Saturday, June 30, 2007

No excuse for Imus

A National Women's Editorial Forum podcast commentary: New Jersey NOW President Maretta J. Short takes on the false analogy between Imus's actions and those of rappers.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Look Who's Watching Now
By: Kathleen Taylor

A couple went into an exercise equipment store to buy a treadmill. They found one they liked, and applied for financing. The bank representative told them—in front of other customers—that because the husband’s name is Hussein, they would have to wait 72 hours for an extra identity check “because of Saddam Hussein.”

A case of unlawful discrimination based on ethnic or national origin? Not these days! Not only was this incident legal; it was encouraged by the federal government.

This and other disturbing anecdotes were documented in a recent report by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. The report focused on the unintended effects of the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) list maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Contraception and Health Insurance: The Bush Judiciary and Democracy
By Sylvia A. Law

Whatever happens in the 2008 elections, the federal judiciary will be a lasting legacy of George W. Bush. While the implications of his nominees to the federal bench are still being watched, Bush’s judiciary changes will not be limited to the Supreme Court or simply abortion. On March 15, a divided panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Title’s VII’s prohibition against gender discrimination does not protect women’s access to contraception.

Is it sex discrimination if a company provides coverage for the most common prescription drugs, but excludes prescriptions women need to prevent pregnancy? In the 1990s, coverage of birth control through insurance plans was spotty—some plans failed to cover any contraceptives under the guise of not paying for “preventive care.” Other insurers treated birth control as medically unnecessary “cosmetic,” like skin cream.