Fox News Commentator Says Women Should Stick To Raising Children

Fox News Commentator Says Women Should Stick To Raising Children.

By Annie-Rose Strasser on May 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson earned himself a lot of detractors Wednesday night when, responding to the news that a record number of families rely on women’s income, he argued on Fox News that it was “natural” for men to take the “dominant role” and that women being the primary breadwinner for families is “hurting our children, and it’s going to have impact for generations to come.”
But Erickson stood by his comments on Thursday, first tweeting, “Husbands and wives should play complimentary roles w/ dad as breadwinner,” and then penning a longer piece on the site he edits, Red State, making the case for why women shouldn’t be the primary earner in a household. In it, he said that single mothers currently are able to handle parenting on their own solely because society “will subsidize their doing it all”:
In modern society we are not supposed to say such things about child rearing and families. In modern society we are not supposed to point out that children in a two-parent heterosexual nuclear household have a better chance at long term success in life than others. In modern society, we are supposed to applaud feminists who teach women they can have it all — that there is no gender identifying role and women can fulfill the role of husbands and fathers just as men do.[…]
Feminists and politicians on both sides of the aisle view these statements as insulting to single moms and antithetical to their support for gay marriage. What should be insulting to single moms is for society to tell them they can do it all and, in fact, will subsidize their doing it all. I know a number of wonderful, nurturing single mothers. They do as best they can. Most of them have wonderful children. But not one of them prefers to be a single mother.[…]
Actually, American society is far from subsidizing the lives of single mothers. In fact, compared to other wealthy nations, single mothers fare terribly in America. Twenty five percent of single parents hold low-wage jobs, and there is a huge wealth gap between dual parent and single parent homes. Single parents also suffer from the United States’ lack of paid parental leave, since when they are forced to leave the workforce to raise an infant, they lose their only source of income.
Erickson has a long history of making remarkably sexist, anti-woman remarks. Last year, he referred to an all-female line up of speakers at the Democratic National Convention as “The Vagina Monologues,” a comment that prompted over 100,000 people to call on CNN — where Erickson is a contributor — to fire him.

El Salvador Will Allow Dying Woman To End Her Pregnancy: ‘What Matters Is To Protect Beatriz’s Life’

El Salvador Will Allow Dying Woman To End Her Pregnancy: ‘What Matters Is To Protect Beatriz’s Life’.

By Tara Culp-Ressler on May 31, 2013 at 9:05 am

“Beatriz has the right to live. I respect reproductive rights.” (Credit: Amnesty International)
Beatriz, the 22-year-old El Salvadoran woman who needs an emergency abortion in order to survive, will now be allowed to end her pregnancy with a Caesarean section. On Thursday, El Salvador’s health minister approved the C-section procedure for the dying woman, whose health has increasingly worsened throughout her pregnancy.
“The medical team at the Maternity Hospital is ready to act immediately at the slightest sign of danger,” Health Minister Maria Isabel Rodriguez said on Thursday. “For me, what matters is to protect Beatriz’s life.”
Over the past three months, Beatriz’s life has hung in the balance as her deeply conservative country has refused to compromise its stringent abortion ban. In El Salvador, having an abortion is illegal under all circumstances and can result in up to 30 years in prison. Even though Beatriz is carrying a nonviable fetus — it will not be able to survive outside the womb for more than a few hours because it’s missing its brain — her government has continued to deny her the life-saving abortion that would prevent her from dying along with her fetus. On Wednesday, El Salvador’s Supreme Court refused to grant Beatriz an exception to the country’s abortion ban, and there didn’t seem to be much hope left for the pregnant woman who has begged for the chance to live for her 14-month-old son.
However, since Beatriz is now 26 weeks along in her pregnancy, her case is no longer subject to El Salvador’s abortion laws. The reproductive rights advocates who have taken up her case say that at this point, the country’s health ministry can decide on the best option to safeguard Beatriz’s health.
That’s exactly what El Salvador’s health minister has decided to do. Essentially, Beatriz will be given a different means to achieve the same ends. Rodriguez will sidestep the abortion controversy by allowing Beatriz to undergo a C-section surgery — which her fetus will likely not survive — instead of undergoing a less-invasive abortion procedure. The Health Department hasn’t yet decided when Beatriz will have her surgery, but she is now “going through all the medical exams” in order to prepare for it.
Independently of Rodriguez’s announcement that Beatriz may have a C-section, the highest human rights courts in the Americas ordered El Salvador on Thursday to provide Beatriz with the life-saving health care she needs. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has never before considered a case on abortion, but it stepped in this week to criticize El Salvador’s Supreme Court for its “cruel and callous” decision to deny Beatriz the right to terminate her doomed pregnancy. The Inter-American Court pointed out that forcing the ailing woman to continue carrying her fetus is “a potential death sentence for Beatriz.” The health minister’s decision ensures that El Salvador will be in compliance with the court’s order.
Fortunately, even in spite of her country’s draconian abortion laws, Beatriz’s life will hopefully be spared. But many women aren’t so lucky. Earlier this year, a woman died after being denied an abortion in an Irish Catholic hospital. Last year, a woman in the Dominican Republic died after she couldn’t get the abortion she needed to receive chemotherapy treatment. And around the world, an estimated 47,000 women die each year because they don’t have the access to safe reproductive health care.

Salvadoran Court Denies Abortion to Ailing Woman –

May 29, 2013

Salvadoran Court Denies Abortion to Ailing Woman


MEXICO CITY — El Salvador’s highest court on Wednesday denied an appeal from a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to be allowed to undergo an abortion, upholding the country’s strict law banning abortion under any circumstances.Beatriz, a 22-year-old woman who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her identity, has lupus and related complications that doctors say will get worse as the pregnancy, which is in its 26th week, continues, possibly leading to serious illness or even death.Her fetus, which has anencephaly, a severe birth defect in which parts of the brain and skull are missing, has almost no chance of surviving after birth, leading her doctors to urge an abortion to protect Beatriz’s health before it deteriorates further.But in a 4-to-1 ruling, the court cited the country’s legal “absolute impediment to authorize the practice of abortion,” and ruled that “the rights of the mother cannot be privileged over those” of the fetus.The court recognized that Beatriz has lupus, but it said that her disease was currently under control and that the threat to her life “is not actual or imminent, but rather eventual.”It ordered that her health continue to be closely monitored, saying that if complications arose that put her right to life in imminent danger doctors “could proceed with interventions.”While abortion is banned, doctors are allowed to induce premature birth if the mother is facing imminent risk, possibly saving the life of the mother and the baby at the same time, according to José Miguel Fortín Magaña, director of the Institute of Legal Medicine, which advises the court on medical issues.In the ruling, the court cited doctors as saying that “an eventual interruption of the pregnancy would not imply, much less have as an objective, the destruction of the fetus.”Beatriz’s lawyer, however, described the ruling as “misogynistic” because it placed the rights of a fetus with little chance of surviving after birth over the welfare of a sick woman who already has an infant boy to care for.“The court placed the life of the anencephalic baby over Beatriz’s life,” said Víctor Hugo Mata, one of her lawyers, speaking by phone from the Supreme Court. “Justice here does not respect the rights of women.”Last month, a group of doctors overseeing Beatriz’s care at the National Maternity Hospital sent a report to the Health Ministry arguing that as the pregnancy progressed, the risk of hemorrhaging, kidney failure and maternal death would increase.Legislation in the region, which has been home to some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws, has been loosening somewhat on the issue in recent years. Uruguay and Mexico City have legalized the procedure during the first trimester, while Colombia, Brazil and Argentina have relaxed restrictions in certain cases, including rape.But El Salvador, Chile and Nicaragua have made no exceptions, not even to save the life of the mother. Beatriz’s case has become a test to gauge how expansive the shift toward looser restrictions will be.“This has hit us like a bucket of cold water,” said Marta Maria Blandón, the Central America director for Ipas, a global abortion rights organization. “We had the hope that the state would take a more humane decision.”Anti-abortion groups in El Salvador praised the ruling. “Once again Salvadorans have given an example to the entire world that we defend the right to life of all human beings however small, poor, vulnerable or defenseless,” said Julia Regina de Cardenal, director of the foundation Yes to Life.  She said the group was willing to offer whatever help Beatriz needed, adding, “Abortion is a cruel and bloody murder in which not only does the child die but the mother is hurt physically and mentally.”It is up the Health Ministry to decide what steps to take next.  The health minister had said earlier that Beatriz could travel abroad for an abortion, although she does not have a visa to enter the United States and would have to obtain a special humanitarian one.But Mr. Mata said that the trip would pose risks to her health and that she should be treated in El Salvador. “There are many more cases like this,” he said. “There has to be an integrated solution.”Karla Zabludovsky reported from Mexico City, and Gene Palumbo from San Salvador. Elisabeth Malkin contributed reporting from Mexico City.


Tuesday, Women, Action & the Media, the Everyday Sexism Project and author/activist Soraya Chemaly launched a campaign to call on Facebook to take concrete, effective action to end gender-based hate speech on its site. Since then, participants sent over 60,000 tweets and 5000 emails, and our coalition has grown to over 100 women’s movement and social justice organizations.

Today, we are pleased to announce that Facebook has responded with a important commitment to refine its approach to hate speech. Facebook has admirably done more than most other companies to address this topic in regards to content policy. In a statement released today, Facebook addressed our concerns and committed to evaluating and updating its policies, guidelines and practices relating to hate speech, improving training for its content moderators and increasing accountability for creators of misogynist content.

Facebook has also invited Women, Action & the Media, The Everyday Sexism Project and members of our coalition to contribute to these efforts and be part of an ongoing conversation. As part of these efforts, we will work closely with Facebook on the issue of how Community Standards around hate speech are evaluated and to ensure best practices represent the interests of our coalition.

For details regarding Facebook’s response, please visit here.

Facebook has already been a leader on the internet in addressing hate speech on its service. We believe that this is the foundation for an effective working collaboration designed to confront gender-based hate speech effectively. Our mutual intent is to create safe spaces, both on and off-line. We see this as a vital and essential component to the valuable work that Facebook is doing to address cyber-bulling, harassment and real harm.

“It is because Facebook has committed to having policies to address these issues that we felt it was necessary to take these actions and press for that commitment to fully recognize how the real world safety gap experienced by women globally is dynamically related to our online lives,” explains Soraya Chemaly.

“We have been inspired and moved beyond expression by the outpouring of energy, creativity and support for this campaign from communities, companies and individuals around the world. It is a testament to the strength of public feeling behind these issues.” says Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project.

Jaclyn Friedman, executive director of Women Action and the Media (WAM!), said: “We are reaching an international tipping point in attitudes towards rape and violence against women. We hope that this effort stands as a testament to the power of collaborative action.”

We are hopeful that this moment will mark an historic transition in relation to media and women’s rights in which Facebook is acknowledged as a leader in fostering safer, genuinely inclusive online communities, setting industry precedents for others to follow.We look forward to collaborating with these communities on actions both big and small until we live in a world that’s safe and just for women and girls, and for everyone.

Pregnant, Sick and Pressing Salvadoran Abortion Law –

May 28, 2013


MEXICO CITY — Beatriz spends her days in a hospital room, anxiously watching her belly grow.Her doctors say she is inching along a high-risk pregnancy that could ultimately kill her, fraught with risks caused by lupus and other complications. The fetus itself has such a severe birth defect that it has almost no chance of surviving, they say, urging an end to the pregnancy to protect Beatriz’s health before it gets worse. But in El Salvador, where she lives, abortion is illegal under any circumstances.Now she is waiting for the Salvadoran Supreme Court to rule on her case, which has quickly become a focal point in a broad battle over abortion in Latin America, a largely conservative region where the Roman Catholic Church holds considerable sway.Long home to some of the world’s most stringent abortion laws, the region has begun experiencing a shift in recent years, with some nations loosening restrictions or even legalizing the procedure. Now Beatriz’s case is testing the limits of El Salvador’s law, one of the more ironclad bans the region still has, by challenging whether abortion should remain off limits even when the mother is at risk and the baby has little hope of survival.“I don’t want to die,” Beatriz, 22, said in a telephone interview, explaining her reason for seeking an abortion. “I want to be with my boy, taking care of him.”Advocates have adopted her cause to intensify a regional push to change abortion laws, arguing that her rights under international law are being violated: the fetus is not viable, the danger of serious illness or death is increasing as her pregnancy progresses, and she already has an infant child to care for. A group of United Nations human rights experts called on El Salvador’s government to grant “exceptions to its general prohibition, especially in cases of therapeutic abortion.”The Salvadoran church, by contrast, has argued that the baby’s malformation should not be met with a death sentence.“This case should not be used to legislate against human life,” read a statement from the Episcopal Conference of El Salvador.Several Latin American nations have softened their stances against abortion in recent years. Uruguay’s Senate approved a bill last year allowing women to have abortions during the first trimester for any reason, after an earlier move to legalize the procedure in Mexico City. Courts in Colombia, Brazil and Argentina have also loosened restrictions on some abortions, allowing them in certain cases like rape or when the fetus is expected to die.But a total ban on the procedure remains in El Salvador, Chile and Nicaragua. Doctors who perform abortions and mothers who request them can be sentenced to long prison terms. Under Salvadoran law, Beatriz, who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her identity, and her doctors could face up to eight years in prison if one is performed.A group of doctors at the National Maternity Hospital, where she is being treated, determined that Beatriz’s risk of serious illness or death increased as the pregnancy continued, and that the fetus would die. They suggested terminating the pregnancy. “We agree in what proceeds,” the doctors wrote in a report, “but we are all subject to the laws of this country.”In a letter addressed to the Supreme Court last month, Health Minister María Isabel Rodríguez described Beatriz’s situation as “grave maternal illness with a high probability of deterioration or maternal death.” Given the fatal prognosis of the fetus, “it is necessary to undertake a medical-legal approach urgently,” Ms. Rodríguez wrote.But the case has its medical detractors as well. José Miguel Fortín Magaña, director of the Institute of Legal Medicine, which evaluates medical issues for the Supreme Court, acknowledged Beatriz’s medical problems but said that her health was currently under control and that she was not in danger at the moment.“If someone has appendicitis, we have to remove the appendix, but we can’t say, ‘We’ll remove it now because maybe in the future there’ll be a problem,’ ” he said, arguing that when a mother was in more immediate peril, doctors would be allowed to induce a premature birth, possibly saving both the woman and the baby.Other nations have wrestled with the question of whether to prioritize the health of the mother or the fetus. In 2010, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ordered chemotherapy or radiation to protect the life of a Nicaraguan woman with metastatic cancer who was being denied treatment because she was pregnant.Last year in the Dominican Republic, a pregnant 16-year-old with cancer was denied chemotherapy for several weeks while doctors deliberated whether the drugs amounted to an induced abortion. The girl lost the baby and died herself after beginning treatment.Last month, the inter-American commission told the Salvadoran government to protect Beatriz’s life by following the doctor’s recommendations for an abortion, but the government has been waiting for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the matter.Beatriz is well aware that there is an international frenzy swirling around her, but it seems far from her mind — an abstraction compared with the palpable yearning to touch the young son she left behind in her rural village, three hours away.She says she believes abortions are almost always wrong, acceptable only when the mother is at risk.Her first pregnancy, in 2012, was fraught with complications, especially after the sixth month. Pre-existing lupus, an autoimmune disease, coupled with severe preeclampsia, a serious condition that leads to high blood pressure, forced her doctors to perform a premature Caesarean section. The baby remained in the hospital for over a month.Medical records show that, following her doctor’s advice, Beatriz had a sterilization procedure scheduled shortly after the birth. She did not show up.Then Beatriz found out she was pregnant again. Doctors told her the fetus had anencephaly, a birth defect in which the baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost all anencephalic babies die soon after birth.Beatriz testified at a two-day oral Supreme Court hearing two weeks ago, the first of its kind in the country’s history. During a cross-examination, Víctor Hugo Mata, Beatriz’s lawyer, asked her to remove her shawl. Standing in front of the judges, she uncovered her arms, chest and back to reveal lupus-related sores. Her lupus is under control now.Overwhelmed, she had to leave the chamber. The judges announced they would make a decision within 15 business days.Mr. Mata said that no matter what the Supreme Court ruled, doctors would probably have to remove the fetus as Beatriz enters her third — and riskiest — trimester. Several American hospitals have offered to perform an abortion, but Mr. Mata said this was an opportunity for El Salvador to modify its law.In a video posted on Vimeo this month, Beatriz asks that her doctors not be imprisoned “for what they may do to me.” The camera remains closed in on her small, spotted hands fidgeting on her thighs. Her burgeoning belly is covered with a red shirt.Gene Palumbo contributed reporting from San Salvador.

Mental Health Debate Personal For One Oregon Lawmaker » News » OPB

After last December’s mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut, Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon legislature called for increased funding for mental health care. Now, there’s a proposal under discussion that would expand such programs in a big way, but it remains caught up in a debate over how to fund it. And for one lawmaker, mental health care is a very personal issue.

You wouldn’t guess it by seeing her. But Oregon State Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward has multiple sclerosis. She controls it pretty well with medication. A lot of people know about it around the capitol. But there’s something about the Senator that none of her colleagues knew. At least, until a committee hearing on mental health in early April.

The Democratic lawmaker told her colleagues, onlookers and everyone watching the capitol video feed that she suffers from major depression. And has for the last 15 years.

“And I bet there’s a gazillion people who are looking at this right now and saying ‘really, really?'” Steiner Hayward said. “But I can tell you that if I go two days without taking my medication, I can’t walk in the door of this building. I can’t get up in the morning. I can’t take a shower. I can’t function as a normal human being.”

“So, stigma be damned, excuse my language. It’s no different that I have a biochemical disorder in my brain than my body’s choosing to attack my myelin and giving me multiple sclerosis. It’s genetic and it’s just like any other disease. And we gotta stop being afraid to say so publicly. And I’m doing that right here, right now. And I don’t give a damn what anybody thinks.”

Fast forward a month.

I caught up with Senator Steiner Hayward on the Senate floor. In our interview I asked her about that moment when she publicly disclosed her mental illness for the first time.

“It was a little scary,” she admits.

And here’s something else you should know about the Senator. She’s also a doctor at Oregon Health & Science University. So she knows a thing or two about what’s ailing her.

“I’m a physician and I understand this stuff,” Steiner Hayward says. “So I know who to talk to. So I’ve gotten great mental health care my whole life.”

But she says many, many others dealing with mental illness haven’t been as fortunate. Steiner Hayward is backing a measure that would dramatically expand the state’s mental health services, especially to youth and people in underserved rural areas.

The idea came from Senate President Peter Courtney after a series of mass shootings shook the nation last year. The Democrat wanted what he called a “game-changing investment.” So he approached the Oregon Health Authority’s Linda Hammond.

“He called me into his office,” Hammond says. “I remember it was a Friday morning. And wanted to talk to me about what it would really take and what it would look like if we truly made a commitment to investing in what was needed.”

Hammond came up with a series of ideas to boost mental health services. Many are existing programs scattered around Oregon that would go statewide under the plan. The goal is to provide comprehensive support services to families and individuals experiencing mental illness. Lawmakers say the plan needs just two things to make it work.

“Money. That’s probably the first one,” Republican state Senator Brian Boquist. He says the other thing such a major expansion of mental health care needs is time.

“You need a trained psychologist, or you need a trained case worker, you don’t go one off the shelf. So it takes time to develop a workforce and actually implement the program at the same time you’re identifying those issues.”

Lawmakers would give the Oregon Health Authority six years to expand and roll out the programs included in the bill. As for the money, that’s still under discussion. Boquist says he supports the expansion, but he says funding for it is wrapped up in the debate over higher taxes and public pension cost-cutting.

As for Senator Steiner Hayward, she says she’s received nothing but positive feedback from her fellow lawmakers since opening up about her depression. And she thinks her constituents will be just as understanding.

“I don’t want to lose my career in the legislature,” she says. “I love doing this. I think I’m pretty good at it. But if this is the thing that takes me down, then I’ve got a new job to do. And that’s to go out there and do more of this, being public about it.”

And she predicts if the mental health proposal does pass, it will be recalled in years to come as one of the most significant pieces of legislation to emerge from Salem in 2013.