There aren’t many things Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) doesn’t believe to be unconstitutional. While it probably would not be possible to count every essential law or program that violates Lee’s tenther understanding of the Constitution, a short list includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, FEMA, the FDA, federal income assistance for the poor and national child labor laws.
So it’s really not that much of a surprise that he found yet another law he thinks is unconstitutional today. This time, it’s the entire Violence Against Women Act.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) broke down in tears today on the floor of the Senate while discussing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Franken, who has been a staunch advocate for domestic violence victims, got emotional discussing women who face homelessness after being abused. “Once a woman becomes homeless, she becomes even more vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse,” he said. Watch it:[HERE]
While we distract ourselves with the title of the "War on Women" or debate, the facts of legislation impacting women's health are happening. Saturday 4/28, rally at your state capital to let your voice be heard...louder than all that PAC, Super PAC and other campaign money being lavished on your representatives.
The UNITE WOMEN MARCH is only two days away. Will you be at a rally on April 28th in your state, or do you still have reservations about the value of this action? The "wet blanket team" is out, so let's talk about what is real and what is fiction when it comes to the challenges American women face today.
The national anti-abortion-rights group behind Virginia’s controversial ultrasound bill last week released seven new bills it plans to push through state legislatures this year.
For the seventh year in a row, Americans United for Life, a national law and policy group based in Washington, D.C., will publish a collection of what it calls “trend-setting” state-based legislation aimed at adding as many restrictions as possible to abortion. In the last year, governors across the country have signed 28 of these model bills into law, according to AUL.
Some people think about joining revolutions. Others start them. And American women, it seems, are ready to ignite enough revolutionary flames -- large and small -- to set the whole world on fire.
On Saturday, April 28th, the Unite Women March, will take place in every state across America. This incredible event is happening because two extraordinarily ordinary working women got mad about a lot of things, especially how women are being treated in this country. Instead of just complaining on the phone to each other and letting their passions fade away right there, they started something that is no less than revolutionary.
In the latest example of aggressive debt collector tactics, an Illinois woman found herelf jailed over a bill she didn’t even owe in the first place.
Breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay of Herrin, Illinois was put in debtors' prison over a $280 medical bill that was sent to her by accident, the Associated Press reports (h/t The Daily Mail). Even after Lindsay was told she didn't have to pay the bill, it was sent to a collection agency. Eventually state troopers took her from her home in handcuffs. Lindsay ended up having to pay $600 to settle the charges.
Episodes like Lindsay’s are becoming increasingly common as the number of debts referred to third-party collection agencies has doubled since 2000. Because one third of U.S. states currently allow debtors to be imprisoned, thousands of Americans have been jailed because they can't pay their bills. [more]
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) shocked the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence this week when he vetoed $1.5 million in funding for 30 rape crisis centers in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Three female Democratic leaders in Wisconsin are demanding an explanation from Gov. Scott Walker (R) of why he repealed a law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court. [MORE]
Two members of congress are calling for the Secret Service to increase the number of female agents. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Senator Susan Collins spoke out about the importance of women in the Secret Service in light of the recent scandal in Colombia in which agents were accused of misconduct involving prostitutes. Paula Reid, a Secret Service supervisor, has been commended for her role in the crackdown on the agents. [MORE]
The Feminist Majority applauds the Senate's vote today to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The VAWA reauthorization bill passed by the Senate on a 68 to 31 vote today is the first to include access to law enforcement and services for Native American women, better access for immigrant women who fear deportation if they report violence, and better access for LGBT victims. [MORE]
As many Senate Republicans prepare to defend their opposition to reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, a visibly annoyed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) delivered a floor speech Thursday morning expressing his support for the bill. He also accused Democrats of fabricating the so-called GOP "War on Women" as a political tactic.
"Women and men are no different in their rights and responsibilities," he said. "I believe this legislation recognizes that. I don’t believe the ludicrous, partisan posturing that has conjured up this imaginary war does."
Help defend women's rights and pursuit of equality. Join Americans all across the United States on April 28th, 2012, as we come together as one to tell members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators in all 50 states, "Enough is enough!"
UniteWomen.org strongly supports diversity and welcomes men and women of all ages without regard to their race, color, creed, political affiliation, disability, religious or spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, education or income level, marital status, employment status, or immigrant status. Everyone is invited to join, plan, and rally as we unite to demand that every person be granted equal opportunities, equal rights, and equal representation.
Marches & Rallies are happening Nationwide on 04.28.12! Find your local event by clicking your state on the map. [MORE]
Jose Guitierrez Erika Andiola Eric Byler team up to bring you the first Coffee Party Immigration for America Radio Show 7pm Pacific tonight.
Jose Guitierrez, Erika Andiola, and Eric Byler team up to bring you the first Coffee Party "Immigration for America" Radio Show.
We'll be talking about the DREAM Act and the fate of Arizona's SB 1070, now in the hands of the US Supreme Court.
Guests in the 2nd hour will be Anida Yoeu Ali and Masahiro Sugano, makers of the outstanding video MY ASiAN AMERICANA telling the story of Americans wrongly deported to Cambodia.
In the coming years, we have an opportunity to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform that would address the many injustices that have hurt immigrant families, hurt our economy, and hurt our country since the current wave of anti-immigrant hysteria and political opportunism was initiated.
As Mitt Romney courts Marco Rubio for the Vice Presidential nod, and as Rubio and others formulate a GOP version of the DREAM Act, it’s clear that Republicans are feeling some buyer’s remorse with regard to the anti-Hispanic electioneering we saw during each of the past two presidential primaries, and for the embracing of policies manufactured by extremist lobbying syndicates such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) such as Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56. More and more each day, Americans are realizing that on the immigration issue and on many others, Republicans and Democrats have more in common with each other than either party has with extremists.
Leadership from folks who put the facts first and put partisanship aside will be crucial if we're to make progress on immigration. That's where the Coffee Party comes in. Let's get to work!
How far are the Catholic bishops willing to go with their crackdown on reproductive health? Just ask a teenage girl forced into prostitution.
By Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones
Thanks to legislation authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the federal government spends millions of dollars each year to help human trafficking victims recover. Since 2006 virtually all of the money has gone to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the church's leadership in Washington. But in September the Obama administration declined to renew the contract. It wanted to ensure that victimized women had access to full reproductive health care, and the bishops had forbidden the grant money to be used for services they deemed immoral.
The federal program to help trafficking victims owes its existence to the advocacy of an unusual coalition of evangelical, feminist, and human rights groups in the 1990s....
...After a bidding process in which USCCB was one of two organizations vying for the money, it ended up with all of the $19 million dedicated for trafficking victim services from 2006 through 2011.*
The bishops took about a third of the money for administrative costs. With the rest, they paid subcontractors around the country to provide services—on the church's terms. Subcontractors could not discuss contraception or abortion, or even use staff time to refer clients for such services, on the church's dime. (It is illegal to use federal money to pay for abortion except in the most extreme cases, but before the bishops took over, the funding could go toward providing abortion information and referrals.) [MORE]
Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., who joined Pelosi in introducing the [Violence Against Women] legislation, said, “Violence against women is as American as apple pie.”
“Domestic violence has been a thread throughout my personal life — up to and including being a child repeatedly sexually assaulted, up to and including being an adult who’s been raped.”
“This law has helped ensure that more victims report domestic violence to the police, that the rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has been decreased by 53 percent, in that period of time,” she said. “Rape crisis centers have been able to keep their doors open [and] law enforcement and victims’ services providers are working together to better meet the needs of victims.”
“Unfortunately violence is not limited to just Democrats or just Republicans or just blacks or just whites,” Moore, the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus, said. “It’s not limited to heterosexual relationships, but there are relationships of all kinds that are exposed to domestic violence.”
Do lesbians count as "abused women" if they are beaten by a woman instead of a man? Should gay men be protected from violent partners? What about illegal-immigrant women, who were born elsewhere but hit, raped or stalked on U.S. soil? Or Native American women?
Those are the questions at the heart of the growing controversy that has taken reauthorization of the iconic Violence Against Women Act from easy-to-pass legislation to partisan bomb material in an election year that favors fights over compromise, no matter what the issue may be.
It’s a risky year on Capitol Hill to ask for more than you know you can get and, in the end, Democrats will have to decide if pushing to expand the Violence Against Women Act was worth the chance of losing the fight altogether. At the same time, Republicans will have to answer to the women and men trying to escape domestic abuse, who may never receive the help they need because they are not the right kind of victim in the eyes of today’s laws and the politicians who write them.
For the eleventh #HERvotes blog carnival, we’re joining together to urge the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Domestic violence results in over two million injuries every year. Three women die every day in the United States as the result of domestic violence. Since the passage of VAWA in 1994, the rate of intimate partner violence has declined by 67%. VAWA provides services to victims of violence and has improved the criminal justice response to violence against women.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed a mandatory ultrasound bill into law last month, which will require all women who have an abortion in the state to have an ultrasound first, after backing off his earlier support for a more far-reaching version of the bill that would have required a more invasive ultrasound.
Despite his opposition to “invasive” TSA pat-downs, McDonnell still agreed with requiring women to undergo an additional medical prodecure because they “have a right to know” all available medical information before making a decision.
Despite prohibitory orders, hundreds of women gathered at the Kudankulam nuclear plant site to protest against the plant. Many protesters were arrested. The women say they fear for the lives of their children and will not allow any work at the nuclear plant.
"After Fukushima, these mothers do no not think the plant is worth the risk at any price." [MORE]