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Missouri’s only abortion clinic remains open for now, remembering chef Leah Chase, and a new monument for two transgender women behind the Stonewall riots.
An investigation in the Guardian has found that the Femm app, a popular women’s fertility tracker, is funded and led by antiabortion and anti-gay Catholic campaigners. The app, launched in 2015, has been downloaded more than 400,000 times by users in the United States, Europe, Africa and Latin America, according to its developers. In what appears to be the “first ideologically aligned fertility app,” as the Guardian puts it, users are provided with information that sows doubt about the safety and efficacy of hormonal birth control.
The report also found that two of the app’s medical advisers are not licensed to practice in the United States, and the app receives much of its income from private donors, including the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a charity backed by New York hedge fund manager Sean Fieler that has long supported organizations that oppose birth control and abortion. Anna Halpine, chief executive of the Femm Foundation, told the Guardian that Femm “has never commented on the abortion issue and doesn’t work in that area.”
Although the app is advertised for iPhone users, iTunes has a message that says the app is not currently available. The app is available for Android users. Following the report, several users left negative reviews on Google Play.
Even though women make up a little more than half of the 35 million people living with HIV worldwide, clinical trials have continued to rely heavily on the participation of gay men, who have formed strong support networks. By contrast, women with HIV — and women of color, in particular — tend to be more isolated and may not advocate for themselves, the New York Times reports. A 2016 analysis by the charity AMFAR, for example, found that women represented a median of 11 percent of patients worldwide in cure trials. They fared best in vaccine studies, where women’s participation stood at 38 percent. This discrepancy could be a serious detriment: The response to HIV infection, as well as some drug treatments, seems to differ between men and women.
In October 2017, following the #MeToo movement in the United States, New York-based French journalist Sandra Muller started a similar movement in France with the hashtag #balancetonporc. She wrote a tweet alleging that French television executive Eric Brion had made sexual comments about her body. Brion is now suing Muller for defamation. He said that although he flirted inappropriately with her at a party, it happened once. He also denies they ever worked together.
Brion and Muller on Wednesday attended a hearing, where Brion’s lawyers said he had apologized for his flirtation but “never admitted to harassing anyone.” When Muller received the court summons in January, she said she would “fight to the end” and hoped the trial would be “an opportunity to hold a real debate on ways to fight against sexual harassment,” the BBC reports. A verdict is expected in September.
Ahead of the start of LGBTQ Pride Month in June, New York City officials announced Thursday that two transgender activists, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, will be honored with a monument. The move is part of the city’s effort to remedy what it has called a “glaring” gender imbalance in public art, as well as a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, in which Rivera and Johnson were key figures.
The monument will be placed down the street from the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar where a violent, six-day uprising broke out after customers resisted a police raid on June 28, 1969. Many consider the event one of the most important in the LGBTQ rights movement. A year after the riots, New York City held its first LGBTQ pride parade. Rivera and Johnson also went on to found an advocacy organization for transgender youth. According to the New York Times, the monument will be one of the world’s first of transgender people.
— Claire Breen, Lily multiplatform editor
Netflix was the first major Hollywood studio to take a stance on Georgia’s new abortion law, which bans abortions as soon as doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said Tuesday that the company will “rethink our entire investment in Georgia” if the law goes into effect. Disney, WarnerMedia, CBS, NBCUniversal and other studios also said last week they would reconsider filming there if the ban goes into effect. The law’s scheduled application is Jan. 1.
On Thursday, Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards broke with his party to sign a “heartbeat” ban, similar to that of Georgia’s. State lawmakers had voted 79 to 23 on Wednesday to pass the bill, which does not make exceptions for rape or incest.
After telling reporters that he planned to press Vice President Pence on what he described as the United States “backsliding” on abortion, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the two men had a “cordial conversation” about U.S. abortion laws. Pence said he is “proud to be part of a pro-life administration” during his visit to Canada.
The fate of Missouri’s only abortion clinic still hangs in the balance. A judge ruled Friday that the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis may temporarily continue to offer the procedure, but emphasized that the matter is not settled. Arguments will be heard in court on Tuesday.
You may recognize her as the inspiration for the first African American Disney princess in “The Princess and the Frog,” or you may have heard the story of when she chastised Barack Obama, then a senator, for putting hot sauce in her gumbo during his visit to her restaurant. What’s for certain is that Leah Chase is a hallmark of New Orleans cooking and was an influential figure of the civil rights movement. She died June 1, at age 96, according to a statement from her family.
Born in Madisonville, La., in 1923, Chase never received formal culinary training, but spent a decades-long career as a chef and cookbook author. When she and her husband took over Dooky Chase’s, a restaurant in New Orleans located in the historic African American neighborhood of Treme, Chase elevated the menu and made the restaurant a leader in Creole cooking.
Dooky Chase’s also became an important establishment for both black and white activists during the civil rights movement — a meeting place for luminaries including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I like to think we changed the course of America in this restaurant over a bowl of gumbo,” Chase reportedly said during the celebration of her 90th birthday.
The restaurant has endured, even after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2016, Chase became the first African American to earn the James Beard Foundation lifetime achievement award.
• At a political event Saturday, a man described as an animal rights activist snatched a microphone out of the hands of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.). Animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere claimed responsibility for the incident.
• A baby, nicknamed “Saybie” by her nurses and doctors, is believed to be the world’s smallest surviving infant. After spending just 23 weeks and 3 days in gestation — her mother was suffering from a life-threatening condition known as preeclampsia — the baby girl was born weighing 8.6 ounces.
• JPMorgan Chase reached a settlement with a father who filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming the company’s paid-leave policy discriminated against men.
• A tweet from writer Amanda Deibart — asking women what they do to protect themselves while they’re out running — went viral. Thousands of women responded, saying they brought dogs, knives and more.
• R. Kelly was charged Thursday with 11 new sex-related counts involving one woman. They are the most serious charges he faces and could carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Shelby Lorman is the illustrator, writer and comedian behind the Instagram account @awardsforgoodboys. With more than 275,000 followers, the account is a series of parodied awards pointing out the ways in which society sometimes congratulates men for doing the bare minimum. On June 4, Lorman’s first book, “Awards for Good Boys: Tales of Dating, Double Standards, and Doom,” hits bookshelves. This week, we asked Lorman to fill in the blank.
A couple of years ago, a friend gifted me this gratitude diary. There weren’t any guidelines on how to use it or what to write, but I began listing three things every day I was grateful for — something that only takes a minute or two. Looking back through it, those items (from “Sunday phone calls with my parents” to “busy, fulfilling days at the office” to “sunshine”) remind me of where I’ve been, and make me grateful twice over for the beauty and goodness in my life.— Lena Felton, Lily multiplatform editor
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