• The National Center for Transgender Equality released a new report highlighting the challenges of transgender immigrants. [Colorlines]
• According to the head of animation on the new Disney princess movie Frozen, animating female characters is super hard because they need to have emotions and look pretty. Here's the quote: “Animating female characters are really, really difficult, ’cause they have to go through these range of emotions, but they’re very, very — you have to keep them pretty and they’re very sensitive to — you can get them off a model very quickly. So, having a film with two hero female characters was really tough, and having them both in the scene and look very different if they’re echoing the same expression.” [The Mary Sue]
• Ohio’s abortion restrictions are an example of the pro-life incremental strategy: pushing the boundaries of Supreme Court guidelines without technically violating them. And it’s working: only 11 clinics remain in Ohio, and some more may be forced to close. [NYT]
• All-star young adult author Malinda Lo has put together an annual report on LGBT characters in young adult books. This year, she found more YA books had LGBT characters—but fewer of them were published by the big mainstream publishers. Plus, there are significantly more male characters than female ones. [Malinda Lo]
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Photo: A still from Young Lakota, a documentary about women's activism in South Dakota.
“Every other race of women in this country has access to emergency contraceptives as an over-the-counter, except for native women,” says Charon Asetoyer, executive director of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center who is fighting to change that reality. Most press coverage celebrating recent changes to federal law around Plan B have left at least one group behind: Native Americans. That's why Native American activists are still pushing the slow-moving bureaucracy at the Indian Health Service to make Plan B available over-the-counter for women of all ages. And while progress is being made, challenges to accessing emergency contraception remain in Native communities, where high rates of sexual assault make the need particularly dire.
In collaboration with the radio journalists at Making Contact, I put together an audio story about Native women pushing for emergency contraception access. The story will be featured in our podcast coming out later this week, but you can listen to it now or read the transcript below.
• Why are there still so few women in science? One of the first two women to ever receive a physics degree from Yale investigates why there's a persistent gender gap in who gets advanced science degrees. [New York Times]
• Actress Lupita Nyong'o discusses how she dealt with the violence of her role as a slave in the new film 12 Years a Slave. [Colorlines]
• Marvel is running a contest based on Thor's Jane Foster: they give high school girls the tools to find and interview professional women in STEM industries, then offer a prize for the best video about the girls' love of science, career hopes, and experience talking to their new mentor. [The Mary Sue]
• Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Iowa for quietly banning the largest telemedicine abortion program in the country, a service that primarily serves low-income and rural women who can't make an in-office visit. [ThinkProgress]
• The NYC Girls Project aims to show young girls that their value comes from "their character, skills, and attributes – not appearance." [NYT]
The Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health is pushing primary care doctors to ask every woman one extra question when they see her for a regular checkup: "Do you want to become pregnant in the next year?"