"People's Filibuster" in Texas Successfully Blocks Anti-Choice Legislation
Over 700 Texans last night successfully blocked HB 60, a state bill that would shut down all but 5 abortion providers in the state, from passing in the state House as part of a "people's filibuster." The legislation passed through the Senate Tuesday.
HB 60 requires abortion clinics act as ambulatory service centers, work with doctors who have hospital admitting privileges, and schedule two in-person visits with women seeking abortions prior to the performance of the procedure. A fetal pain clause was dropped. The legislation was added to the Texas house's special session calendar by Governor Rick Perry.
700 citizens who appeared at the hearing to give testimony came to share personal stories and policy-based opinions were told at midnight by House State Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Byron Cook (R-Cosicana) that they would no longer be heard because their words were becoming "repetitive." Citizens continued speaking with or without committee members present, and eventually were given more chances to speak. "Our words are not repetitive," Lesli Simms testified. "Our government's attacks on our choice, on our bodies, is repetitive."
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. . . .