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Ray Rice Video Causes Huge Spike In Calls To Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Domestic Violence Hotline has seen an 84 percent increase in phone calls in the two days since a video leaked of former NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in an elevator.

Katie Ray-Jones, the CEO of the hotline, said it normally receives 500 to 600 calls a day from domestic violence victims and their concerned friends or family members. But after the Rice video was circulated online Monday, the hotline received over 1,000 phone calls. The numbers continued to climb on Tuesday.

"We had an outpouring of women saying, ‘Oh my god, I didn’t realize this happened to other people.’ They thought they were living a life that was very unique to them," Ray-Jones told The Huffington Post. "One woman called in who is married to a [mixed martial arts] fighter. She said, ‘I just saw that video, and I know my husband could do worse, and I need help."

Read more here. 

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The Very First Person Ever Declared Innocent By DNA Evidence Has A Little Something To Say

Imagine you’re minding your own business, having dinner with your spouse. And a few months later, you’re convicted, sentenced to die, and housed with the hardest criminals that walk the earth.

And you’re innocent.

Paycheck Fairness Act Advances in Senate, But GOP Remains Opposed

The U.S. Senate voted 73-25 on Wednesday to move forward procedurally with the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure that would strengthen protections for women against gender-based pay discrimination.

Senate Republicans blocked the bill when it first came up in April. That action prompted President Obama to sign an executive order granting similar fair-pay protections to employees of federal contractors.

Republicans let the bill move to floor debate this time, but that doesn’t mean they will let it pass. They also refrained from blocking a Constitutional amendment to repeal the Citizens United Supreme Court decision on campaign finance this week, but neither the bill nor the amendment are remotely popular with the GOP.

Read more here. via rhrealitycheck

Michigan Lawmakers Look to ‘Deal With The Aftermath’ of the ‘Hobby Lobby’ Decision

Michigan legislators introduced a bill Wednesday that would require employers to notify all current and prospective employees about whether the company’s insurance plan covers contraceptives.

SB 1044, called the Reproductive Health Coverage Information Act, would require notification of contraceptive coverage to all prospective employees in writing before an offer letter is given, and in any job posting. If the employer is a corporation, the bill requires that the scope of reproductive health coverage offered detailed on the corporation’s website.

If the new legislation were to pass, employers would have to give 90 days written notice to employees when changing the reproductive health coverage.

The Reproductive Health Coverage Information Act is designed to “deal with the aftermath” of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, according to a statement on the website of state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, a sponsor of the bill.

Read more here. via rhrealitycheck

Texas’ Radical Anti-Abortion Law Faces Hearing Friday

Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2, continues to wind its way through the legal system two weeks after a district court judge found the law unconstitutional.

On Friday, a federal appeals court will hear arguments filed by the Texas attorney general’s office to block afederal district court decision from late August. That ruling found unconstitutional a provision of HB 2 that would require every licensed abortion facility in the state to meet the building requirements of an ambulatory surgical center (ASC).

District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled in August that the provision places an undue burden on women’s right to choose abortion and blocked the state from enforcing the law.

Immediately after the ruling, Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit arguing it should be allowed to enforce the requirement as it appeals the merits of Judge Yeakel’s decision.

Read more here via rhrealitycheck

This Week in Reproductive Justice

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This Week in Reproductive Justice is a weekly round-up of what is happening in reproductive rights, reproductive health, and other topics related to reproductive justice. Compiled by Teddy Wilson, a reporter who covers reproductive rights for RH Reality Check. Follow him on Twitter: @txindyjourno

State Sen. Wendy Davis has grabbed headlines across the country for her dramatic and heart-rending disclosures, contained in a new memoir, about an abortion that came late in her 1997 pregnancy. The discussion is shedding light on a provision in the restrictive abortion legislation she tried in vain to stop last year — the part that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, including in many cases when there are fetal abnormalities.

Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2, continues to wind its way through the legal system two weeks after a district court judge found the law unconstitutional.

A Pennsylvania mother has been sentenced to serve 12 to 18 months in prison for ordering abortion-inducing medication online to help her daughter terminate a pregnancy

Several Republican candidates for Senate have embraced an unorthodox issue as the midterm election approaches — support for over-the-counter birth control pills.

The Missouri legislature voted to override a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) of legislation that will force women seeking to terminate a pregnancy to wait 72 hours until they can receive abortion care.

San Francisco might become the first city to explicitly condemn sex-selective abortion bans, if a resolution introduced Tuesday passes through the city’s Board of Supervisors.

Michigan legislators introduced a bill this week that would require employers to notify all current and prospective employees about whether the company’s insurance plan covers contraceptives.

After Republicans filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) earlier in this session, the Senate has now voted 73-25 to allow the bill to move forward to a debate.

A family should have the same right as a small business to opt out of birth control coverage in its health care plan, the lawyer for a Missouri legislator argued this week before a federal appeals court.

Challengers to the Obama administration’s latest attempt to accommodate the objections to the contraception coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act announced this week they were pressing ahead with their legal challenges to the rule.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the advocacy arm of the largest group of OB-GYNs in the country, is warning political candidates against endorsing a birth policy without advocating for other important methods of protecting women’s health, like supporting Obamacare.

Planned Parenthood is now making house calls. The agency announced this week that it has launched a pilot project in Minnesota and Washington state for clients to get birth control services online and soon will be adding counseling for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that includes a mail-order, do-it-yourself treatment kit for those who need it.

Domestic violence is more costly than warfare, in terms of both lives lost and dollars spent, according to a new report that says the issue is largely overlooked.

Human rights organizations, academia, and other civil society groups in the Philippines and abroad, have expressed frustration about the serious and widespread human rights violations against women resulting from the Philippines’ harsh criminal ban on abortion and the missed opportunity to address it in revisions to the country’s criminal code.

We need a national conversation about transphobia, which dehumanizes, demeans and disadvantages a specific group of people. This is a feminist issue on two levels. First, like racism and homophobia, transphobia grows out of and helps perpetuate the same patriarchal ideology that dictates women’s subordination as second-class citizens. Second, transphobia disproportionately harms women.
- Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, standing up for the inclusion of trans women under the feminist umbrella in an op-ed on Huffington Post.

(via projectqueer)

BARE REALITY: 100 women and their breasts by Laura Dodsworth

100 women bare their breasts alongside intimate, honest, courageous and moving stories about their breasts and their lives.

Find out more and support this project at its kickstarter page here

Read about the women in the above photographs here

Read about the woman behind the project here

It set a national standard, and it gave it the importance and the money and the funding needed to change policing and enforcement, and really to put national muscles behind the efforts to reduce violence against women.