Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Alabama Capitol to protest the state's new abortion law; the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act to extend civil rights protections to gay and transgender people; suicide rates have been rising faster among young girls than among boys of the same age.
Yesterday, hundreds of demonstrators marched to the Alabama Capitol to protest the state’s new abortion law that was signed by Governor Kay Ivey last week, according to the Associated Press. The law, which hasn’t yet taken effect, will ban all abortions regardless of whether a pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. It will make performing an abortion a felony punishable by a sentence of up to 99 years in prison, and the only exemption will be for pregnancies that could threaten a woman’s life. Republican Representative Terri Collins said the purpose of the law is to challenge the landmark Roe v Wade ruling.The House of Representatives passed a bill, known as the Equality Act, on Friday. The bill would prohibit discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity, The New York Times reported. The legislation amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibits discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in public and private sectors while also offering civil rights protections in businesses, hospitals, and welfare services. The bill specifically states that individuals can’t be denied access to dressing rooms or locker rooms. However, the legislation is expected to be strongly challenged by the Senate and White House.A new study in JAMA found that suicide rates for young girls between 10 and 14 years of age have been increasing faster than those for boys of the same age, NPR reported. The rate for boys increased 7% since 2007 compared to an increase of nearly 13% for girls. Boys are still more likely to take their own lives, but the gender gap has narrowed, and suicide has become the leading cause of death for US children and adolescents aged 10 to 19 years.