Trump Bans Funding for International Organizations that “Promote” Abortion

Trump signs international abortion ban (Lifesite)

Trump signs international abortion ban (Lifesite)

Well, that was quick.

On his third day in office, Trump showed his hand on female reproductive rights (not like we didnt already know…) He moved to block U.S. aid for organizations that “promote” abortion. In this case, “promoting” abortion means presenting it as a viable option and/or providing abortion counseling.

Similar rules have been in place since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan instituted the first rule known as the Mexico City policy. (The policy was named for the location in which Reagan announced it.) Depending on which party is in office, the bill has been repealed (by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) and reinstated (by George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush).

Despite the fact that the policy has been around for over 30 years, it’s unclear whether it’s actually working:

Health experts say the policy has not led to a decline in abortions in the affected countries. Some research suggests that it has had the opposite effect: increasing abortion rates by forcing health clinics to close or to restrict contraceptive supplies because of lack of funding. Others say the restriction only heightens the risk of illegal and often unsafe abortions.

A study completed by the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2011 found that the Mexico City policy was “linked to increases in abortion rates in sub-Saharan African countries.” But the study also found that it was difficult to link a country’s abortion rates back to the policy.

 

Bus Permits for the Women’s March Outnumber Bus Permits for the Inauguration by a 1:6 Ratio

Women's Strike For Peace And Equality March, 1970 (Time)

Women’s Strike for Peace-And Equality, Women’s Strike for Equality, Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, August 26, 1970. (Photo by Eugene Gordon/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)Women’s Strike For Peace And Equality March, 1970 (Time)

Friday, January 20th is Inauguration Day for the president-elect. The Women’s March takes place the next day. (Who’s going? I am!) D.C. can already tell the event is sure to be huge, judging by the number of bus permits secured. And the March might overshadow the previous day’s activities.

According to D.C. Council member Charles Allen, 1,200 buses have secured parking permits for the day of the March in RFK Stadium. (RFK Stadium has a capacity of 1,300 buses.) By contrast, just 200 buses have registered for parking permits for Inauguration Day. For every bus that has registered for the inauguration, six buses have registered for the March.

For President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2009, 3K buses registered for permits. Bus registrations for the current president-elect comprised 6.67% of that total.

Attendees for the March are expected to number as many as 200K.

Hopefully, this detail begins getting the message to the president-elect loud and clear that we will not be ignored.

 

 

Nikki Haley is the First Woman and Minority Named to the Trump Administration

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (Politico)

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (Politico)

President-elect Donald Trump (I threw up a little just now writing that) has named his pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He’s selected Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley. Haley is the first woman Trump has selected for his administration.

Haley’s also the first minority Trump has selected: She’s of Indian descent, and her parents are Sikh.

Haley has served two terms as governor of South Carolina, and is known for advocating removing the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s State Capitol grounds.

She is the first woman governor of South Carolina, as well as the first minority governor of the state.

According to CNN, “Haley will keep serving as governor until the Senate confirms her nomination.”

Asian-Americans Shifting Away from the Republican Party

Asian-American voter (The Huffington Post)

Asian-American voter (The Huffington Post)

Recent data shows that Asian-Americans are leaving the Republican party to vote Democrat.

Through the 1990s, Asian-Americans were more likely to vote Republican. It’s thought that Asian-American generally voted for the Republican candidate due to connecting with fiscally and socially conservative platforms. Asian-Americans voted Republican around 55% of the time during the 1992 presidential election between Republican George H.W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton (who ended up winning). The 2000 election became a turning point when more Asian-Americans began supporting the Democrat candidate. In 2012, Barack Obama won with Asian voters by “nearly 50 percentage points.” Karthick Ramakrishnan of the National Asian American Survey attributes this outcome to Democrats actively trying to win the Asian-American vote.

Party Identification Among Asian-Americans (NPR)

Party Identification Among Asian-Americans (NPR)

Over time, Asian-Americans gravitating towards the Democrats doesn’t seem like a big deal, and more like a natural shift over time. Except that it might not be. This fact becomes more important in this election where surveys have shown Asian-Americans rejecting many points of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s platform: keeping out and deporting immigrants, diplomacy with China, among other aspects.

But it’s too early to tell whether this shift for Asian-Americans toward the Democrats is a blip on the radar or foretelling a larger, more long-term trend. According to Ramakrishnan, it’s too early to tell. In 2015, 47% of Asian-Americans identified as politically independent.

In October 2016, a survey found that registered Asian-American voters supported Hillary Clinton over Trump by a 4-to-1 lead.

 

Welcome to Sex & Election 2016 Week!

Hillary Clinton (YouTube)

Hillary Clinton (YouTube)

Welcome to Sex & Election 2016 Week on Sex & Stats! From now until Tuesday, Nov. 8th (Election Day for those in the U.S.), I’m bringing you the best in political-themed statistics that intersect with sexuality, gender, race, etc. And this presidential race has been a veritable GOLD MINE for this shit. I’m not even joking (as you’ll find out this week).

Until 11:59 p.m. PST, you’ll get two posts a day on this topic. (Yes, even on Friday!) Get ready for 11 more posts that will make you laugh, cry, and possibly weep for the state of the country, all using data.

 

How Many People Support North Carolina’s HB2 Law?

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (Instinct Magazine)

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks during a news conference, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C. In one of his first acts as governor, McCrory issued an executive order to repeal the nonpartisan judicial nominating commission established by former Gov. Bev Perdue. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Takaaki Iwabu)

The outcry against North Carolina’s HB2 law, also known as the famously-derided “bathroom bill,” has been swift and fierce. But can we measure the reaction? And is it representative of the whole?

Fortunately, a recent poll provides some insight. CNN and ORC International polled 1K+ adults via phone (both landlines and cells), and asked those surveyed about North Carolina’s new law. Respondents also could self-identify as Democrat, Republican, or Independent. As the study notes, the sample was weighted to resemble the country as a whole.

When asked about equal protections for transpeople, 75% of respondents “favor law guaranteeing equal protection.” For equal protections for gays and lesbians, that number rose slightly to 80%.

Now, one might be tempted to correlate the former stat with the rise of transgender visibility in mainstream society. But that’s not the case. Respondents were also asked if they had a close family member or friend who’s transgender, and 80% did not. That’s huge! Things really are changing.

The U.S. Department of Justice Sues North Carolina over Controversial LGBT Law

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (WCNC)

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (WCNC)

The federal government has spoken, and it is not happy. Yesterday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the state of North Carolina over its controversial HB2 law.

Quick recap: the non-infamous law bars any anti-discrimination legislation against any members of the LGBT community. Also commonly known as the “bathroom bill,” the law also decrees that any transgender person must use the bathroom of their assigned sex at birth instead of the one with which they identify. (For example, a transwoman would use the men’s restroom, regardless of her physical appearance.)

But what happened first is that the DOJ (led by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was born in Greensboro, North Carolina) gave North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, a.k.a. the one who started this whole mess, until Monday morning to negate the horrid new law. And guess what McCrory didn’t do?

Instead, McCrory decided to sue the DOJ, claiming that there needs to be legislation regulating “transgender bathroom use” (??) at the national level.

So guess what the DOJ did? The DOJ sued North Carolina right back.

This wasn’t completely out of the blue. The DOJ had previously threatened legal action if HB2 wasn’t repealed. The DOJ is now suing on the grounds that the bathroom restrictions discriminate against transgender people (no shit).

I’m very interested to see how this will play out. I have no doubt that justice will prevail, and McCrory will end up on the wrong side of the law/history. But how long will it take, and what other complications could come up?

 

Porn Site Blocks North Carolina IP Addresses

Typing on a laptop keyboard (Free Stock Photos)

Typing on a laptop keyboard (Free Stock Photos)

By now, we’ve all heard about what’s going on in North Carolina with the House Bill 2 (HB2), which has abolished statewide anti-discrimination legislation against the LGBT community. Many companies are unhappy about it, and have either threatened to, or already have, pulled their business from the state.

One company is doing something a little different. Porn site xHamster has begun blocking any inbound users from any North Carolina (NC) IP addresses. At first, users with these addresses saw only a black screen. Later, NC users were asked if they supported HB2. If they answered affirmatively, they see numbers relating to NC users who search for “gay” and “she male” as keywords for their porn consumption. (Spoiler alert: the numbers for those are not insignificant.)

xHamster.com homepage for NC IP addresses (@xhamstercom)

xHamster.com homepage for NC IP addresses (@xhamstercom)

It is unclear how many IP addresses are registered in NC, and how many visitors xHamster.com receives in a given month.

 

North Carolina Passes LGBT Discrimination Law

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (Instinct Magazine)

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks during a news conference, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C. In one of his first acts as governor, McCrory issued an executive order to repeal the nonpartisan judicial nominating commission established by former Gov. Bev Perdue. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Takaaki Iwabu)

North Carolina Mayor Pat McCrory has now ensured that his state has made the news recently for all the wrong reasons: On Mar. 24th, he signed House Bill 2 into law, which overrides any local government’s anti-discrimination bills that benefitted the LGBT community. (The bill was introduced by the North Carolina State Legislature, which I’ve now refer to as the NCSL.) And not only did McCrory sign this into law, he did it in just one day.

Why is this a huge deal? For one, the NCSL has now blocked a measure that the city of Charlotte (the state’s largest city and the South’s banking hub) recently brought forth which banned discrimination against the LGBT community. Where others would see progress, the NCSL saw…inappropriate public restroom use?

“The Atlantic” breaks down what exactly this new law (ick!) entails:

It also prevents any local governments from passing their own non-discrimination ordinances, mandates that students in the state’s schools use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, and prevents cities from enacting minimum wages higher than the state’s.

Seriously, this new law is all kinds of trouble. But what really gets me is the notion of forcing transgender students to use the restrooms of the gender for which they were assigned at birth. The NCSL is perpetuating the myth that transpeople are pedophiles, and will follow children into public restrooms to ensure vulnerability. I don’t have to tell you how insane that is, do I?

McCrory’s also sending a statement that the capricious whims of the state government will rule any actions local governments make to better their own communities.

This measure will go into effect on Apr. 1st.

Real talk here: I’m from North Carolina. I haven’t lived there in years, but my parents and much of my extended family still resides there. I love going back to visit, but wouldn’t want to live back there again for various reasons. And this new law has given me yet another reason not to go back.

If North Carolina really wants to show that the state, and its residents, are progressive and accepting of all, the NCSL and Pat McCrory really need to turn this ship around, and fast. (I mean, damn, Charlotte’s newspaper “The Charlotte Observer” just published an op-ed putting McCrory in the ranks of other Southern governors that proved to be on the wrong side of history.)

I’m aware of how Southerners are portrayed and thought of outside the bounds of the South (and have even been the victim of these stereotypes sometimes), and right now, North Carolina is looking like a right bumpkin. And not a cute one. Instead of the little cousin who’s endearingly behind the times due to her own innocent ignorance, the Old North State has progressed (ha!) to being the willfully racist hick uncle everyone just grits their teeth and bears at the best of times.

I used to be proud of where I’m from. But this latest idiocy is making it real hard to be.

Planned Parenthood Endorses Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton (The Washington Times)

Hillary Clinton (The Washington Times)

Planned Parenthood has endorsed a candidate for the primary election: Hillary Clinton, the only woman running for the Democratic nomination. This is the first time in Planned Parenthood’s 100-year history that the organization has endorsed a candidate.

For this who’ve been living under a rock, Planned Parenthood provides a number of serves for womens’ reproductive health, including birth control, Pap smears and abortions.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that women’s issues will take up a prominent share of issues discussed leading up to this year’s election. Last week, Republicans in the Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Thankfully, they didn’t get very far, since President Obama vetoed it.

I hope this endorsement brings out women (and men!) to the polls who might not’ve voted otherwise come November.