Weekly News Round Up
A roundup of current news story on the state and national level, with a focus on feminist issues
By Tess Koenigsmark
An Oklahoma judge has blocked a law that would require women under 17 to have a prescription to purchase Plan B, the emergency contraceptive commonly referred to as the morning-after pill. As Oklahoma demonstrates, even though Plan B has finally become available over the counter, there’s a still a lot of work to be done before the medication is truly accessible.
NARAL California has released its report from their two-year long undercover investigation of crisis pregnancy centers. One the many terrifying stats from the report is that 70% of CPCs told women that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.
Another CT NOW blogger has already laid out the issue with most media reactions to Chelsea Manning expressing her desire to transition from male to female. But the most horrific response to date is the much talked about Daily Beast article which dismisses prison rape entirely, and has the audacity to claim that being gay or trans* in prison is a walk in the park (definite trigger warning for rape apologism and transphobia). Prison Culture discusses the actual reality of prison rape, and gives some suggestions for how you can let the Daily Beast know their actions are unacceptable.
Connecticut legislators will vote next week on whether to approve regulations for medical marijuana. While CT has already passed a law that will allow for people with debilitating diseases to use marijuana and for marijuana dispensaries to set up shop, regulations still need to be approved to govern the implementation of the new law.
Federal budget cuts will mean that fewer CT children from low-income families will be able to enroll in preschool this year. There is already a large disparity in early childhood education, as children from higher income families are much more likely to attend preschool. It also means that many working parents will have to find another form of childcare, which isn’t cheap.
An influx of state money will allow UConn to hire more faculty and tackle new construction projects on campus. Almost all of the new faculty will be in the STEM fields, but President Herbst claims that coming changes will benefit the humanities as well. As a former UConn humanities student who often tired of the continual special attention STEM received (I get that STEM is important, it’s just not everything!) I remain skeptical.
CT has passed new laws meant to provide greater protection to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. One part of the legislation attempts to relieve the financial burden on victims by forcing the offender to provide temporary financial assistance. This addresses the fact that many women are unable to leave an abusive relationship because their abuser controls the finances. However, while the intent is good, I wonder how many women will reject this option out of fear of further angering their abuser.
The CT NAACP is considering a class-action lawsuit against local hospitals after survey results showed that area hospitals employ very low percentages of African Americans as doctors, nurses, and contractors, as well as have few African American members on their boards of directors.
Hilary Clinton will visit CT in October to deliver an address at her alma mater, Yale Law School. I once ate mini-muffins left over from a batch Hilary Clinton had been served, so I basically know her.