As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and female leaders around the world celebrate the 100th-annual International Women's Day, Republicans in Congress continue to fight against contraception and cancer screenings for women, state legislatures across the country consider laws that would criminalize abortion and force women to carry even doomed pregnancies to term, and the economic "recovery" is leaving the ladies behind.
• On top of the news last week that women continue to make just 75 percent of what men earn for comparable work, fewer than five percent of the new jobs created last year went to women despite the fact that women accounted for 30 percent of the jobs lost during the recession---partly because women hold 61 percent of the public-sector jobs (which, incidentally, pay less than comparable private-sector jobs) that are currently on the chopping block.
• Meanwhile, around the country, Republicans continued their all-out attack on those very same public employees by stripping them of their right to collectively bargain. The Hill has a roundup, along with a concise history of International Women's Day---a day that originated in the labor movement. Another good history here.
• According to new federal stats, single women spend the vast majority of their money on shelter and transportation.
• In Nebraska, a woman who wanted to terminate her (planned) pregnancy after learning that her baby would not survive, hoping to prevent the baby from suffering, was forced to bring the pregnancy to term under a state law banning abortions after 20 weeks' gestation for any reason. Ten days later, she gave birth to a one-pound, ten ounce girl who struggled for 15 minutes to breathe before dying in her mother's arms. Confronted with the story, abortion proponents said the law had worked exactly as it was intended. "Ironically, the Deavers’ sought an abortion because of concern that the infant would suffer while it died, trying to breathe."
• Meanwhile, in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, legislators considered bills that would allow women's partners or relatives to murder her abortion provider to "protect the fetus"; in South Dakota, legislators passed a bill that would require a woman who wanted an abortion to go to an anti-choice "crisis pregnancy center" first, then wait 72 hours to let the center's message "sink in"; and in Pennsylvania, Kansas, Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio, legislators are considering bills that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. (That's on top of the US House zeroing out federal funds for Planned Parenthood and proposals in the house that would effectively bar even private insurance companies from funding abortions).
In Texas, pro-choice legislators fought back against loopy legislation that requires any woman who wants to get an abortion to get an ultrasound, go home to “think” about it, and only then come back for her abortion, by tacking on a series of doomed-to-fail amendments to highlight anti-choicers' hypocrisy and lack of concern for actual children. One amendment would require any man who has fathered three or more children out of wedlock with different women to get a vasectomy; another would require the state to pay for college for any child born after a woman backs out of an abortion after seeing the sonogram.
• The Washington Post, meanwhile, rightly mocks Google for putting a dress on its map icon (renamed "Pegwoman") to "celebrate International Women's Day."
• In Egypt, a "Million Woman March" is disrupted by men yelling anti-feminist slogans.
• In happier news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a new initiative called "100 Women: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges." The initiative brings 100 women from around the world together for a professional exchange program---effectively, a support network for women who do the difficult, often dangerous work to empower women worldwide---in the US.
• Sady Doyle explains why we still need a Feminist Coming-Out Day.
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Happy International Women's Day. And Now, For Some Bad News.
File Under: The C Is for Crank
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