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We, The Women – July 15th Edition

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Jul. 15 2013, Published 11:02 a.m. ET

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Young millennial women are always on the go, and sometimes we just don’t have the time to keep up on everything going on in Washington. Introducing We, The Women, your one-stop shop for all things politics. Keep up with the latest news that’s affecting our government while keeping up with your busy schedule!

Where in the World is Barack?

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After spending the July 4th weekend away at Camp David with the family, President Obama spent most of the week back in Washington, meeting with various organizations such as the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss ongoing legislation. First Lady Michelle Obama held the Second Annual Kids’ ‘State Dinner’ at the White House to honor the 54 winners of a nationwide recipe challenge she sponsored on behalf of her Let’s Move! Initiative. The President made a surprise appearance at the event to congratulate the kids on their strives to make healthy, delicious dishes.

Woman of the Week

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Sybrina Fulton – Mother of Trayvon Martin

This week we are saluting the mother of Trayvon Martin, the young 17-year old Florida boy who was shot and killed over a year ago by George Zimmerman. This past weekend, Zimmerman was found not guilty of a second degree murder charge and was set free. The case gained national attention for the alleged racial profiling that some argue contributed to Zimmerman’s decision to shoot Trayvon, as well as Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. This law gives people the right to inflict lethal harm on someone if it is being done in self-defense. The verdict of the case angered many people, some of whom took to the streets all across America in places like New York City, Los Angeles, and Oakland, CA to peacefully protest the decision.

Regardless of where you stand on the trial and verdict, all of us cannot help but feel sorry for the loss of a young man’s life. We salute Fulton for being strong throughout the trial and keeping her head up high despite the immense pain she must feel for the loss of her child.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

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Abortion Restrictions being passed around the country

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In the last article of “We, the Women” we touched on the controversial abortion bill in Texas that Texas State Senator Wendy Davis was able to block through an 11-hour long filibuster. After a special session, the bill was passed, which was the expected outcome. Republican Governor Rick Perry, who was determined to see this bill through to the end, praised lawmakers who supported the bill, saying that they made the right decision in “our historic effort to protect life.” The bill essentially bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancies and requires that abortion clinics maintain standards similar to that of hospital like surgical centers. Many fear that with these new restrictions, almost all the abortion clinics in Texas will be forced to shut down. Abortion supporters and Democratic legislators in Texas have already stated their intent to do everything in their power to reverse what has been done, so there is no doubt that this will not be the end of this passionate debate.

Similar legislation was quietly signed into law last week in Ohio with an interesting twist to it: abortion clinics must have agreements with local hospitals to transport their patients in case of emergency, but public hospitals are not allowed to enter into such agreements. Out of 207 hospitals in Ohio, only 18 are public. However, this clause would specifically affect clinics in rural areas that only have public hospitals to support the community, causing more stress on the woman to seek another clinic that could be too expensive to travel to. Ohio now has some of the toughest antiabortion laws in place, and many are certain that these new provisions will not be contested in superior courts.

ON THE HILL:

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Farm Bill Passes, Food Stamps Cut – This past Thursday, House Republicans finally passed a Farm Bill, the same one that failed to pass when introduced earlier this summer. This bill is one that deals primarily with rural farm programs that is discussed and renewed about every 5 years. This is the first time since 1973 that the Farm Bill did not include funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps. Republicans who supported the bill made the decision to take food stamps out because they felt as though food stamps and agricultural policy were two separate things that should not be put together in a bill.

Both the White House and Democrats find this decision rather troubling, especially since the cost of the program has doubled since 2008 to almost $80 billion a year, with the number of participants steeply increasing mainly due to the economic recession. Currently, 1 in 7 Americans rely on food stamps to help provide food for themselves and their families. However, there is no need to worry just yet – food stamps will continue to be covered until a separate food stamp bill is created and passed.

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