, 2009 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)