Category Archives: Women’s Issues

‘Important Victory’ for Florida Higher Ed: Court Upholds Block on DeSantis Censorship Law

“This is an important step in preserving the truth, civil liberties, and a better future,” said one state ACLU attorney.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 3-16-2023 by Common Dreams

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday kept in place a preliminary injunction against Florida GOP policymakers’ school censorship law in what rights advocates celebrated as “an important victory for professors, other educators, and students.”

The appellate court denied a request from Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ administration and higher education officials to block a district judge’s injunction that is currently preventing enforcement of the Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act—rebranded by its supporters as the Individual Freedom Act—in the state’s public colleges and universities. Continue reading

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South Carolina Bill to Execute People Who Have Abortions Gets Support From 21 Republicans

“Executing women is not fringe GOP,” said one human rights lawyer. “It’s your horrifically mainstream ‘pro life’ GOP.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 3–14–2023 by Common Dreams

Protestors in front of the Supreme Court on June 24, the day of Roe v. Wade’s overturn. Photo: Ted Eytan/CC BY-SA 2.0.

A new pro-forced pregnancy proposal in the South Carolina General Assembly that would make people who obtain abortion care eligible for the death penalty was portrayed as coming from the fringes of the Republican Party by one GOP lawmaker—but with 21 state Republicans backing the legislation, critics said the idea is representative of the party’s anti-choice agenda.

Proposed by state Rep. Rob Harris, the South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023 would amend the state’s criminal code to give a zygote, or fertilized egg, “equal protection under the homicide laws of the state”—meaning obtaining an abortion could be punishable by the death penalty. Continue reading

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Democratic AGs Fight Back Against GOP Attacks on Abortion Pill Access

“In a time when reproductive healthcare is under attack, our group of 23 attorneys general strongly believe we should be encouraging companies and providers to offer easily accessible, safe, and confidential healthcare as broadly as possible.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 2-16-2023 by Common Dreams

Mifepristone The pill is one of two used in medication abortions. Photo: Robin Marty/flickr/CC

Warning that Republican-led states have launched an effort to keep millions of people from accessing lifesaving medications, 23 Democratic state attorneys general on Thursday sent a letter to officials at CVS and Walgreens to assure the pharmacies that they can legally dispense and mail mifepristone and misoprostol, the pills used in medication abortions.

The attorneys general of Oregon, California, and Washington spearheaded the letter two weeks after their Republican counterparts in 20 states told the pharmacies that they could be in violation of the Comstock Act, dating back to the 1870s, if they deliver the pills to patients by mail. Continue reading

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Surging Number of US Teen Girls Face Sexual Violence and Extreme Sadness: CDC

“Young people in the U.S. are collectively experiencing a level of distress that calls on us to act,” reads the study.

By Julia Conley  Published 213-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: rawpixel (Public domain}

Child development experts and other advocates said Monday that new federal data regarding the struggles of adolescents in the United States should serve as an urgent call to action, as teenage girls reported facing rising levels of sexual violence as well as suicidal thoughts and depression in a survey taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC’s biennial Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was given to 17,000 teenagers at public and private high schools across the U.S. in 2021, found that nearly 1 in 3 adolescent girls seriously considered suicide that year—representing an increase of 60% over the previous decade. Continue reading

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‘Death Sentence for Women and Families’: US Court Blocks Domestic Violence Gun Ban

“There is no real doubt that the 5th Circuit’s decision is going to lead to more abusers murdering their wives and girlfriends,” said one gun control advocate. “It will also increase mass shootings.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 2-2-2023 by Common Dreams

People participate in a March 24, 2018 “March for Our Lives” protest for gun control laws in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Photo: Peter Cedric Rock Smith/flickr/cc)

The right-wing 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday struck down a federal law barring people with domestic violence restraining orders from owning firearms, a ruling that gun control advocates said will cost lives.

A three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based appellate court said in its decision that the overturned law is an unconstitutional impediment to the right to bear arms. The judges based their ruling on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, a June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down that state’s limits on carrying concealed guns in public. Continue reading

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Thousands Across US Demand Reproductive Freedom on Roe’s 50th Anniversary

“The overwhelming majority of Americans in all states support abortion rights—and women will fight to protect our rights and our lives,” said the executive director of Women’s March.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 1-22-2023 by Common Dreams

People rally for abortion rights at the Wisconsin state capitol in Madison on January 22, 2023. (Photo: Hedi Rudd, Paisley Koch/Women’s March via Twitter)

Thousands of people called for reproductive freedom at rallies around the United States on Sunday—the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion a constitutional right until the Supreme Court’s reactionary majority overturned it last summer.

At more than 200 events in 46 states, demonstrators condemned the court’s 6-3 opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which enables states to curtail or even prohibit access to reproductive healthcare. Since the ruling was handed down on June 24, Republican lawmakers have enacted deadly abortion restrictions in 26 states, including near-total bans in several. Continue reading

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Kansas GOP Pushes Local Abortion Bans After Voters Rejected State Law

“This is an attempt to blatantly disregard the will of the people.”

By Julia Conley  Published 1-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Stop Abortion Bans rally in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 21, 2019. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Kansas voters left little room for interpretation when a sizable majority voted in August to reject a ballot measure that would have paved the way for a statewide abortion ban—but that isn’t stopping Republicans from attempting to force residents to continue unwanted pregnancies by imposing city-by-city bans.

State Sen. Chase Blasi on Thursday introduced Senate Bill 65, which would authorize cities and counties “to enact local laws more stringent than state law regarding regulation of abortion” and would repeal the state law which prohibits “political subdivisions” from enacting bans. Continue reading

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First-of-Its-Kind Study Links US Gun Violence Epidemic to Climate Emergency

The research follows several international studies showing the connection between extreme weather events and domestic violence.

By Julia Conley  Published 1-3-2023 by Common Dreams

Protest against new gun laws at the MN State Capitol in 2018. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Researchers in the U.S. have linked the climate crisis and the extreme weather patterns it causes to the country’s epidemic of gun violence in a first-of-its-kind analysis, showing that thousands of shootings in the U.S. in recent years were attributable to higher-than-average temperatures.

As Environment Journal reported Tuesday, experts at Boston University School of Public Health and University of Washington School of Social Work analyzed 116,000 shootings in 100 of the country’s most populous cities between 2015 and 2020 and found that 7,973 took place during periods of unseasonable heat, concluding that about 7% of shootings could be attributed to extreme heat. Continue reading

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Nobody loved you, 2022

From devastating floods in Pakistan to Italy’s far-right PM to overturning Roe v Wade, this was a year of extremes

By Adam Ramsay  Published 12-30-2022 by openDemocracy

A flooded village in Matiari, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo: Asad Zaidi/UNICEF

How do you turn 365 days experienced by eight billion people – and billions more other beings – into some kind of story?

Maybe you start with some events?

In which case, 2022 was the year that Covid vaccines kicked in. Daily global deaths hit 77,000 on 7 February, and have declined fairly steadily ever since. It was the year Russia invaded Ukraine, the first war between major European powers since 1945. Continue reading

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‘Why Are These Conflicts Allowed?’ Corporate Giving to Group Tied to Supreme Court Sparks Concern

“You want to ‘preserve #SCOTUS history’?'” said one watchdog group. “Hire a curatorial staff. Don’t run a pay-for-play.”

By Jon Queally  Published 12-31-2022 by Common Dreams

Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Both alarm and concern were expressed Saturday in response to new reporting about a charitable group with close ties to the U.S. Supreme Court that has been soliciting and accepting donations from corporate interests and far-right activists with cases before the court.

The New York Times exposé focused on the activities and fundraising of the Supreme Court Historical Society, a nonprofit that claims its mission is “dedicated to the collection and preservation” of the Court’s history. Continue reading

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