March 31-April 6, 2009
5K registration discount ends today
Today, March 31, is the early-bird registration deadline for our Race for a Safe State 5K. Run, walk or roll with us in Grant Park on May 1. Raise some money, too, and you could win United Airlines tickets. Sign up now or join a team.
The Tuesday Blast is trying out some new ideas. They are based on reader feedback from our survey. If you have comments, please send them to email@example.com.
Veronica Arreola set the record straight about the Reproductive Health and Access Act at RH Reality Check. Thanks to Arreola for speaking out. The opposition is repeating myths about HB 2354 (PDF) and using other unsavory tactics to scare off support. Arreola and Chicago Foundation for Women are in the Illinois Campaign for Reproductive Health, which wants the bill to pass. Help us: Call state legislators using our short but effective talking points.
Analysis: Spotlight on Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Skim the headlines below or get the full story on our website.
A court has made over-the-counter emergency contraception available to women age 17 and over. The FDA must also reconsider their decision to require women 17 and below to get a prescription for Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Plan B, the Associated Press reports. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman blasted the FDA for ignoring scientific findings on age limits, as well as "repeatedly and unreasonably" delaying its decision on this issue during the Bush administration. The court's ruling will stand unless the Obama administration asks for a reversal through an appeal. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month—we remember the importance of Plan B access to survivors. Hospitals and pharmacies often refuse to mention the drug to survivors, let alone provide it. Learn more in honor of Back Up Your Birth Control Day, which was March 25.
Stop a stalker and you can prevent escalated violence, advocates say, so ineffective stalking laws must be changed. Law enforcement is not arresting or charging reported stalkers enough, partly because the crime is too narrowly defined. Currently, it is difficult to arrest a stalker "unless the victim was followed or placed under surveillance on at least two occasions and has proof of a threat," the Chicago Tribune reports. We applaud Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whose office is leading efforts to reform state laws. Jody Raphael, anti-violence researcher at DePaul University's Schiller, DuCanto and Fleck Family Law Center (a grantee), reminds us that stalking is a predictor of homicide of abused women. "Stalking is a felony and represents the best chance and opportunity to get this dangerous person off the street for a good length of time," Raphael says.
Learn about sexual violence against farmworker women at the April 8 Bandana Project program (PDF), featuring our recent Pioneer Award honoree Dolores Huerta.
The story: School officials strip-searched Savana Redding, a 13-year-old student who allegedly had prescription-strength ibuprofen. They found none. Her case will soon be heard by the Supreme Court. Lawyers for the school district have cited national drug control statistics on young teens, in order to say the search was "not excessively intrusive in light of Redding's age and sex and the nature of her suspected infraction," The New York Times reports.
What's missing: Two of our grantees respond—the Voices and Faces Project and the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. The school's lawyers made sure to highlight Redding's sex, although the statistics mention age-based risk factors alone. Anne Ream, founder of the Voices and Faces Project, says, "What does sex have to do with this? They don't indicate that women are more likely to 'abuse' drugs than men. So now an entire gender is being profiled?" Vickie Sides, associate director of racial justice and activism at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, says, "It appears that this case was less about enforcing a school's anti-drug policy and more about putting a 13-year-old girl in her place. Abuse of power is no different than any other kind of abuse...It is designed to shame, to inspire regret and to force compliance with the abusers' wishes." We echo our grantees' concerns and hope that in the future The New York Times examines the violent and prejudicial implications of schools' "zero-tolerance policies for drugs and violence," as the article says.
Success: Sun-Times backs reproductive health; your help needed
On March 30, the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board came out in support of the Reproductive Health and Access Act (HB 2354). The Sun-Times debunks myths and clarifies the bill's other provisions. And we still need you to call Springfield—visit our website for who to call and what to say.
Event: April 25: Volunteer to prevent human trafficking
The fourth annual Illinois Rescue and Restore Outreach Day is Sat., April 25. Volunteer to hang posters about human trafficking in your neighborhood.
United is the official airline of Chicago Foundation for Women
Find more advocacy opportunities at our Online Action Center.
Visit our website calendar to see all our
upcoming programs and events.
In the spotlight
NEW APRIL 4 (Sat.): Seeking Light in the Darkness: Suicide and Asian Americans
(cosponsored by our Asian American Leadership Council), 12-4 p.m.
APRIL 8 (Wed.): Breaking Barriers: Honoring Asian American Women in the Creative Arts
(Asian American Leadership Council), 6-8 p.m.
APRIL 8 (Wed.): The Bandana Project: Raising Awareness About Workplace Sexual
Violence Against Farmworker Women, with Dolores Huerta (cosponsorship), 12-2 p.m.
APRIL 9 (Thurs.): Grantees: Fundraising in a Recession, with GIFT, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
APRIL 16 (Thurs.): Spring Into Giving fundraiser (for the Young Women's Leadership
Council), 6-9 p.m.
APRIL 23 (Thurs.): Grantees: Executive Director Roundtable on issues facing
domestic violence providers and advocates, 12-1:30 p.m.
APRIL 23 (Thurs.): April Artifacts fundraiser (for the African American Leadership Council),
MAY 1 (Fri.): Race for a Safe State: A 5K Run, Walk and Roll in Grant Park, 6:30 p.m. start
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