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This week:

The abortion debate roiling Virginia, why insurers are blacklisting entire industries amid #MeToo, and what to watch for during Trump’s State of the Union.

Sex education bill that includes consent advances in Colorado

A bill that would overhaul Colorado’s sex-education curriculum advanced through the state’s House Health and Insurance Committee on Wednesday, and is notable for several reasons: It bans abstinence-only education, requires teaching students about same-sex relationships and would require lessons on “how to communicate consent, recognize communication of consent, and recognize withdrawal of consent.”

Only eight states — California, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia, plus the District of Columbia — require education around consent. At a hearing on the bill Wednesday, 12-year-old Moira Lees was one of several students to testify about the benefits of consent education. “When boys at my school are not taught what consent is and is not, this affects my safety and well-being,” she said. Hundreds of Coloradans attended the hearings, which were fraught with debate around religion and family values.

Marvel releases first extended clip of ‘Captain Marvel’

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers. (Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)
Brie Larson as Carol Danvers. (Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)

A sneak peek of Marvel Studios’ first female-led superhero film, “Captain Marvel,” was officially released Saturday — and it’s all action. In the 47-second clip, Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers: a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who eventually gains superhuman powers. Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg also appear in the clip. The movie premieres in theaters March 8.

When Larson first shared the clip on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Friday, she spoke about getting fit for the role. “I was super not athletic,” Larson said. “So I trained for nine months, and then was able to do crazy things. I could deadlift 225 pounds by the end of it.”

The late-term abortion debate roiling Virginia

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. (Alex Edelman/Getty)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. (Alex Edelman/Getty)

Over the weekend, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) faced calls to resign after a photo depicting two men, one in blackface and the other dressed in a Klu Klux Klan robe, surfaced from his medical school yearbook page. But that wasn’t the only controversy to engulf the Democratic governor — he came under fire for igniting a nationwide debate over late-term abortions in light of a bill introduced in Virginia’s state legislature.

The measure, introduced by Del. Kathy Tran (D), would loosen restrictions on third-trimester abortions (current Virginia law allows one when the pregnancy “substantially or irredeemably” harms a mother’s “mental or physical health” as certified by three physicians). In a radio interview, Northam explained what would happen if the procedure resulted in a live birth, a comment Republicans said implied infanticide. Abortion rights activists, meanwhile, blasted the bill for highlighting one of the most unpopular aspects of abortion as they attempt to expand reproductive rights in state legislatures across the country.

Rachel Brosnahan’s new campaign honors her aunt, Kate Spade

Rachel Brosnahan in Frances Valentine’s spring campaign. (Maggie Cepis for Frances Valentine)
Rachel Brosnahan in Frances Valentine’s spring campaign. (Maggie Cepis for Frances Valentine)

This week, fashion label Frances Valentine revealed the face of its spring campaign: It’s Rachel Brosnahan, the award-winning star of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The announcement was significant on a few fronts. The label was created by renowned designer Kate Spade, who died by suicide in June 2018 at 55. Spade started the label with her husband in 2016, and it’s named after their 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix. Brosnahan is also Spade’s niece.

“When you lose someone you love, you search for boundless ways to keep their memory alive,” Brosnahan told People magazine. “This felt like a way to do that through her beautiful creations and an opportunity to share them with all of those who her work meant so much to.”

Report finds insurers are steering clear of entire industries in the #MeToo era

A recent report obtained by the Intercept shows that some insurance companies are blacklisting entire industries amid #MeToo and increased sexual harassment complaints. Insurance industry consultant Richard S. Betterley polled 32 insurance companies offering coverage for sexual harassment and sex discrimination and found that 10 of them said they would not underwrite the legal industry. Companies were also highly wary of financial firms and the entertainment industry. This shift, Betterley told the Intercept, could mean companies will have to agree to higher premiums and deductibles and demonstrate that their problems “are under control and have been addressed.”

What to watch for during Trump’s State of the Union

Stacey Abrams. (Reuters/Lily illustration)
Stacey Abrams. (Reuters/Lily illustration)

After a week delay due to the partial government shutdown, President Trump will take the podium at the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday Feb. 5 to deliver his State of the Union address. The event previously made headlines when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) insisted he postpone it amid the shutdown. Here’s what to watch for the night of:

• The House Democratic Women’s Working Group invited women from both parties to wear “suffragette white” as a show of solidarity and to celebrate the record number of women elected to Congress. Lawmakers wore white to Trump’s joint address to Congress in 2017 in memory of the women’s suffrage movement and to bring attention to women’s issues; last year, many female lawmakers wore black to honor the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

• Victorina Morales, an undocumented worker who recently left her job at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., after publicly disclosing her immigration status, will attend the address as a guest of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.).

Victorina Morales. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)
Victorina Morales. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

Democrats chose Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the Georgia governor’s race to Brian Kemp, to deliver the rebuttal to Trump’s speech. The fact that Democratic leadership chose a black woman — a historical first — signals they want to present a clear contrast to Trump.

All-female flyover honors barrier-breaking Navy pilot

Navy Capt. Rosemary Mariner. (Family photo)
Navy Capt. Rosemary Mariner. (Family photo)

Rosemary Mariner, who died Jan. 24 at the age of 65, broke barriers throughout her career: She was one of the first women to be accepted into the Navy in 1973, became the first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet and the first to command a squadron in the run-up to the Gulf War. On Saturday, she was honored in a history-making way, too, with the first-ever all-female flyover of fighter jets.

Mariner was born in Texas in 1953; her father was an Air Force pilot, and she always knew she wanted to fly. She climbed the Navy ranks steadily and was one of the first women to serve aboard a U.S. warship.

Nine women participated in the flyover. In a video distributed by the Navy, Lt. Cmdr. Paige Blok said: “Captain Mariner was so foundational in breaking down the barriers for women in naval aviation, and that’s why I’m so proud and honored to be able to participate in this flyover.”

Catherine Burns. (Aly Nicklas)
Catherine Burns. (Aly Nicklas)

Catherine Burns is the artistic director of the Moth, a live storytelling event and podcast. She is also a producer and frequent host of the Moth Radio Hour, which airs on over 485 public radio stations around the world. “Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible,” the next Moth book that Burns edited, publishes in March. Burns lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son; this week, we asked her to fill in the blank.

(Michael Reynolds/EPA/EFE)
(Michael Reynolds/EPA/EFE)

Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which prohibits sex-based wage discrimination. On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Democrats have been trying to pass for 20 years. Lilly Ledbetter, who fought for women’s equality as a lawyer, penned an opinion piece in CNN this week urging support for the bill, which she said would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and protect employees from retaliation for discussing their pay. “It’s time we strengthen our equal pay laws,” she wrote.

As a high school student, I got very excited every December when winter candy apple soap would inevitably appear in my bathroom. After moving out on my own, though, my relationship with Bath & Body Works largely ended. But a few years ago, my mom bought me this lavender cedarwood body cream for Christmas, and I’ve been a nightly user ever since. It’s part of the aromatherapy line, and I put some on right before going to bed. It smells lovely.

—Amy King, Lily editor in chief and creative director

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