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Mississippi passes one of the country’s strictest abortion laws, a recommendation for a spring-ready phone case, and a must-read series:
After the historic midterm elections, a few progressive congresswomen shot to fame. But there are many others, to the right and center, who you should know about. Throughout the coming week, we’re rolling out our Right & Center project, which highlights some of these women.
For our first piece in the series, Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener traveled to West Virginia to spend time with Rep. Carol Miller, the only new Republican woman elected to Congress in the 2018 midterms. Read the profile here.
Millennial women are struggling financially — more than millennial men — for a whole host of reasons, according to a new study. Fast Company reports that those factors include that more millennial women are raising children outside of marriage, without paid parental leave. Millennial women, especially women of color, are also more likely to be incarcerated than previous generations, and many are contending with student debt.
The report’s authors say that remedies include public assistance benefits that support single mothers, student-debt forgiveness and ending money bail, which often financially burdens families. Implementing those solutions will require elevating more women to decision-making positions, the authors write: “Increasing the number of women in leadership positions in organizations, elected office, and policymaking roles can help inform, develop, and institute policies and create programs that meet the changing needs of millennial women.”
Sydney Aiello was a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year when a gunman killed 17 students and school staff members. Last weekend, Aiello, 19, killed herself, according to relatives and friends. The Broward County medical examiner’s office told NBC that Aiello died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Aiello lost one of her friends, Meadow Pollack, in the shooting. Aiello’s mother, Cara, said that her daughter experienced survivor’s guilt and had recently received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. “Cara said Sydney struggled to attend college classes because she was afraid of being in a classroom and was often sad recently but never asked for help before she killed herself,” CBS Miami reported.
A GoFundMe page is asking for contributions for Aiello’s funeral. “Sydney spent 19 years writing her story as a beloved daughter, sister and friend to many,” the page reads. “She lit up every room she entered. She filled her days cheerleading, doing yoga, and brightening up days of others.”
On Sunday, Coral Springs police confirmed that a second Parkland shooting survivor died in “an apparent suicide” late Saturday. Police did not confirm the age of the student, nor have they released his name. Sources say the student was a sophomore.
The Food and Drug Administration last week approved brexanolone, the first drug intended to treat postpartum depression. The disorder is marked by feelings of worthlessness or guilt, or thoughts of suicide, within a month of childbirth, and it affects an estimated 400,000 women in the United States every year.
The drug, marketed under the name Zulresso, is administered intravenously for 60 continuous hours. According to clinical studies, the drug takes effect quickly and lasts at least 30 days, and experts have lauded its efficacy. Given how it’s administered, however, the drug will be used mainly in the most extreme cases; it also costs an average of $34,000 per patient for one course of treatment before discounts. The drug manufacturer, Sage Therapeutics, says it is working on another drug to treat postpartum depression that would be a once-daily pill.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced it has hired Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar as coaches on staff, making it the first NFL team to hire two women as full-time coaches. Locust has been named an assistant defensive line coach for the team, while Javadifar will serve as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. The two are also the first full-time female coaches in the team’s history. “I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football,” coach Bruce Arians said in a statement. “Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity.”
In 2015, Arians hired Jen Welter as a training camp intern for the Arizona Cardinals, making her the first woman ever to hold an NFL coaching position.
Data from the General Social Survey, released last week, found that 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 said they do not have a steady romantic partner. That’s up from 45 percent in 2016 and 33 percent in 2004. It also tracks with other trends, including that women are having fewer children, and becoming mothers later in life, and that the median age of first marriage is getting older. Other recent survey data found that unpartnered Americans vary by key demographics: Men are less likely than women to live without a spouse or partner.
On Thursday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed one of the strictest abortion bills in the country into law. It prohibits most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, about six weeks into pregnancy. The Center for Reproductive Rights said it would sue Mississippi to block the bill from taking effect July 1. Bryant said he wasn’t worried about lawsuits, tweeting that he will fight for “innocent babies, even under the threat of legal action.”
Two men were arrested last week for taping the “intimate private activities” of 1,600 unknowing motel guests in South Korea and then streaming the videos online for profit. The men are alleged to have set up cameras in 30 motels across 10 cities and to have posted more than 800 intimate videos on a website that charged some viewers for a subscription. That news comes amid a growing phenomenon in the country in which people are filmed in private places — and a week after several K-pop stars resigned for allegedly participating in online group chats that shared explicit videos of women filmed without their knowledge or consent.
The world turned its eyes to South America in January when Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly, challenged President Nicolás Maduro by stating that he would take over as the country’s acting president. President Trump has thrown his support behind Guaidó, and has said he would recognize him as the country’s interim president. On March 21, Guaidó’s top aide, Roberto Marrero, was detained and accused of plotting to bring hitmen from Central America to Venezuela to carry out assassinations.
Amid the political turmoil, Venezuela also experienced its worst blackout in history, one that lasted five days and has cast light on the country’s crumbling infrastructure. Economists speculate a broader crisis is yet to come.
For the women of Venezuela, the country’s challenges have had serious effects. Women’s hospitals lack supplies and doctors are underpaid. Infant mortality rates are rising. And along the Venezuela-Colombia border, migrant women have experienced assault, kidnapping and other forms of violence, according to research conducted by Julia Zulver, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford.
—Macy Freeman, Washington Post multiplatform editor
• Karen Uhlenbeck, emeritus professor at University of Texas at Austin whose work centers on geometry, became the first woman to win the Abel Prize, one of the top prizes in mathematics.
• In a rare move, Bridget McCain, John McCain’s youngest daughter, took to Twitter to address critical comments President Trump made last week about her late father.
• United Airlines became the first U.S. airline to offer non-binary gender options for its fliers: Customers will be able to identify themselves as male, female, undisclosed or “X.” They will also be able to select the gender-neutral title “Mx.”
• Starting today, a panel of experts from the FDA will consider debate around the safety of breast implants. Over two days, they will hear from researchers, plastic surgeons, implant makers and women who believe breast implants can lead to a variety of ailments.
What’s the oldest object from childhood that you still own and cherish? A stuffed animal? A book? Or maybe something more sentimental, like a card? If you want the chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter, tell us about it here.
During March, we’re featuring a single-panel editorial cartoon by artist Katie Wheeler in each Monday newsletter. All views expressed are the opinions of the artist.
On Friday, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III submitted a report with his “principal conclusions” in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Attorney General William P. Barr released his summary of the report Sunday to Congress. Barr said the report did not find that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia. However, Mueller reached no conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice.
#31days31firsts is a series honoring Women’s History Month. Check in with us every day on Instagram as we highlight moments in history and the women behind them.
An earlier version of the comic that was featured in the Lily Lines Thursday newsletter suggested that there is only one effective treatment for endometriosis. A number of medical sources suggest that other treatments may be effective as well.
I’ve gotten into the habit of buying boring phone cases. I don’t know when it happened but I want to get out of that funk. There are so many options out there and your phone is the perfect way to show a bit of personality. I came across these gorgeous, handmade pressed flower cases on Etsy. They are incredibly well-made, and because of the transparent case, they look good on any phone color.
—Rachel Orr, Lily lead art director
*Have an idea for a news-inspired baiku? Send us your creation at lily [at] washpost [dot] com, and you might see it in the next Lily Lines. We follow 5-7-5.
Editor’s note: We have changed the language used to describe Sydney Aiello’s suicide.