Ireland is to legalise abortions when the mother’s life is at risk, including when she is suicidal, in an historic move expected to spark a major battle with the Roman Catholic church.
Ireland’s cabinet took the decision on Tuesday following a huge public outcry over the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant woman in October who died after her repeated requests for an abortion were refused while she was suffering a miscarriage.
The Irish government has decided to repeal legislation that makes abortion a criminal act and to introduce regulations setting out when doctors can perform an abortion when a woman’s life is regarded as being at risk, including by suicide.
Dr James Reilly, the Irish health minister, said that the government was aware of the controversy surrounding abortion.
“I know that most people have personal views on this matter. However, the government is committed to ensuring that the safety of pregnant women in Ireland is maintained and strengthened. We must fulfil our duty of care towards them,” he said.
“For that purpose, we will clarify in legislation and regulation what is available by way of treatment to a woman when a pregnancy gives rise to a threat to a woman’s life. We will also clarify what is legal for the professionals who must provide that care while at all times taking full account of the equal right to life of the unborn child.”
Don’t Let Mitt Turn Back Time On Women (by SchlepLabs)
Cher and Kathy Griffin on Mitt’s efforts to turn back time on women in the latest video from the Actually… series. When lies go unchecked, we all lose. Actually.org spreads the truth, because the truth matters—even in politics. Our team calls ‘em like they see ‘em, and we hope you’ll support the truth by sharing Actually.org videos before Election Day.
Conservative Canadian politicians playing at being right-wing American politicians. Fortunately, their attempt at defining life as the moment of conception was stopped in its tracks — this time.
One Billion Rising (Short Film) (by vdayorg)
A powerful and disturbing short film by Eve Ensler calling attention to rape and sexual abuse of women around the world. T/W for violence, sexual assault.
A film by Eve Ensler and Tony Stroebel
One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women - and men — dancing is a revolution. Join ONE BILLION RISING at http://www.onebillionrising.org
SAN FRANCISCO — As a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, her politically active family’s sole Democrat, and a sister with three brothers, Laura Ricketts is comfortable being the odd woman out.
But it has not escaped her notice that lesbians such as her are in the minority at political events for gay donors, whether it’s a White House reception or a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who hopes to become the first openly lesbian member of the U.S. Senate.
So Ricketts immediately embraced an idea by a fellow Chicago businesswoman who approached her a few months ago about creating a first-of-its kind political action committee to champion candidates and causes that appeal to lesbian voters.
LPAC, as the independent super PAC was christened, will be launched Wednesday with the freedom to spend unrestricted amounts of money for or against candidates.
“Being a woman and being gay is really a unique position in our society,” said Ricketts, a co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Leadership Council and one of President Barack Obama’s fundraising bundlers. “I know in my experience of activism, oftentimes it makes a difference if something is women-focused. It’s likely to get the attention of women much more easily.”
LPAC’s fundraising goal for the 2012 election cycle is $1 million, a modest amount by the standards of many super PACS, including the conservative Ending Spending Action Fund founded by Ricketts’ father, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts,
LPAC beneficiaries have not been finalized, although candidates such as Baldwin and campaigns to defeat ballot measures that would ban same-sex marriages or restrict access to abortions are likely to be recipients of donations.
However, the group’s aim to give lesbians an influential voice in mainstream politics is ground-breaking, said chairwoman Sarah Schmidt, a scion of the family behind Midwest petroleum distributor U.S. Venture Inc.
Unlike the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which supports gay candidates, and Emily’s List, which is dedicated to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights, LPAC plans to promote men and women from either major party as well as ballot initiatives.
“In my mind, there really was no downside here,” said Schmidt, a management consultant and philanthropist. “If it raises $5 million, amazing. But if it raises $500,000, we have still raised $500,000 for critical races and it’s being raised from lesbian leaders whose voices may not have been heard before.”
Along with Schmidt and Ricketts, the committee is led by veteran gay rights activist Urvashi Vaid and Alix Ritchie, former publisher of the Provincetown Banner. Jane Lynch and Billie Jean King also have pledged support.
“Members of the LGBT community are inspirational leaders and role models in every aspect of American life,” King said. “The formation of LPAC provides lesbians and the entire LGBT community a new, stronger voice and a real and respected seat at the table when politicians make policy that impacts our lives.”
Betty Bowers Explains Abortion to Everyone Else (by MrsBettyBowers)
Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian, takes a moment out of her busybody day, to settle once and for all America’s most contentious subject: abortion. This video may offend some. But, then again, the truth always does …
by Heather Cassell
The San Francisco Dyke March celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend with a new generation of leadership remembering the rally’s roots born of a call for dyke rights and visibility.
Marking the anniversary, the 10 all-volunteer committee members have scaled back the event to remind people about its political beginnings, said organizers.
This year’s theme is “Dyke Space Continuum,” to express the past and ongoing efforts for queer women’s rights.
“It’s really political for me still,” said Clair Henry, a 27-year-old lesbian who is a second-year committee member.
Henry is well aware that the Dyke March’s image is misconstrued as another Pride Parade.
“That’s not why it started … and that’s not what it is. I still think that we need to draw so much attention to the issues that women and lesbians face every day. There is a perception that women have equal rights and that gay people have mostly equal rights except for marriage … that is so patently false.”
Lila Thirkield, a core Dyke March committee member and owner of the Lexington Club, agreed.
“We live in a world where women are not treated the same way as men and that exists in the gay arena too,” said Thirkield, pointing out that women continue to earn less than men and there usually tends to be a ratio of one lesbian bar to 30 gay men’s bars in a city. “That visibility is why [the Dyke March] started out in the first place. [The original organizers] wanted people to see that we are a part of the community.”
Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage (by soomopublishing)
Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage is a parody music video paying homage to Alice Paul and the generations of brave women who joined together in the fight to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in 1920.
For more information about this video, go to Soomo’s “Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage” site [http://www.soomopublishing.com/suffrage].
Please, reblog this every chance you get and, more importantly, visit their site and sign up.
There are 7 billion people on the planet. Half are women. One third of them are raped or beaten.
V-Day refuses to watch as more than one billion women experience violence. V-Day is going further now, saying no more.
We’re inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to this violence.
On 2.14.13, we will move the earth, activating women and men to dance across every country. The celebration of One Billion Rising will be a WORLD HAPPENING
In advance of our 15th anniversary, join V-Day and One Billion Rising to SAY NO TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS. Sign up to learn more and join the global call.
- Sign up at www.onebillionrising.org
- Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/vday
- Follow on Twitter @VDay; #1BillionRising
- Sign up for text message updates, text BILLION to 50555 (US only)
- Tell a friend about One Billion Rising!
One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
One billion women violated is an atrocity.
One billion women dancing is a revolution.
The Juliettes — Liz, Lissa, Eva and Julie — “a self-styled Pump Rock band from Seattle – fierce, foxy & fabulous,” they say in their Twitter profile, where they also posted this excellent image/manifesto.
Read it, share it. It’s time women –”the 52% majority,” as The Juliettes proclaim — were free.
I AM A WOMAN
And NO MAN, NO GROUP OF MEN, AND NO INSTITUTION OF MEN hold dominion over me, my mind, my body, my life, my choices, my vagina, or my uterus
If you attempt to restrict my access – or my sisters’ access – to health care or contraception, WE WILL FIGHT YOU AND WE WILL WIN
Do not fool yourselves for ONE MOMENT that you have the right to speak for women, their choices, their thoughts, or their lives ANY MORE
Your attempts to own us, to harm us, to control us, to dictate policy to us, to impose your will over us – IS AT AN END
You look scared, and I can smell your fear. And you should be afraid. Cause we aren’t going to take your shit anymore.
We know how to direct 80% of the buying power and we know how to vote.
The age of old, crooked, white men is over. Consider this the death knell. Deep down, you know it. And we know it too.
Oh, and one more thing – deprive us of access and we will deprive YOU of access. If you take my meaning.
WE ARE THE MAJORITY
WE ARE THE 52%
Highly restrictive abortion laws do not lead to lower abortion rates, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute. Globally, nations that have more restrictive abortion laws, like in Latin American and Africa, also see a higher number of unsafe abortions and deaths because of the unsafe procedures.
The chart below compares regional abortion rates to abortion policies and shows that women living under Western Europe’s liberal laws undergo fewer abortions than those in more restrictive countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia:
Additionally, while the worldwide abortion rate has dropped between 1995 and 2003, it stalled between 2003 and 2008. And nearly half of all abortions are unsafe. And the proportion of abortions that take place in the developing world, where 56 percent of unsafe abortions take place, increased between 1995 and 2008, from 78 percent to 86 percent because of the population growth in these countries.
Gilda Sedgh, a senior research associate that the Guttmacher Institute, said the increase was “cause for concern.” “The long-term decline in global abortion rates has stalled, at the same time that abortions are becoming concentrated in developing countries,” Sedgh said in a statement. “This plateau coincides with a slowdown in contraceptive uptake. Without greater investment in quality family planning services, we can expect the plateau to persist.” An estimated 47,000 women die from unsafe abortions each year, making up 13 percent of maternal deaths.
Despite these findings, the GOP presidential candidates pledged to restrict women’s access to both abortions and contraception during a pro-life presidential forum last night. Frontrunner Mitt Romney, who was not at the forum, has flirted with supporting a “personhood amendment” and has promised to adopt policies that restrict the availability of abortion coverage
CAIRO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - An Egyptian court ordered on Tuesday that forced virginity tests be stopped on female detainees in military prisons.
The case was filed by Samira Ibrahim, a woman who said the army forced her to undergo a virginity test in March after she was arrested during a protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
GlobalPost reports that the 25-year-old received a suspended one-year sentence after being subjected to the test. “I was beaten, electrocuted, and forced to strip naked in front of male officers,” she told GlobalPost about her four days in prison.
Ahram Online notes that Ibrahim was one of 7 female protesters subjected to the test, however she was the only one to go forward to the public with her account.
Human rights organisations say that there have been many other such tests by the military.
“The court orders that the execution of the procedure of virginity tests on girls inside military prisons be stopped,” said judge Aly Fekry, head of Cairo Administrative court. Hundreds of activists inside the courtroom cheered after the ruling was read out.
According to the Associated Press, in June a member of Egypt’s military council, Maj. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said that the tests were justified to guard the army from rape allegations.
(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Writing by Tamim Elyan)