On Monday, Virginia state Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) filed a "personhood" bill, which states that life begins at conception and proposes to give constitutional rights to a fertilized egg. The bill proposes to give "unborn children at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth." Yesterday marked the first day of the pre-filing period in introduce legislation.
Tarina Keene, president of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, stated, "We have no doubt that this is just the beginning of an all-out series of legislative attacks on women's freedom and privacy." If passed this would ban emergency contraception, birth control pills, and IUDs as well as all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman or girl. The bill would even eliminate medical choices for women, including some cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization, and could allow the state to investigate and even prosecute a woman for a miscarriage.
In the Mississippi election in November, Mississippi voters defeated the Personhood Amendment ballot initiative. While the state went Republican and voted for many candidates who supported Initiative 26, a state constitutional personhood amendment that would have given full rights to fertilized eggs, women's rights supporters successfully defeated this dangerous initiative 58% to 42% with 96 percent of precincts reporting.
Anti-abortion and anti-birth control extremists have indicated that they intend to put a similar measure on six state ballots in 2012. So far, reproductive rights supporters have defeated anti-choice state ballot measures in South Dakota, Colorado, and California in 2006 and 2008; in Colorado in 2010, and now Mississippi in 2011
Media Resources: Associated Press 11/22/11; PilotOnline.com 11/21/11
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .