Abortion conviction quashed, but woman who miscarried still faces time for "neglect"

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Purvi Patel was the first woman in America to be convicted of "feticide"—a euphemism for abortion—and jailed 20 years after suffering a miscarriage that prosecutors claim was induced by illegally-procured drugs. The feticide conviction was quashed today by an appeals court, but it affirmed the felony conviction for "neglect of a dependent."

The appeals court ruled that the state Legislature didn't intend for the feticide law "to be used to prosecute women for their own abortions."

As for the neglect conviction, we hold that the State presented sufficient evidence for a jury to find that Patel was subjectively aware that the baby was born alive and that she knowingly endangered the baby by failing to provide medical care, but that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the baby would not have died but for Patel’s failure to provide medical care. Therefore, we vacate Patel’s class A felony conviction and remand to the trial court with instructions to enter judgment of conviction for class D felony neglect of a dependent and resentence her accordingly.

The neglect charge (Patel claimed stillbirth, prosecutors argued that the fetus was alive for a period of seconds after birth) is still serious; the statute book allows for six months to three years, though news reports suggest lenience is not unheard of.

From the original story:

According to Sue Ellen Braunlin, doctor and co-president of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice, Purvi was most likely 23-24 weeks pregnant, although prosecutors argued Patel was 25 weeks along in the state's opening argument.

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US DoD white paper: wearing hijab is "passive terrorism"

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Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods & Strategies, a 2011 publication by the Air Force Research Laboratory, was just re-released with a new introduction that touts, "the wisdom contained in this paper collection is more relevant than ever." Read the rest

Trump promises "some form of punishment" for women who have abortions (Update: changed his mind)

Illustration: Rob Beschizza

Once pro-choice, the leading Republican presidential candidate now thinks that women who terminate pregnancies should be punished. Donald Trump's going to ban it, but is not sure yet just what he's going to have done to women who disobey him. But he's thinking about it.

[Chris] Matthews then pressed him for a straight answer on what a ban on abortion would entail.

“Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it,” Trump answered.

The former reality television star later added that “there has to be some form of punishment,” for women who get abortions after a ban is implemented, acknowledging the punishment would “have to be determined.”

He's unsure about how racist to be, but in no two minds at all about the women. Expect to hear a lot more sexist nastiness as the campaign goes on.

Update: He's changed his mind.

There's something amazing about how Trump just blurts out the right-wing positions he's discerned without realizing some of that stuff is supposed to stay implicit. He's like an AI chatbot who boils down his audience to its most vulgar principles, leaving that audience half-delighted and half-terrified at how completely exposed they are by his performance. Read the rest

South Korea having a female leader has made North Korea even crazier

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Even within the batty realms of North Korea's propaganda, the invective thrown at South Korean President Park Geun-hye is remarkable.

In perhaps its lengthiest and harshest verbal attack on Park since she took office in 2013, the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday called her a "tailless, old, insane bitch," a "senile old woman" and a "murderous demon" destined to meet "a sudden and violent death."… North Korea previously called Park a "prostitute" and said she lives on the "groin of her American boss." It has frequently questioned her womanhood because she has no children, which the North labels as an "obligation" for women. North Korea also frequently refers to the "swish of her skirts," a Korean phrase used to describe women seen as overly aggressive.

"The swishes of Park Geun-hye's skirt, created by her American boss, are so unpredictable they're dumbfounding," an unnamed spokesman of the North's Joint National Organization of Working People said in a statement last year published by the KCNA. "This is all because the United States' black, hairy hands reach deep into Park Geun-hye's skirt."

Apart from the absurd sexism, there's a more politically unnerving aspect to it. For all its apparent insanity, North Korea's propaganda traditionally tried to appeal to South Korean leftists. This messaging indicates a new level of ignorance of the world outside, a turning-inwards of its paranoia. Read the rest

Twitter joke sparks rape threats

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In December, Comedian Alison Leiby tweeted, "As a woman, I just hope that one day I have as many rights as a gun does." After a popular conservative Twitter account retweeted it, some people who disagreed with her thought the appropriate response was threatening to rape her.

From Medium

Somewhere along the way an account with a large and conservative following retweeted it, an action that flooded my notifications page with people calling me “stupid” or a “moron” or, one of my personal favorites, a “retarded liberal.” Fine.

Last Monday evening, however, the replies went from annoying and insulting to violent and threatening. Men were replying to me and taking my joke to a horrific, new place. Some said they wanted to ban me from public places and silence me. Others said they wanted to lock me in their closet when they’re done with me. A few choice gentlemen suggested I, like their gun, have a “rough brush clean my holes.” If you want a tour of how hateful and negative humanity can be about women, just scroll through the replies to my original joke. It’s kind of like the It’s A Small World ride, but instead of different countries you just see different expressions of misogyny.

As Leiby points out, "If you don’t like the taste of fish, you wouldn’t go to a restaurant, order the trout, and then call the chef a stupid bitch for serving it to you. So why do people do it on the Internet?" Read the rest

Women forbidden from entering Starbucks in Saudi Arabia

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The Starbucks café in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has a sign on the front door barring women from entering. Starbucks will accept their money, but only if the womens' "driver" places the order on their behalf.

From the Express Tribune:

The notice, in Arabic as well as English, reads, “Please no entry for ladies, only send your driver to order. Thank you.”

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the most influential law enforcing authority in the Kingdom, ordered the café’s management not to admit women, according to Emirates 24/7.

Starbucks issued the following statement:

Starbucks in Saudi Arabia adheres to the local customs by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people. All our stores provide equal amenities, service, menu, and seating to men, women and families. We are working as quickly as possible as we refurbish our Jarir store, so that we may again welcome all customers in accordance with local customs.

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Former Oklahoma City police officer found guilty of serial rape of Black women

Daniel Holtzclaw, 28, of Oklahoma City is pictured in this undated handout photo

Late on Thursday, a jury found a former Oklahoma City cop accused of sexually assaulting and raping 13 women guilty of rape and sexual battery.

Daniel Holtzclaw, who turned 29 on Thursday, cried as the guilty verdict was read in the courtroom.

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Chrissie Hynde blames self for being raped

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The Pretenders singer, 63, told the Sunday Times that women who dress immodestly and get raped are at fault, and should take responsibility for "putting it out." Read the rest

The "transactional love economy"

"Do you ever see a super-old guy…with a super-young girl…and wonder, how the hell did that happen?" Here's what we're calling it now. Read the rest

Supercut of casual, chortling sexism on Fox News

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70 of the worst: "Men should be able to veto women's abortions", "Know your role and shut your mouth", "Women are victims of violence all the time-maybe they should make better decisions", etc.

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Women engineers refute sexism with #iLookLikeAnEngineer campaign

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After Engineer Isis Wenger at OneLogin appeared in a recruiting ad, sexist comments about her appearance (e.g., "you don't look like an engineer") inspired the hashtag #iLookLikeAnEngineer. Read the rest

Police admit falsely arresting teen rape victim: "this is what happens when you lie."

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A 17-year-old rape victim, treated with callous indifference and arrested by UK police who accused her of lying, has been awarded £20,000 in a settlement.

Hampshire Constabulary apologized for refusing to properly investigate the victim's complaint, and admitted liability for false imprisonment and assault.

The girl was attacked in April 2012, reported it immediately, and provided her clothing for forensic analysis. But police decided within two days that she was lying and threatened her, The Guardian reports, with charges of her own should she pursue the matter.

When she did so, she was arrested on suspicion of "perverting the course of justice," and was told by one detective that "this is what happens when you lie."

The police failed to test the evidence and, reportedly, were told by a supervisor to "fucking nick her."

"I was horrified," her mother told the BBC. "A woman comes forward and tells the police authority she has been raped: You expect them to do everything they can to put the rapist away."

The case only proceeded months later after an official complaint was made, prompting prosecutors to ask for thorough tests on the garments.

The attacker, Liam Foard, was subsequently identified. After denying any sexual contact at all with his victim, he was convicted and jailed for five years in 2013. But it's taken another two years—and a lawsuit filed under human rights legislation—for Hampshire Constabulary to say sorry.

In the meantime, one of the officers responsible for the girls treatment was given a written warning, and three others allowed to resign or retire before the investigation into their conduct could be completed. Read the rest

Brianna Wu uploads Gamergate death threat to shame Ohio prosecutor

The game developer and Gamergate bogeywoman/survivor has furnished the authorities with the graphic death-threats she received for speaking out about online harassment of women, but they won't take action. Read the rest

LISTEN: MIT discussion about online harassment

Andrew writes, "Last night MIT's Comparative Media Studies/Writing program hosted Brianna Wu of Giant Spacekat and law professor Danielle Keats Citron, author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace. With their permission, we recorded the talk (AIFF) so others could hear their discussion about online harassment, GamerGate, revenge porn -- and what our laws can do about it." Read the rest

A beginner's guide to the Redpill Right

The gnostic paradox of young, tech-savvy traditionalists, who see through everything except their own conspiracy theories

Barbie "computer engineer" book is a total disaster

The storybook has Barbie infecting all her friends' computers with a heart-shaped USB drive, then calling on the boys to fix the computers and program the video-game that she goes on to take credit for. Read the rest

Brianna Wu explains why #gamergate death-threats won't scare her into backing down

Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu, game developer behind Revolution 60, has been the epicenter of the #gamergate controversy recently. In this interview, she explains why, despite constant harassment and death threats, she stands up for the rights of women in technology." Read the rest

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