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Jen Sorenson tells it like it is in this graphic illustration explanation of what the heck is being done to reproductive rights and legal medical care for women throughout Ohio and the country. Please share it widely and often.

By Jen Sorenson for the ACLU

By Jen Sorenson for the ACLU

By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:08 pm October 24th, 2013 in Ethics, Gender, Health Care, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Women | Comments Off 

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From Cleveland’s own Mike Polk. Hattip the Plain Dealer.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:44 pm July 10th, 2013 in Abortion, democracy, Gender, Health Care, Women | Comments Off 

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I’d say I’m at a loss for words for how to express my extreme discontent over Ohio House Bill 200 but I’m going to save it for a steady and increasingly louder drumbeat of arguments against it starting tonight. Make no mistake, to defeat this absolute and absolutely invasive set of provisions that completely contradict the charades of conservatives who say they want to keep government out of our lives, we will need to be as adamant, sharp, specific, relentless and vocal as ever, if not more so.

Your education on HB 200 can start with these links but I have no doubt this is just the beginning of the battle:

The bill itself – it has no fiscal notes or bill analysis yet

The Plain Dealer story on it including the laundry list of restrictions:

Among other things, the bill would:

• Require doctors to give women a verbal description of the ultrasound, including an audible heartbeat, if available. (The bill notes, however, that a woman can refuse to view ultrasound images or listen to the sounds detected by a fetal heart monitor.)

Compel abortion providers to tell patients that fetuses and embryos can feel pain, and that a woman who has an abortion increases her risk of breast cancer.

Extend the waiting period for abortions to 48 hours instead of 24.

Require doctors to tell patients seeking abortions in writing how much money they earn and how much income they would lose by not performing abortions.

Eliminate “medical necessity” as a reason to waive the waiting period. Medical necessity had been defined as a medical condition that complicates the pregnancy so that it warrants an immediate abortion.

Allow a waiver for a “medical emergency,” which is redefined in the bill as a condition that would result in the woman’s death without an abortion, as opposed to one that presents a serious risk to her life or physical health.

Doctors who do not follow the rules could be charged with a first-degree felony and fined up to $1 million.

Look at all those job-creation proposals, eh? Exactly what Ohio needs – you smart drafters, you.

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:02 pm June 13th, 2013 in activism, conservatives, Courage, democracy, Gender, Health Care, Ohio, OhioHD12, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Republicans, Sexism, Women | 1 Comment 

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From the Civic Commons blog:

The Civic Commons’ tagline is “Turning Talk Into Action.” But how do we even begin to talk about an issue as complex, life-threatening and, frankly, frightening as teen abuse of prescription drugs?

Your Teen Media believes that performance can open up roads to dialogue, making it then possible for parents and teens to explore the topic and progress toward healthy behavior. Courtesy of Your Teen and numerous sponsors, “LEGALLY ADDICTED: Prescription Drug Abuse,” a play from Recovery Resources, will be presented at the Westlake Performing Arts Center in Westlake on Monday, April 15 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm and again at the John Carroll Annex in University Heights on Monday, April 22 also from 7:00pm-8:30pm. (You can see the flyer with the exact address and other information here.) The expectation is that, through performance and a discussion that will be moderated by Kim Wheeler, WKYC News Anchor, we can start a conversation in a little less threatening a way than it otherwise might get started.

Please read the rest of the post, spread the word, share this information with everyone and anyone you think could benefit. It is easy to turn our heads but families and individuals are hurting because of this epidemic. Many thanks to the good people at Your Teen for taking on this topic and helping us learn how we can engage parents and kids and community.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:19 pm April 11th, 2013 in arts, Health Care, Mental health, Parenting, Social Issues, Youth | Comments Off 

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The latest NBC poll offers a nice recognition for today’s milestone reached by Roe:

According to the poll, 54 percent of adults say that abortion should be legal either always or most of the time, while a combined 44 percent said it should be illegal – either with or without exceptions.

That’s the first time since this poll question was first asked in 2003 that a majority maintained that abortion should be legal. Previously (with just one exception in 2008), majorities said abortion should be illegal.

In addition, a whopping 70 percent of Americans oppose the Roe v. Wade decision being overturned, including 57 percent who feel strongly about this.

There are many excellent pieces of writing reflecting on Roe to be found around the interwebz but here are a few I came across today:

Roe v. Wade at 40: Then and Now (Joanne Bamberger, The Broad Side)

5 Things You Don’t Know About Roe (Irin Carmon,

The People’s Choice (Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker)

Interactive: The Geography of Abortion Access (The Daily Beast)

Crow After Roe: How Women’s Health is the New “Separate But Equal” & How to Change That (Book excerpt, Robin Marty and Jessica Pieklo)

Roe at 40: Judging a Mother’s Choice (NYT’s The MotherLode) but then be sure to read

Reproductive Justice for All Daughters (Veronica Arreola at Fly Over Feminism)

Roe v. Wade. Forty Years. (Echidne of the Snakes)

Posts from young feminists (h/t to Sam Meier):

“What Was Life Like Before Roe v. Wade?”

“Whatever Happened to Jane Roe?”

“What is Roe v. Wade? Many Millennials Have No Clue”


The Women’s Media Center’s Media Guide to Covering Reproductive Issues

By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:02 am January 23rd, 2013 in Abortion, Civil Rights, Gender, Health Care, Women | Comments Off 

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From MSNBC this morning:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Read more here.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 1:58 pm March 22nd, 2012 in Ethics, Gender, Government, Health Care, Politics, Republicans, Rick Perry, Transparency, Women | Comments Off 

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Where are the women?

Bernadine Healy must be spinning in her grave

(More about Bernadine Healy here – she mandated that women be included in health trials – about women’s health. Hello.)

There’s a lot of excellent commentary on that photo around the web but here’s US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaking up about it – with the image full blown behind her:

And we can’t ignore that here are the menz pundits this morning on MSNBC (read more about the optic debacle here) talking about what else – women’s health and contraception. Nary a woman.  Unbelievable in 2012.

Where are the women?

Where are the women?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:39 pm February 17th, 2012 in Gender, Health Care, Media, Politics, Sexism, Social Issues, Women | 3 Comments 

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Stefanie Spear’s EcoWatchOhio has an excellent post about the Beyond Coal group here.  It appears to be a direct result of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s commitment to clean air, with his recent $50 million gift to The Sierra Club. You can read more about their meeting this evening here. The basics:

September 27, 2011 – 7:00pm – 8:00pm


Cleveland Heights Public Library @ Lee Road (Main)

2345 Lee Road

Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

See map: Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, MapQuest

For questions, contact  Many thanks to Alistair for reaching out to me and informing me of this development.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:33 pm September 27th, 2011 in activism, Energy, Environment, Health Care, Moms Clean Air Force | Comments Off 

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I was laughing and cheering at the same time Sunday morning when I saw this unfold on This Week. I could not agree more, but I also couldn’t say it as fantabulously as Arianna Huffington, not always one of my favorites but she did a great job here and even George Will says the migraine stuff is pointless.

Hattip to Mediaite for the clip.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:01 am July 26th, 2011 in Campaigning, Gender, Health Care, Media, michele bachmann, Politics, Sexism, Social Issues, Voting, White House 2012, Women | Comments Off 

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So I’m sitting there eating my lunch during the Andrea Mitchell Reports hour (seriously, I work my lunch around her first 30 minutes or so if I can arrange it) and right at the beginning of the show, when it cuts to a commercial, this is what I see:

If ever a video deserved to go viral, it’s this one, don’t you think!? It is one of the most effective cause commercials I have seen in a very, very long time and it dovetails precisely with my work on behalf of the Moms Clean Air Force (an effort to highlight the incredible damage dirty air does to our kids and us, and the imperative we should all feel in supporting the EPA’s efforts on behalf of clean air).

Naturally, I wanted to know who was behind the ad.  It resides at the URL for Clean Air Saves Lives, but the final seconds of the ad and a tagline at the very bottom of that website reveal that it’s American Family Voices, a group started in 2000 by none other than Mike Lux (he currently serves as the group’s president).  From their mission statement:

American Family Voices was founded in 2000 to be a strong voice for middle and low income families on economic, health care, and consumer issues. Since our founding, we have educated the public and pushed for legislation on a number of vital issues to make American families more secure…

If that doesn’t involve clean air, nothing does, right? On their media page, you can see the other very poignant short videos they’ve used to engage, inform and activate people. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:24 pm July 25th, 2011 in Campaigning, Energy, Environment, Health Care, Media, Moms Clean Air Force, Politics, Science, Utilities, Women, Youth | Comments Off 

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I first spotted this on Progress Ohio’s blog, where they ask, “AEP: How Many Lives Are Your Polluter Profits Worth?:

Join the on-the-ground fight against AEP’s outrageous dirty air bill, which would block life-saving clean air standards and cause 17,000 premature deaths every year! Over the next couple of weeks, we will be organizing local events in Columbus to increase the pressure on the big polluter.

“Ask What is Your Number?” Day of Action

Date: Thursday July 14th Time: 10am – 11am

Where: AEP Headquarters, 1 Riverside Plaza (Marconi and Long)

Meet: North Bank Park (Neil Ave and Spring St)

What: After a short walk from North Bank Park, we will have a press conference/ demonstration asking AEP “How many is too many”?

Join us on Thursday to support clean air in Ohio and nationwide! Banners and signs will be provided.

Read more from the Environmental Defense Fund at their Ask What’s Your Number site.  They’ve got sample tweets you can post including:

17k premature deaths from @AEPnews’s dirty air bill. How many deaths are ok? #WhatsYourNumber #CleanAir Tweet this!

@AEPnews’s Dirty Air Bill = 240k asthma attacks and 17k premature deaths. Acceptable? #WhatsYourNumber Tweet this!

No advanced pollution controls on 40% of @AEPnews’s plants. How many lives is that costing? #WhatsYourNumber Tweet this!

And they’ve also posted this PSA – warning, it features a child on a breathing device and is not easy to watch or listen to – as a mom with a child who has reactive airway disease, I feel it very viscerally:

Please remember, the deadline to submit comments on the new Mercury and Air Toxics rule has been extended to August 4. If you haven’t already done so, you have through then to email the EPA and show your support for the rule. And, of course, you can join the Moms Clean Air Force to help fight for clean air for our kids anytime. Every voice counts and is needed. Thank you.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:19 pm July 13th, 2011 in Announcements, Energy, Environment, Health Care, Moms Clean Air Force, Politics, Science, Women, Youth | Comments Off 

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The current issue of Molecular Psychiatry features the work of Laura Fonken, a doctoral student in neuroscience at OSU. It’s titled, “Air pollution impairs cognition, provokes depressive-like behaviors and alters hippocampal cytokine expression and morphology.” According to this post on, “Colleagues in Ohio State’s Department of Neuroscience collaborated with researchers in the university’s Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute.”  The research is getting a lot of coverage.

So what do they say our brain looks like on dirty air?

“The more we learn about the health effects of prolonged exposure to air pollution, the more reasons there are to be concerned,” said Randy Nelson, co-author of the study and professor of neuroscience and psychology at Ohio State.

“This study adds more evidence of pollution’s negative effects on health.”

Specifically, from The Daily Mail, “A cloud over our lives: Air pollution linked to learning problems and depression:”

The mice were exposed to the equivalent matter that people who live in polluted urban areas could expect.

After 10 months of exposure the researchers then performed a variety of behavioral tests on the animals.

The mice who breathed polluted air took longer to learn where the escape hole was located. They were also less likely to remember where the escape hole was when tested later.

In regard to depression: Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:03 pm July 7th, 2011 in Environment, Government, Health Care, leadership, Ohio, Research, Science, Transparency, Transportation, Utilities, Women, Youth | 1 Comment 

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Letter to Duke Energy from mother with drawing by her sick child

Children on a playground with and without pollution

Children on a playground with and without pollution

Letter, drawing from 9 year old asking Duke Energy to be a leader in clean air

Letter, drawing from 9 year old asking Duke Energy to be a leader in clean air

Bad and good Duke power plants

Bad and good Duke power plants

Those children’s drawings and many more can be found here and here, courtesy of Ohio Citizen Action.  The posts are titled, “Children’s Drawings for Duke Energy.”  And while the images illustrated by the children reflect their awareness about the air quality around them, thanks to a 2008 USA Today multi-part, multi-media series on air quality around school buildings, findings are now coming out that highlight how those industrial pollutants endanger schoolchildren.  The premise of the 2008 articles:

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:03 pm June 10th, 2011 in Energy, Environment, Health Care, Moms Clean Air Force, Ohio, Parenting, Politics, Social Issues, Utilities, Youth | 1 Comment 

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Norm Roulet’s lengthy, in-depth post at REALNEO, “Happy Air Quality Awareness Week? Not in Cleveland, where air quality is poor, and awareness is worse! Meaning Modeling Matters!” is one of an abysmally few pieces of evidence that May 2 through 6 has been Air Quality Awareness Week.

Other pieces of evidence (scant themselves) that folks in Ohio would be made aware, during an effort dedicated to awareness, come from the Ohio EPA and Earth Gauge at WKYC (Channel 3).  But that’s all I could Google up – I hope I’ve missed other coverage, because these results are terribly disappointing.

Worse yet, however, is that the scant publicizing of Air Quality Awareness Week is not nearly as disappointing, or upsetting, as how bad our air quality in Ohio actually is (although the number of inhalers I see in my youngest child’s elementary school nurse’s clinic indicates backs up this assertion without the need for much else, if you ask me). Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:39 am May 5th, 2011 in Cleveland+, Government, Health Care, Law, leadership, Moms Clean Air Force, Ohio, Parenting, Politics, Research, Resources, Science, Social Issues, Utilities, Women, Writing, Youth | 1 Comment 

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Ohio! That’s what.  But not through any simple word association game you’ve ever played.

First, as I wrote earlier today, I was a panelist on Feagler & Friends and one of the topics we discussed was described as follows:

Compact Fluorescents Return—FirstEnergy is again flipping the switch on a CFL give-away that was a public relations disaster two years ago.  The company is delivering up to six energy-efficient bulbs to customers who ask for them.  Customers are paying for them through a rate increase whether or not they receive bulbs.  Compact fluorescents deliver light at a fraction of the energy cost of incandescent bulbs and they tend to last longer.

Can I tell you how excited I was when I learned that the real issue we were going to address was the mercury in CFLs and the precarious situation that creates should one break and also when you finally have to dispose them? I was very excited, because through my writing for the Environmental Defense Fund, I’ve been learning so much more about the health risks and dangers mercury – and about the role alternative energy sources play.

As much as change can be a bother for almost anyone, especially when you’re simply used to the way something has been – like the light coming from a lightbulb, the real potential bugaboo with CFLs lately has been how to dispose of them and how to clean them up if they break. Why? Because of the mercury they contain. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:21 pm April 15th, 2011 in coal, Energy, Environment, Health Care, leadership, Media, Moms Clean Air Force, Ohio, Politics, Utilities | 2 Comments 

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Taped it this morning – many thanks as always for the opportunity. It airs on WVIZ at 8:30pm tonight and 11:30am on Sunday, then on The Ohio Channel on Monday at 2 and 10pm, and again there at 6am. The details:

Newsmaker:  Bill McKeown, Avon landowner—the owner of a landscaping supply business is one of dozens the city of Avon will force to help pay for a planned I-90 interchange at Lear-Nagel Road.  The state of Ohio, the city and the Jacobs Group, owner of several hundred soon-to-be-prime acres, are chipping in money for the project, slated to begin this summer.  City officials want smaller landowners to pay a share too, since their land values will be enhanced.  But owners like McKeown say they’ll fight.

Roundtable:  Brian Tucker, publisher and editorial director, Crain’s Cleveland Business; David Arredondo, vice-chairman, Lorain County Republican Party; Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Writes Like She Talks.

Avon Interchange—the roundtable continues discussion of the controversy over the tax assessments for the I-90 interchange.

Diebold to Stay—leading maker of ATMs will build its new corporate headquarters somewhere in northeast Ohio.  The company credits the Kasich administration for putting together inducements worth as much as $100-million.  Otherwise, the company may have moved to another state where it has factories.  Diebold has over 1000 employees in the Akron-Canton area.

No Dogs or Smokers Allowed—Cleveland may join a list of American cities banning trans fats from restaurant menus.  Ordinances calling for the trans fat ban and for barring open-air smoking near the entrances to city-owned buildings and in public parks were recently introduced as part of the Healthy Cleveland Initiative.  Trans fats have been implicated in heart disease and obesity.

Compact Fluorescents Return—FirstEnergy is again flipping the switch on a CFL give-away that was a public relations disaster two years ago.  The company is delivering up to six energy-efficient bulbs to customers who ask for them.  Customers are paying for them through a rate increase whether or not they receive bulbs.  Compact fluorescents deliver light at a fraction of the energy cost of incandescent bulbs and they tend to last longer.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:55 am April 15th, 2011 in Business, Debates, Energy, Environment, Government, Health Care, Joe Cimperman, Ohio, real estate, Taxes, Transparency | 2 Comments 

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In the Senate:

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (both Maine) do not want to defund Planned Parenthood.

Newly elected Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire) waffles when not emitting talking points so I construe that to be in favor of letting Planned Parenthood get defunded.

Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas)  – I can’t find anything from her on this but her voting record seems to indicate that she might allow it to be defunded.

Update on Hutchison: She’s a motivator behind a military troop funding through a governtment shutdown bill in the US Senate that appears to have at least 60 supporters, including other women and other Democrats.  It does not appear that there is anything connected to Planned Parenthood in it.

In the House (all the women newby Republicans):

Kristi Noem (SD): will allow defunding of Planned Parenthood (“Noem said she believes the riders and the budget cuts are “intertwined” and that she supports them.”)

Nan Hayworth (NY): supports defunding Planned Parenthood

Vicky Hartzler, (MO): supports defunding Planned Parenthood

Martha Roby, (Alabama) and Sandy Adams (FL) appear to support defunding Planned Parenthood, reportedly agreeing that $61 billion in cuts for 2011 is reasonable (the reports right now are that there’s consensus on $38 billion between Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. John Boehner)

Renee Ellmers (NC): leading the way to defund Planned Parenthood

Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA): supports defunding Planned Parenthood

Update: Left out two women (thanks to the commenter who drew my attention to that!):

Ann Marie Buerkle (NY): supports defunding Planned Parenthood

Diane Black (TN): supports defunding Planned Parenthood

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:54 am April 8th, 2011 in Abortion, activism, Congress, conservatives, Gender, Health Care, leadership, Parenting, Politics, Republicans, Social Issues, Women | 4 Comments 

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It’s very difficult, living in a place like Ohio, with so many threats to the natural environment, to understand how the possible government shutdown can be entwined in disagreements about clean air. CLEAN AIR.  I mean, really.

But it is.  From the Washington Post:

Republicans are aiming to curb the Environmental Protection Agency’s reach, especially its role as a regulator of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. GOP lawmakers have proposed riders that would limit the agency’s ability to oversee coal mining and enforce the Clean Air Act.

And then, with all the coal mining disasters we’ve had in recent years, how can anyone suggest, with a straight face and lucid mind, that we should be moving toward limiting oversight of the industry? Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:19 am April 8th, 2011 in Energy, Environment, Health Care, leadership, Moms Clean Air Force, Politics, Social Issues, Utilities, Youth | Comments Off 

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This program is very interesting and if it works, that will be great. I went through genetic testing (don’t have the gene) for breast cancer 11 years ago but that was in part to determine if I should enter a clinical trial being done locally and in regard to breast cancer prevention tactics.  I read everything that comes my way and get regular exams but I do have a higher risk than most women due to family history and age when I had my first child (31).  So I would definitely like to stay up on and participate in research, especially if it’s simple.

According to Susan Niebur, it is – here are her suggestions for how to get involved (I’m both blogging about the Army and I joined it):

Of course you don’t have to have a blog to join, it’s just an added way of reaching out to more potential participants.  Research. It does a body good – and hopefully can help better prevent and treat breast cancer.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:28 am October 1st, 2010 in activism, Blogging, Health Care | 1 Comment 

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As you can see from the comments this post has generated at The Moderate Voice, there’s a lot of whining about how business would suffer if they cared about pregnant women, about how pregnant women shouldn’t be treated differently from anyone else with a need to take leave and how pregnant women don’t deserve to be in any special class that would get privileges no one else would get.

I can’t make the forest for the trees view of this any clearer than I do below:

1. The United States is a developed country that uses and abuses its female workforce based on the fact that they’re female and are the only ones who can get pregnant. I think that’s abhorrent and developed countries can and should do better, even within the context of business. Successful corporations do it all the time and here’s one list to get you started. Furthermore, from that article, emphasis mine:

The bottom line is that your direct supervisor, specific job and work group will have a tremendous impact on whether you truly are able to benefit from the work-life balance policies in your employee manual. But at the least, having those policies on the books is a first step. I’m glad Working Mother is doing the hard work of evaluating these companies and calling attention to the need for family-friendly benefits.

Look at the stark contrast between companies on the list and national averages. Only 16 percent of U.S. companies offer job sharing, versus 98 percent of the Best Companies. One quarter nationally provide health insurance to part-time workers, versus 99 percent of the 100 Best, according to Working Mother.

2. There is no place in our lexicon for saying that a person is pro-woman but that being pro-women excludes fighting for workplace policies that allow all women, not just the married or wealthy ones, to make the same choices without penalties – such as losing your job because you’re pregnant, a penalty men will never face.  If there is information that supports that that is in fact a penalty men face, I would support crafting workplace policies that eliminate that penalty.

3. Political candidates who classify themselves or allow others to classify them as conservative feminists (aka “Mama Grizzlies”) need to demonstrate what that means.  Few people would argue that there is great confusion as to how that is operationalized in real life.  Being labeled something is one thing – showing what you do and what policies you support then fills out the definition of who fulfills that label.

4. I want to know how the conservative feminists (a term for which it’s nearly impossible to find a definition) and Mama Grizzlies respond to workplace policies that clearly do not support families, do not support women, do not support children.

That’s it.  Really not complicated at all.  Looking forward to the responses.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:18 am June 24th, 2010 in Abortion, activism, Business, Campaigning, Civil Rights, conservatives, Courts, Culture, democracy, Economy, Elections, employment, Ethics, Gender, Government, Health Care, intolerance, Law, leadership, marriage, Parenting, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Sexism, Social Issues, Women, Youth | 1 Comment 

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