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Here's this week's installment of updates from the War on Women. I may not be around when it posts, but will check in later.

I don't have an action heading this week. All the actions coming my way have been about Syria and hunger, and though both of these subjects affect women and children, the actions have not focused on them. Please share any relevant actions in the comments.

Reproductive Health

Two more Planned Parenthood clinics close in Texas. The two provided abortions as well as other services. In both clinics, the doctors were unable to get admitting privileges at local hospitals, a requirement for clinics under the new law that takes effect later this year.

The Broad Side has a weekly review of abortion headlines. This week it includes a story from Iowa. where an investigation of the use of tele-medicine in abortions, though there have been no complaints from doctors or patients. The state is seeking a ban of the practice, but only for its use in medication abortion. Another story has the New York Times running a wedding announcement in which a decision to have an abortion early in the relationship was included in the couple's history.

Linda Greenhouse discusses the next abortion case likely to come before the Supreme Court, Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice. The case concerns an Oklahoma law that the medicines used for medication abortions be used only following the rules approved by the FDA. The protocols have been changed since the drugs first appeared, both in dosage, and in the second pill often being given to women to take at home. The article is full of detail, and focuses largely on Justice Kennedy.

Our Kossack Tamar writes for The Broad Side, and in this article tells how her family decided not to travel to Ireland after a tourist died because she could not get a medically necessary abortion until the baby's heartbeat stopped.

Violence Against Women

Aji has written two difficult diaries about violence against Indian women. If you remember, one of the new additions to the Violence Against Women Act said that when white men committed violent crimes on reservations, they could be subject to tribal courts. An amendment offering appeals to the state was rejected, and apparently whites continue to have no restraints of law on reservations.

Ariel Castro was found dead in his cell. His death is being investigated. Castro was the man who had kept three women locked up in his house for ten years.

Rape Culture

Remember the Montana judge who sentenced a teacher accused of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl to 15 years with all suspended except for 31 days? Well, apparently Montana has a two-year minimum sentence for rape. A District Court judge will hear the case on 9/6 (does anyone know what happened?).

"In the Court's opinion, imposing a sentence which suspends more than the mandatory minimum would be an illegal sentence," Baugh wrote.

From the Washington Post:

After four days and more than 20 hours of relentless questions about her medical history and motivations, her dance moves and underwear, the 21-year-old midshipman who has accused three former Naval Academy football players of raping her pleaded on Saturday for a day off from testimony. It was granted by the hearing’s presiding officer but not before the request triggered more skepticism from defense attorneys, who said the young woman was faking her exhaustion.

What happens when authorities who are starting an anti-rape campaign aimed at teens doesn't listen to the teens in the focus group?

The teenage defendant in the Delhi bus rape/murder of a 23-year-old woman was found guilty, and sentenced to three years, the maximum for juveniles. Four of the adults are still in trial; the fifth was found hanged in his cell. They face the death penalty.

Women and War

We used depleted uranium in Fallujah during the Iraq War. Now birth defects are rampant, including some only seen in textbooks previously. This article talks of young women afraid to have babies because of this, and shows painful photos (not of the children, thankfully) of the immediate aftermath of using these weapons.

I introduce this category because women and children are gravely affected by war. The refugee problem cause by the Syrian civil war is of crisis proportions, and causing trouble in Turkey and Jordan. This country does not take in Syrian refugees. All this must be considered before we take any other than humanitarian action there.

Cultural Issues

Women of the Wall is an organization of Israeli women fighting for the right to pray at one of Judaism's most holy sites - the Wailing Wall. The Wall is controlled by ultra-Orthodox Jews who restrict women to a separate area from men, and to silent prayer. Egalitarian Jews of both sexes are working to end this. They hold services at the New Moon, where haredim call them names, spit on them, throw things, etc. They use prayer shawls and tefillim (leather boxes worn by men at morning prayers), and read from Torah scrolls, which the haredim forbid to women.

I own to being guilty of sometimes saying "hey, guys" to mixed groups. This article is an interesting look at the implications of using "guys" when talking to women.

Are relationships a zero-sum game? What's up with this?

And finally, I wanted to see what our foremother Kaili Joy Grey, aka Angry Mouse, was up to. I went to Wonkette, and recognized her voice in this post before I saw her name.

Originally posted to This Week in the War on Women on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 12:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism.

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