2015: The Lost Women

For many poor women, welfare and family assistance was their primary means of escaping abusive mates. Such programs provided support for them and their children. Cutbacks in welfare have now caused a dramatic drop in the number who dare attempt to flee hurtful relationships. Low paying jobs, chronic unemployment, and poverty in general have left many impoverished women with few survival resources. In desperate attempts at finding means of support and escaping their batterers, some women turn to drug dealing–which, in turn, helps explain the sharp increase in the female prison population. In recent years, the number of women in prison has climbed to over 200,000 with African-American women being hardest hit by the lock-’em-up craze. Incarcerated women endure poor medical care, sexual harassment, forced strip searches, beatings, and repeated rape by male guards. The United States is one of the few countries that allow unaccompanied male staff to […] Read More

2015: Tired of Being Judged for the Way You Raise Your Kids? Some Moms Are Pushing Back

After years of public shaming for less-than-perfect parenting, moms are finally pushing back. Parents may not agree on many things, but there’s little argument that the job of modern parenting is a tough one. From complex monitoring of children’s online lives to navigating this age of constant information, it’s almost impossible to be a laissez-faire parent these days without criticism. While Boomers get credit for being the first official helicopter parents (birthing those pesky Millennials), because they could financially afford to be, Gen-X perfected the art (though fewer of us have children than previous generations), driven by the conviction that we could do a better job than our parents. Generation X is also, as Allison Slater Tate points out in the Washington Post, “among the first of the truly high-tech parents.” High-tech, unfortunately, equates with high scrutiny and pressure. Thanks to a constant stream of social media feeds, parenting in the public eye has […] Read More

2015: How Having a Baby Can Land a Woman in Jail

Medical professionals contend that drug addiction is a disease. So why do we throw women in jail for being addicted to drugs while pregnant? Terry*, a nervous, soft-spoken blonde, is crying when she says being pregnant felt like a dream. That’s because when she walked into the hospital she was pregnant and when she walked out she wasn’t pregnant anymore, but she didn’t have her baby, either. Two days before the birth of her daughter, Terry had popped some roxicodone. She had tried hard to be good and kicked her habit for a while, but she was stressed about the baby and took the pills. That relapse, the latest of many over the years, had not made for a fun party. “I wanted to be clean so bad that I remember, literally, doing the drugs with tears streaming my cheeks,” she says. She prayed to God to put a bubble […] Read More

Prince Andrew Named in Underage ‘Sex Slave’ Case

Woman alleges investment banker Jeffrey Epstein lent her to the duke to have repeated forced sexual relations. A woman who claims that an American investment banker loaned her to rich and powerful friends as an underage “sex slave” has alleged in a US court document that she was repeatedly forced to have sexual relations with Prince Andrew. The accusation against the Duke of York is contained in a motion filed in a Florida court this week in connection with a long-running lawsuit brought by women who say they were exploited by Jeffrey Epstein, a multi-millionaire convicted of soliciting sex with an underage girl after a plea deal. The woman, who filed the motion anonymously, alleges that between 1999 and 2002 she was repeatedly sexually abused by Epstein who, she also alleges, loaned her out to rich and influential men around the world. The document – a motion to expand […] Read More

Maternity Death Rates Are Very High In The U.S., But Congress Doesn’t Seem To Care

America ranks 60th out of 180 countries in maternity death rates, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The U.S. ranks a shocking 60 out of 180 countries when it comes to maternity death rates, according to The Lancet, a weekly medical journal. America is one of only eight countries in the world to see an increase in its maternal mortality rate over the past decade; Greece, Afghanistan and several nations in Africa and South America round out the other seven. In 2013, 18.5 mothers died for every 100,000 births in the U.S—a total of nearly 800 deaths. Nationwide, black American women are four times as likely to die during childbirth than white women, according to Amnesty International. As alarming as these figures are, Congress has been slow to act. U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-Mich) is sponsoring H.R. 4216: the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2014 but the bill has […] Read More