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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Issue of the Week: The Republicans' Ongoing War on Women

Plus Hero of the Week & Help Find Tom Hecht

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Not content to demean women and diminish their rights through Congress or on the presidential campaign trail, Republicans in Wisconsin decided to continue that party's war on women during the waning days of the state's legislative session.

In short order Wisconsin's Republican majority voted to promote the teaching of abstinence over contraception in sex ed classes; ban abortion coverage in private insurance policies sold on an insurance exchange; require physicians to determine if a woman is voluntarily seeking an abortion, instead of allowing the woman to give voluntary and informed written consent; and prohibit doctors from prescribing the RU-486 pill via web cam, which isn't even done in the state.

The new bills are being sent to the governor, along with a bill that would make it more difficult for a woman to sue her employer if she is illegally paid less than her male peers.

To point out how insulting these bills are to women, state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D-Madison) introduced amendments to treat men the way that Republicans are treating women. For example, Roys suggested forcing all men seeking erectile dysfunction medication to undergo a rectal exam and cardiac stress test. She also proposed leaving the teaching of the germ theory of disease to local school districts, so that students would be as clueless about the spread of germs as they will be about the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy prevention, thanks to the new Republican law.

Apparently, Republicans think that attacking women's rights in the workplace and intervening in their personal, private medical decisions is a winning strategy in the upcoming elections. We're betting that female voters will figure out that GOP candidates have made them the enemy in this unnecessary, foolish war. And we predict that women will fight back in the voting booth.The nonprofit Cathedral Center (845 N. Van Buren St.), incorporated in 2002, provides emergency shelter and case management services for women and families who are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis. Families include single mothers or fathers, as well as married couples with children. Last year, beds were filled more than 17,000 times, with the shelter averaging about 50 people on any given night. In addition to providing emergency shelter, Cathedral Center offers individual case management services to help guests move to transitional or permanent housing.

Heroes of the Week: Cathedral Center Volunteers

The nonprofit Cathedral Center (845 N. Van Buren St.), incorporated in 2002, provides emergency shelter and case management services for women and families who are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis. Families include single mothers or fathers, as well as married couples with children. Last year, beds were filled more than 17,000 times, with the shelter averaging about 50 people on any given night. In addition to providing emergency shelter, Cathedral Center offers individual case management services to help guests move to transitional or permanent housing.


Volunteers are the "lifeblood" of the Cathedral Center. As the center's website states, volunteer interaction with clients from all walks of life helps to break down barriers between rich and poor, eliminating stereotypical ideas of what it means to be "homeless." Cathedral Center volunteers assist as tutors, life-skills mentors and shelter aides, among many other duties.

Readers interested in donating to the Cathedral Center or volunteering their time and talents are encouraged to call 414-831-0394 or visit www.cathedral-center.org.

Help Find Tom Hecht (Pictured above)

Tom Hecht was last seen on Water Street at 10:30 p.m. on March 10. He is 28 years old, almost 6 feet tall and of medium build, and was wearing a green St. Patrick's Day T-shirt when he went missing. His family and friends are searching for him. If you have information about Tom Hecht, call the Milwaukee Police Department at 935-7401. For more information, go to tomhecht.com or the Facebook group One Million Strong to Find Tom Hecht.

TAGS for Heroes: Cathedral Center, nonprofit, volunteer, Milwaukee, emergency shelter, homeless, case management, families