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.
• Writer Olivia Messer details the widespread, daily sexism that's part of the culture of the Texas capitol. [Texas Observer]
• A four-part series in the Cleveland Plain-Dealerdigs into unsolved rape cases from the city and finds that not all rapes were investigated equally—whether police took each case seriously depended a lot on race and age. [Cleveland Plain-Dealer]
• No surprise, but abstinence-only sex-ed cirricula are full of gender stereotypes so bad that they would be hilarious if they weren't actually being taught in schools. For example: "Women need affection while men need sexual fulfillment; women need conversation while men need recreational companionship." [RH Reality Check]
• To kick off Pride Week, Vancouver, BC installs permanent rainbow crosswalks in one of its fanciest neighborhoods. Some LGBT advocates say that's great, but it might be better to put rainbow crosswalks in affordable neighborhoods, too. [Straight]
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• A Comic-Con panel titled "Women Who Kick Ass," featuring The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira, Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff, Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany, and Machete Kills' Michelle Rodriguez, started off promisingly. But as soon as Rodriguez mentioned "destructive male culture," sexism began stirring in the audience. [Racebending]
Laws restricting abortion rights have recently swept the country like a flood—legislatures in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin have all launched into high-profile debates over abortion-rights rollbacks in the past month.
There have been so many political fights over abortion access this week in the US that it has been overwhelming to try and keep up on what's happening where. in case you haven't been able to keep straight which douchebags are restricting rights in which states, exactly, here's a quick rundown of what's new in reproductive rights issues this week.
The process was an hours-long rhetorical tug-of-war, as opponents and proponents worked to frame the debate in their own linguistic terms. In many ways in this national debate, the data around abortion means far less than the story.
• Today is a big day in Texas, where Governor Rick Perry called a second special session of the legislature, just to take another vote on a bill (now called SB9) that will restrict abortion rights in the state and shut down many clinics. Here's information on the protest at the Capitol, plus background on the bill. [Jessica Luther]