RH Reality Check

McDonald’s Sued For ‘Rampant’ Racial, Sexual Discrimination Against Employees

A federal civil rights lawsuit alleges that ten former McDonald’s employees experienced “rampant racial and sexual harassment, committed by the restaurants’ highest-ranking supervisors” at three McDonald’s restaurants in Virginia.

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Young Christians Are Fleeing Evangelicalism - And Here's Why

The results of a five-year study of the Millennial Generation—people born between 1982 and 1993—are in. Thanks to the Barna Group, a 30-year-old, California-based, Christian research firm, we now know that conservative evangelical churches are losing formerly–affiliated “young creatives:” Actors, artists, biologists, designers, mathematicians, medical students, musicians, and writers.

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Yet Another College Under Fire for Mishandling Rape Case

The latest evidence that many U.S. colleges are badly bungling their responsibility to effectively investigate and address sexual assault on campus came Sunday in the form of a lengthy New York Times report on a 2013 incident at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York.

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You Can Have Your Kids Taken Away for Smoking Legal Pot

The following story first appeared on RH Reality Check. 

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How the Medical Establishment Fails Transgender Patients

This article was originally published at RH Reality Check.

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Is Pope Francis Just Doing Savvy P.R. For the Oppressive, Dysfunctional Church?

This article originally appeared on RH Reality Check, and is reprinted here with their permission.

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Transgender in the Schoolyard: Across America, Uneven Access to Rights

This piece was originally published at RH Reality Check.

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Major Push to End Sexual Assault Epidemic in Military Turned Back in Senate

As the Senate Armed Services Committee meets Wednesday to take up its version of the Defense Authorization bill, senators will likely devote at least as much verbiage to discussion of sexual assault in the military ranks as they do to the finer points of the Pentagon budget that is the bill’s main focus. But missing from the committee’s final version of the bill will be the one measure that advocates for survivors of sexual assault and rape say is critical to ending the crisis that grips the military: removing the reporting and prosecution of sexual assault cases from the chain of command.

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School Principal Discouraged Teen Girl from Reporting Sexual Assault Because It Would Ruin Attacker's Basketball Career

Last week the National Women’s Law Center, along with a local law firm in Michigan filed a complaint in federal district court on behalf a high school student who was sexually assaulted at school by a fellow student and star basketball player. In many ways the story echoes the tragic high school rape story from Steubenville, Ohio,which should lead all of us to ask just what kind of culture are we raising our children in, and what kind of culture is being cultivated at our high schools?

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Steubenville: How the Media Promotes Rape Culture

This past Sunday, 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond and 17-year-old Trent Mays were found delinquent (the equivalent of guilty in juvenile court) of raping a 16-year-old girl in front of their friends at a series of parties in Steubenville, Ohio. Mays was also found delinquent on charges of the illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for texting a picture he took of the victim while she was naked.

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Paid Sick Leave Pays for Itself: So Why Is NYC's Mayoral Hopeful Blocking It?

This article originally appeared at RH Reality check. Commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

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I Got Pregnant Even Though I Had an IUD

I just had the quite bizarre experience of getting pregnant. Bizarre because for the last two and a half years, I've had the Paraguard IUD - as effective as tying your tubes, they tell me. Then one day my period doesn't come. My breasts are swollen, my back aches, and I have the crazy thought that this feels like pregnancy. Something is definitely wrong, at least. So I head to CVS to get a home pregnancy test, just to rule it out. We have plans for brunch with friends, so I slip into the bathroom to get the test out of the way while my boyfriend puts away groceries. And then I stare at it. For a really long time. Because that is most definitely a plus sign.

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I Was Raped at 13 By My Stepfather and Had to Endure an Abortion in Mexico That Felt Like Torture

This is one of a series of powerful stories from survivors of rape, you will find them all here.

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Why the GOP Is Getting Away With Extremist Laws

Voting rights activists thought they had a strong challenge to Pennsylvania's restrictive voter ID law. After all, Republican officials admitted the law was designed to disenfranchise Democratic voters and that actual voter fraud was non-existent. But last  Wednesday Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson upheld the law. The 70-page opinion is a detailed and well-reasoned application of the law. And that's the problem.

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16-Year-Old Girl Dies of Cancer After Being Refused Treatment for 3 Weeks Due to Pregnancy

A pregnant 16-year-old in the Dominican Republic died from complications of leukemia, according toCNN. The young woman was forced to wait nearly three weeks to begin chemotherapy to treat her disease as hospital officials initially refused to treat her fearing it could terminate her pregnancy. In the end she lost her life and the pregnancy, and may have died because of the delay in her treatment.

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The War on Workers' Religious Liberty

The war on women advanced dramatically on Friday, when a judge in Colorado issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of an air conditioning and heating business owner who doesn’t want his employees to use contraception. The ruling only applies to this particular business, so it’s not like anyone else is going to be able to start denying insurance benefits to their employees because they disapprove of their sex lives. Still, it’s a worrying development, especially as the judge seemed sympathetic to the idea that an employer can deny benefits to an employee, earned by their work, on the basis of religious disapproval of the employee’s private life.

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Why Support a Religion That Shames You? Pro-Choice Religious Group Offers Alternative

 “Today we pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices.”

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Why Young People Are Fleeing Conservative Evangelicalism

The results of a five-year study of the Millennial Generation—people born between 1982 and 1993—are in. Thanks to the Barna Group, a 28-year-old, California-based, Christian research firm, we now know that conservative evangelical churches are losing formerly–affiliated “young creatives:” Actors, artists, biologists, designers, mathematicians, medical students, musicians, and writers.

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Komen Foundation Exploits Breast Cancer Mission to Make War on Planned Parenthood

This article originally appeared at RH Reality Check. For regular updates on news critical to women's health, subscribe to their weekly newsletter, here.

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Children and Teddy Bears Used to Manipulate Ohio Senate on Heartbeat Ban

  The supporters of a bill that would ban abortion in Ohio from the point in which a heartbeat can be detected -- as early as four weeks post conception -- seem to be getting a little impatient with the senate's reluctance to vote on the bill.

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How Christian Right-Wing Voters in Iowa Make Abortion a Central Issue in the Caucuses

 After what is the most protracted, ridiculous run-up to a primary season I’ve seen in the couple of decades I’ve closely followed politics, we’re finally going to actually begin the Republican primaries, a mere three months after everyone is completely exhausted of them. The entire situation is particularly frustrating, because the majority of the focus, from the media and the candidates, has been on Iowa, even though the state has been known repeatedly to give far more weight---and even victories---to candidates that have literally no chance of winning the Republican nomination, because these candidates hit a bunch of buttons for Christian conservatives but have little appeal outside of those circles. The 2008 win for Mike Huckabee, who was quickly wiped out when a more diverse group of Republicans got a crack at primary voting, is a perfect example of this.

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How Creepy Conservative Christian Modesty Doctrines Harm Young Women

This isn’t a story about how modest clothes allowed me to “let myself go” and conceal a growing figure. It’s not even a story about how wearing modest clothes kept my self-esteem at rock bottom and thrust me into a too-close relationship with Ben & Jerry. It’s a story about how modesty doctrines impacted my mind, in ways that had real, negative effects on my body. Modesty was one of the reasons my defining relationship with my body became whether or not I was “fat.” Modesty was one of the engines that pushed me into a full-blown eating disorder. It’s not just a dress code: it’s a philosophy, and it’s one that destroys young women, mentally and physically.

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How A Reproductive Justice Campaign in Mississippi Can Defeat the Anti-Sex Right and Save the Vote

 The 2011 Mississippi ballot Initiative 26 on Personhood and Initiative 27 on Voter ID exclusions may be one of the most important opportunities on the ground for the Pro-Choice and Reproductive Justice Movements to work together. In Mississippi, we are witnessing the intersection of race and gender politics in a campaign in which African American voters are probably the most critical constituents when they go to the polls on November 8. It’s a case study on Roe v. Wade intersecting with the Voting Rights Act and the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

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The Horrors Perpetrated By Fake Christian Clinics

Now that South Dakota has actually passed legislation requiring every woman seeking an abortion to be ‘counseled’ by a Fake Clinic, it’s obvious that, in all fairness, every pregnant woman who is considering having a baby has to be counseled at an abortion clinic. Of course that wouldn't make any sense because, unlike the Fake Clinics, abortion clinics don't have an agenda for the patient except that she make the best decision for herself!

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The South Dakota Bill That Could Legitimize Murder of Abortion Providers

If you had any doubt that we are moving toward a hate-filled, vigilante society, you now have an unequivocal answer.  Scott Roeder claimed justifiable homicide in the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in his church vestibule. Now, just two days after a female member of the Minuteman militia was convicted of murdering two innocent people--including a 9-year-old girl--while attempting to murder another, South Dakota legislators have introduced legislation that could de-criminalize the shooting of doctors, nurses, patients and volunteers at clinics providing abortion care.

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What Everyone Needs to Know About Second Trimester Abortions

Most of us don’t think we’ll ever have an abortion, until we become one of the half of all women in the US who has an unwanted pregnancy.  And if we think about it at all, we assume we’d get an abortion pretty early in the pregnancy.  While 90 percent of abortions do happen before 12 weeks, some women seek abortions later in their pregnancies.

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Improved Prenatal Care Could Reduce Racial Disparity in Infant Mortality

Courtroom Mama, writing at The Unnecesarean has issued a long-overdue challenge to the birth advocacy community to take off our “birth blinders” and see the infant mortality crisis in the United States for what it is: one of the most shameful examples of health disparities in our country. Reflecting onCrisis in the Crib, a documentary released last year by The Office of Minority Health, she writes,

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