Category Archives: Law

Women’s suffrage (on paper)

On this day in history, 95 years ago, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed a proclamation amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee a woman’s right to vote — after a fashion — with the signing of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. But let’s not forget that Alice Paul’s statement that “all women must feel a great sense of triumph” wasn’t necessarily accurate. Continue reading

Posted in History, Law, Politics, Race & Ethnicity, Racism | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Investigations reveal that no, seriously, Planned Parenthood isn’t selling baby parts

Recently, I disassembled accusations that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts. (My argument was basically, “No, both Planned Parenthood and just about everyone in the medical field who knows anything about tissue research and donation agree that Planned Parenthood isn’t selling baby parts, and here’s supporting data.”) Following multiple independent investigations, however, it was revealed Friday that… Planned Parenthood still isn’t selling baby parts. Continue reading

Posted in Health, Law, Medicine, Politics, Reproductive Rights | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

No, Planned Parenthood isn’t selling baby parts, and here’s why the lie is so toxic.

The anti-choice narrative since Planned Parenthood’s inception has been that PP has been ghoulishly profiting off of abortions, both by dragging in huge amounts of cash for the procedure and (as is currently under discussion) selling baby parts for exorbitant prices. First of all, I have to inject some basic common sense: If you’re hearing rumors that gloriously satisfy your hate-on for an organization while simultaneously sounding like a late-season plot of Charmed, they’re probably not entirely, or even a little bit, valid. “They sell and/or eat dead babies” has been a charge, throughout history, lobbed against the Chinese, Jewish, pagan, and so many other marginalized people, and never substantiated because people don’t do that. Even the people you’d really, really like to paint as monsters.

Anyway. Continue reading

Posted in Class, Health, Law, Medicine, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Amnesty International, CATW, a bunch of celebrities, and decriminalization

[Content note: sex trafficking and sexual abuse]

Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Lena Dunham, Emily Blunt, and numerous other celebrities, along with former sex workers and victims of sex trafficking and women’s rights advocates, have signed a letter from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) criticizing a policy currently under discussion within Amnesty International. The policy, which Amnesty plans to introduce at a meeting in Dublin in August, promotes decriminalization of sex work to protect sex workers’ rights, health, and safety. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Class, Crime, Discrimination, Law, Sex, Sexual Assault, Work | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Nigeria bans female genital mutilation

[Content note: female genital mutilation (obviously)]

A new ban, passed in May and signed into law by outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan, outlaws female genital mutilation in Nigeria. The practice was banned worldwide by the U.N. in 2012 and already outlawed in several states within Nigeria, but the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 represents a nationwide commitment to the ban. The new law also outlaws abandonment of spouse and/or dependents without financial support, and battery. Continue reading

Posted in Gender, Health, Law | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Love Wins: Same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court passed down its ruling on the question of same-sex marriage: By a 5-4 decision, states are required to license same-sex marriages and to honor marriages of same-sex couples from other states. Their ruling in Obergfell v. Hodges calls on the Fourteenth Amendment’s preservation of fundamental liberties and equal protection for all citizens. Continue reading

Posted in GLBTQ, Law, Marriage | 3 Comments

Quick hit: Driskell v. Teh Gheys et al

Nebraska woman Sylvia Ann Driskell is suing every Homosexual (a.k.a. Gay) in the whole world for breaking “religious and moral laws.” There now exists a lawsuit on the books called Driskell v. Homosexuals. We live in a world where that lawsuit exists. Continue reading

Posted in GLBTQ, Law, Religion | Tagged | 15 Comments

One Alabama lawmaker proposes just getting the courts out of the marriage business

With Alabama’s recent, brief, chaotic attempt at marriage equality in mind, Republican Sen. Greg Albritton has proposed Senate Bill 377 to “bring order out of chaos,” he says. Under the proposed law, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in April, the probate’s office would no longer issue marriage licenses — in fact, couples wouldn’t need licenses at all to get married. Continue reading

Posted in GLBTQ, Law, Marriage | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on One Alabama lawmaker proposes just getting the courts out of the marriage business

Links: In, around, and about Baltimore (Updated 5/1)

In the wake of Freddie Gray’s death from injuries mysteriously sustained while in police custody two weeks ago, and following his funeral yesterday, people in Baltimore have protested — some of it peaceful, much of it, as of Monday afternoon, violent, and with staggering consequence. Now, as the community comes back out into their neighborhoods, peaceful protesters continue to gather to voice their frustrations, and a lot of other people have things to say, too. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Law, Racism | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Cop who killed Rekia Boyd acquitted of all charges

Chicago police detective Dante Servin has been found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Rekia Boyd. A Cook County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Porter ruled that the state had failed to prove recklessness on Servin’s part after he fired his unregistered handgun over his shoulder from inside his car into a dark alley, hitting Boyd in the back of the head. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Law, Racism | Tagged | 11 Comments

Privacy Matters: the Personal, the Public and the Police

Digby at Hullabaloo notes that occasionally even David Brooks can be correct: privacy for normal citizens going around their everyday personal, family and community lives is essential for our very sanity, which is why the question of government agencies monitoring our every keystroke is such an important question of liberty. But as Brooks points out in his NYT op-ed and as Digby elucidates further, privacy for police officers on duty is a very different question. Continue reading

Posted in Law, relationships | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The report is out on Rolling Stone‘s handling of the UVA rape story, and it’s understandably awful

On November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone published a lengthy and damning piece on the handling of sexual assault on college campuses, centering around a University of Virginia student, pseudonymously identified as “Jackie,” and her alleged gang-rape by members of one of the school’s fraternities. It was striking and stomach-turning — the attack, the response from fellow students, the response (or, more accurately, lack thereof) by university administration depicted in that story. It was also, the world would later learn, almost entirely unsubstantiated. A new report by the Columbia School of Journalism, commissioned by Rolling Stone back in December, meticulously outlines those mistakes. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Media & Media Literacy, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 84 Comments