Tag Archives: Women’s Issues

I told lawmakers about my stillborn child – and helped pass a key bill

Louisiana has approved a law that will alleviate the emotional and financial burdens for bereaved families. The rest of the US should follow suit

By Joni Hess.  Published 7-26-2021 by openDemocracy

Illustration: Inge Snip

I drove an hour and a half to the Louisiana state capitol building in Baton Rouge, on 26 April, to tell legislators about my daughter Eliana.

On the journey, I kept thinking to myself: would I be able to do this? I had rarely spoken about what had happened. Now, I was about to do so before strangers who had the power to vote ‘no’ on a bill that could help many other women like me.

Eliana weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces when she was born on 8 February 2019. In my hospital bed, I held her tightly, fighting back tears so they wouldn’t cloud my final views of her face. Sometime that morning, she had passed away in utero. We never found out why.

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228 Republicans Blasted for Brief Urging Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade

“Every single politician who signed this amicus brief is actively working to strip away our fundamental freedoms and endanger pregnant people and families across the country.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-29-2021

Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) and her lawyer Gloria Allred on the steps of the Supreme Court, 1989. Photo: Lorie Shaull/flickr/cc

While praising the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday for passing a spending bill without the Hyde Amendment for the first time in decades, reproductive rights and justice advocates sounded the alarm over 228 congressional Republicans urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Concerns about the fate of the landmark 1973 ruling—which affirmed the constitutional right to abortion before viability—have mounted since former President Donald Trump appointed three right-wing justices to the nation’s highest court, giving conservatives a 6-3 supermajority. Continue reading

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Texas Governor Signs ‘All-Out Assault on Reproductive Health’ Into Law

“This forced pregnancy act will drive women back into the [pre-Roe] shadows,” warned one Democratic lawmaker in the state.

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-19-2021

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Pro-choice demonstration in front of SCOTUS in 2016. Photo: Jordan Uhl/flickr/CC

“Abhorrent” and “unconscionable” were words used Wednesday by women’s health and rights advocates to describe the latest extreme ban on abortion care as Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that bans the procedure after six weeks and allows virtually any private citizen to attempt to penalize abortion providers in the state.

The law, which provides no exceptions for survivors or rape or incest, is set to take effect in September. Continue reading

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Looming Texas Law Would Allow Anti-Choice ‘Vigilantes’ to Sue Anyone Who ‘Aids or Abets’ an Abortion

“There’s no low these legislators won’t sink to in their efforts to gut Roe v. Wade and push abortion care as far out of reach as possible,” said one rights advocate.

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-14-2021

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Pro-choice demonstration in front of SCOTUS in 2016. Photo: Jordan Uhl/flickr/CC

As part of an unprecedented wave of recent GOP attacks on reproductive rights across the United States, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a bill to not only outlaw ending a pregnancy as early as six weeks, but also allow anti-choice “vigilantes” to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion that violates state law.

Texas’ Republican-controlled state Legislature on Thursday gave final approval to Senate Bill 8, which Abbott celebrated on Twitter. It is yet another so-called “fetal heartbeat” measure, which medical experts say is a scientifically misleading phrase. If signed into law, it would ban abortions before many people know they are pregnant. Continue reading

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Wireless Companies Lobby to Weaken Bill That Would Protect Domestic Abuse Survivors From Threats

A lobbying group for companies including Verizon and T-Mobile is fighting to neuter the Safe Connections Act, which passed in a Senate committee last week.

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-6-2021

A lobbying group for the U.S. wireless industry is attempting to weaken legislation to protect victims of intimate partner abuse from tech-based abuse.

Digital rights and anti-domestic violence groups are pushing lawmakers to pass legislation to protect survivors from stalking and harassment, but advocates are facing a powerful lobbying group for the wireless industry, which aims to weaken the bill.

As The Guardian reported Thursday, the Safe Connections Act, introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in January, aims to ensure companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint allow survivors to remove themselves from family cell phone plans and end their wireless contracts in order to stop their abusers from accessing information about them. Continue reading

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GOP Oklahoma Governor Signs Trio of ‘Cruel and Unnecessary’ Anti-Choice Bills Into Law

“These extreme bills are designed to cut off abortion access for people in Oklahoma—a state that already has more abortion restrictions than almost any other.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-26-2021

Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St Paul, Minnesota 2019. Photo: Lorie Shaull/flickr/cc

Reproductive rights advocates on Monday excoriated Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt after the Republican signed into law a trio of anti-choice bills they say are among the nation’s most draconian.

Declaring he was keeping his “promise to sign all pro-life legislation,” Stitt approved the following bills, which will take effect on November 1: Continue reading

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As Rich Countries Shield Pharma Monopolies, Just 0.2% of Covid Vaccine Doses Have Gone to Poor Nations

“We need the cooperation of the whole world and the elimination of all the barriers to the production and distribution of vaccines.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-11-2021

Graphic: Our World in Data/CC

The head of the World Health Organization estimated in a recent address that of the more than 700 million coronavirus vaccine doses that have been administered across the globe, just 0.2% have gone to people in low-income nations—inequity that experts warn will persist unless rich countries end their obstruction of an international effort to suspend vaccine patents.

Speaking to the media on Friday, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus warned that “there remains a shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines” as pharmaceutical companies cling to their monopoly control over technology that was developed with large infusions of public money. Continue reading

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‘Outrageous’: 46 Million Americans Say They Would Not Be Able to Afford Healthcare If They Needed It

“The American model of health reform—throwing money at private insurers—cannot solve it.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-31-2021

Dr. Christina Bastin De Jong, a critical care physician at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, shares a light moment with Jimmy Porter, who was on the mend following a serious bout with COVID-19, on Thursday, Dec. 10. (Photo by Derek Montgomery for Essentia Health)

A new study released Wednesday morning shows that nearly 50 million Americans would be unable to afford quality healthcare should the need for treatment suddenly arise, a finding seen as further evidence of the immorality of a for-profit insurance system that grants or denies coverage based on a person’s ability to pay.

“People can’t afford their goddamn healthcare,” Tim Faust, a proponent of single-payer healthcare, tweeted in response to the new report. “Families spend less on food so they can make insurance payments. This problem is felt by all, but concentrated among poor people and black people. The American model of health reform—throwing money at private insurers—can not solve it.” Continue reading

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‘Tidal Wave of Rage’: 100,000+ Australian Women March Against Sexual Violence

“Evil thrives in silence,” said survivor and Australian of the Year Grace Tame. “But… it gives me hope because the start of the solution is also quite simple—making noise!”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-15-2021

Women and allies rally in Melbourne, Victoria on March 15, 2021 during Australia’s mutli-day March 4 Justice against sexual violence and gender discrimination. (Photo: Matt Hrkac/Flickr/cc)

Declaring “enough is enough,” over 100,000 Australian women and their allies took to the nation’s streets Sunday and Monday during a nationwide #March4Justice to denounce sexual violence and gender discrimination.

Over 110,000 people in at least 40 cities and towns took part in the demonstrations, according to event organizers. Janine Hendry, the main organizer, told the New York Times that “there are huge numbers of women around the country that have had enough, quite frankly, of their appalling response to sexual assault and harassment.” Continue reading

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Congress Urged to Take ‘Immediate Action’ to Stop Debt Collectors From Snatching Relief Checks

A legislative fix is needed, said one observer, to prevent “a flood of new judgments from debt collectors to siphon stimulus funds out.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-14-2021

Screenshot: C-SPAN

Direct payments from the newly approved coronavirus relief package began landing in people’s bank accounts with striking quickness this weekend, but a glaring shortcoming of the American Rescue Plan caused by the arcane procedural tool that Democrats used to pass the bill could prevent checks from reaching many vulnerable households.

Unlike the Covid relief bill that Congress passed through regular order in December, the new $1.9 trillion legislation does not include protections barring debt collectors from hoovering up the checks and using them to pay off people’s private debts—which, as The American Prospect‘s David Dayen put it, makes the American Rescue Plan “also a cash cow for debt collectors.” Continue reading

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