Governor Brewer is back in the spotlight once again. She has signed a bill to prevent funding to Planned Parenthood and by signing that bill she has single handedly attempted to prevent health services to low income women, men and teens.
Arizona is already one of the most restrictive states when it comes to abortion laws. They have enacted the 20-week maximum limit, require women to consult a doctor right before having an abortion and have limited the types of abortions that nurse practitioners are allowed to perform. Now, a new law aimed at limiting it even further has just been passed that will have further-reaching consequences than just dealing with abortion.
The Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act bans all health providers from receiving state funding if they in any way perform or are associated with those who perform abortions. This limitation to state funding does not just pull from abortions, but also from every other health-related service that these facilities provide. Family planning, birth control, sex education, cancer screenings, counseling and other general care services will all suffer.
Russia is known more for its highly religious population and legacy of hard-line communist rule than for civil rights. Both the Russian government and its people have a history of notoriously anti-gay sentiments. The recent mayor of Moscow has expressed his belief that Gay Pride parades are satanic and a recent poll showed that 74 percent of Russians believe that those who practice LGBT lifestyle are either “amoral” or “mentally defective.” This does create an environment that is conducive to making progress in the realm of rights for this minority of Russian society. Until 1993, being gay was considered a crime, but even now that it has been legalized there are still many hurdles to overcome.
In my state, there’s plenty of discrimination. One form of discrimination that is most heinous is that you can get FIRED for simply being gay; it’s not illegal in any sense. The “Don’t Say Gay” bill that Missourians are considering right now—another blow to both my heart and my growing sense of humiliation—is a reflection of just how much my state considers LGBT citizens to be less than people.
Newt Gingrich is out – well, mostly. He announced that he would suspend his campaign and through his ginormous ego and support behind Mitt Romney. Wait…is this the same Newt who vowed to stay in the Republican presidential contest right up to the national convention in late August? Yes, the very same. So the question is, why now? Did Gingrich finally grasp the reality that his campaign shut down months ago? Or was it something else?
There is a movement in several states to pass as many laws as possible and make them as restrictive as possible in order to prevent women from being able to get abortions easily. This type of legislation has been passing left and right in recent years. Just a few examples of what some states are implementing include requiring ultrasounds or counseling, banning abortions after a certain number of weeks, removing funding from public abortion services such as those provided by Planned Parenthood and closing abortion clinics outright. Some of these restrictions are so tough that it makes it nearly impossible for women to get the procedure without jumping through a thousand hoops.
Normally one of the worst enemies of rights for those in the LGBT community, religion is taking a turn for the better as spiritual leaders in Maine seek to help reverse the 2009 decision which blocked the ability of same-sex couples to get married. In order to help them win this battle, they are taking a different approach to the situation. They are using faith-based arguments to help sway other religious voters that gay marriage is not something that is directly opposed by the teachings of the Bible.
We are now considering HB 2051, a bill that would ban the discussion of sexual orientation in public schools. Not only would this bill help encourage the stereotypes and hatred that lead to the bullying behavior that’s already occurring; it would also ban Gay-Straight Alliances and other organizations within schools that are often the only places that these teens have to turn to. It’s almost as if Missouri politicians want to encourage further bullying and suicides.