Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fresh Outrages in the War on Women in the US

Topkea, Kansas, has repealed its domestic violence law-- supposedly to save money-- and to keep Shawnee Country from passing the buck for prosecuting domestic battery. Which means, of course, that they're flashing the green light to batterers in that city: telling them that in Topeka, domestic battery is no longer against the law. Here's a snippet from the McClatchy Newspapers report by Joe Lambe:
Scott Burns, executive director of the National District Attorneys Association, said that around the country, prosecutors are being forced to prioritize certain types of cases, but these decisions are rarely discussed in public.

“Usually no one comes out and says that starting today I’m not going to prosecute that crime, which sends a message of failure and tells the community you’re free to commit that crime,” he said.

Joyce Grover, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, said the situation in Topeka demonstrates that its politicians need to give domestic violence a higher priority.

“For the city and county to say this is about economics seems disingenuous to me,” she said.
Seems disingenuous to me, too.

Sarah Seltzer reports for AlterNet that Congress is debating Let Women Die legislation:
Today's installment of the War on Women is brought to you by Congressman Joe Pitts, whose HR 358 is finally being debated in the House this week. The bill is an extreme and sweeping anti-abortion measure that would decimate insurance coverage for abortion and gamble with women's lives. It's so drastic that it's been nicknamed the "let women die" act.

At Jezebel, Erin Gloria Ryan explains why this title is totally apt (emphases mine):

The bill has been lovingly nicknamed the "Let Women Die" act, as it would allow hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions turn a woman seeking an abortion away in all circumstances, even if an abortion would save her life. It also proposes to outlaw any federal funds from going to health plans that cover any abortion services. Finally, it would make it impossible to block federal funds from going to health organizations that don't support abortion rights, hence the hospitals' freedom to "Protect Life" by refusing to perform a procedure that might save a woman's life. HR 358 was penned Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican and a vocal member of the House's Pro-Life Caucus. For those of you keeping score at home, Joe Pitts does not have a uterus.    Read more

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