Women’s issues roundup

Happy Friday folks! I hope everyone has had a fabulous week. Here are some headlines making the news that may interest you.

After nearly 100 years, the FBI catches up with the times and changes its definition of rape.  The definition in its Uniform Crime Reporting Summary Reporting Program has been changed to the following:

 “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

The change came after Ms. Magazine launched its Rape Is Rape campaign. The former definition stood as rape being “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” The definition hadn’t been changed since 1929.

***

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors moved ahead with cracking down on the advertising of so-called crisis pregnancy centers.  The proposed ordinance passed 10-1 on Tuesday. According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

The legislation targets centers that oppose abortion, and the idea is to assure that women with unplanned pregnancies don’t seek counseling there with the expectation that they’ll be provided a range of information on how to deal with their situation, including the option of obtaining an abortion.

The ordinance is intended to “protect consumers of pregnancy-related services by prohibiting limited-service pregnancy centers from knowingly disseminating false or misleading advertising information about the services they provide,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen, chief sponsor of the legislation.

A limited-services pregnancy center does not directly perform abortions or provide emergency contraception, more commonly known as the morning-after pill, or refer clients to places that do.

I find this interesting because I’ve noticed here in metro Atlanta how many so-called crisis pregnancy centers often are places in which women are not given all options regarding their pregnancy, including abortion. Here’s one center, in the Atlanta area, that encourages pregnant women to come in and get an “ultrasound exam to confirm the viability of your pregnancy (showing a fetal heartbeat inside the uterus) and determine exactly how far along you are.” Even though they don’t offer any abortion services, they sure aren’t shy about how they feel about abortion.

***

Along with pledging he’d die to defend traditional marriage, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he’d fight to repeal federal funding from all contraception because it’s a “license to do things in a sexual realm.” In sort of the same line of extremist thinking, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also pledged his support of a constitutional amendment stating life begins at conception. He made his stance known at a campaign stop in Iowa and was subsequently confronted by a woman who questioned if his stance would make all forms of birth control illegal. Romney, who appeared confused at the voter’s question and on his own stance, went on to say that birth control does prevent conception. This has some people worried because at least one state will decide in November whether life does begin at conception,  thus leaving a gray area in which birth control would possibly be fair game for outlawing.

This compelled MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to issue a scathing criticism of Romney’s stance, which she called The Man Cave’s Guide Not-Too-Upsetting Guide To Down-There Parts.” Here’s the classic segment which aired on Thursday’s Rachel Maddow Show.