Thousands of people attended weekly “Moral Monday” protests at the North Carolina state capital this year, speaking up against voter ID laws, for protecting abortion access, and for decreasing income inequality. Now they have a soundtrack: a group of North Carolina artists have put together an album inspired by the protests called We Are Not For Sale.
• On Wednesday, the Michigan legislature passed a bill that bans private insurance plans from covering abortions. Women can buy extra coverage for unplanned pregnancies that many are calling "rape insurance", but Jessica Valenti argues that this phrase creates a hierarchy of good and bad abortions that limits reproductive justice for all women. [The Nation]
• Queers for Economic Justice, a progressive non-profit organization that has been dedicated to addressing poverty and inequality through a lens of sexual and gender liberation, has announced that they will be closing due to lack of funds, and they urge their supporters to continue the fight for justice. [Queers for Economic Justice]
At times, it can seem like the best way to get good treatment from the government is to be a corporation. Since corporations are people and have free speech thanks to the Citizens United decision, do they have any other rights normally afforded to human citizens? Depending on what the Supreme Court decides in coming months, corporations may have the right to decide their employees’ birth control choices.
Despite the fact that 99 percent of U.S. women will use birth control in their lifetime, contraception is still somehow controversial to many politicians. Just look at the Republicans throwing a fit to defend the right to deny women access to getting birth control through their employer’s health insurance.
Photo of a Texas pro-choice protester by Mirsasha (Creative Commons)
After a three-day trial, a Texas judge ruled today that a key section of the state’s controversial slate of abortion-rights restriction laws is unconstitutional. The laws, which thousands of Texans filled the state Capitol to protest or support last summer, were set to go into effect at midnight tonight.
Lizz Winstead is a prolific comedian. First off, she's the co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show. She left months before Jon Stewart became the host (but not before discovering Stephen Colbert) and went on to co-found Air America Radio and hosted the show Unfiltered with Chuck D and Rachel Maddow. In May 2012, she published a book of biographical essays, Lizz Free or Die, that chronicle her life growing up in a Catholic family in Minnesota, getting an abortion at age 17, becoming a stand-up comedian, and moving to New York to revolutionize the way Americans see the news.
Winstead is coming to Portland, Oregon this Saturday to speak at NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon’s Annual Choice Gala. She took time to talk with me over the phone on Monday about her history, Twitter fights, and how comedians have become the watchdogs of media.
As of August, the emergency contraception pill Plan B is supposed to be available over the counter for women of all ages. This 20-minute show investigates whether that's actually true. Meet the Native American activists pushing to make emergency contraception accessible to all women. Plus, we secretly shop for Plan B in pharmacies around Portland, Oregon.
• 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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