Saturday, March 6, 2010

Democracy NOW: Domestic Violence and Vulture Funds

Democracy NOW! showcased two very interesting segments last Wednesday, both intricately involved with victimization that occurs through violence. One segment discusses domestic violence and women's reproductive rights and the other, the practice of vulture funds stripping poor countries of Aid Money.

The Cruel Rule of Womens' Rights through Domestic Violence and the Health Care Insurance Industry
Follow this path to unreasonableness:
  • Domestic violence is considered a pre-existing condition in eight states, allowing some health insurance companies to refuse all coverage. *
  • If a pregnant woman is a victim of such battering and is in fear of losing her insurance, she will not disclose the abuse.
  • Utah has just passed legislation that allows women who have, through planned or reckless behavior, terminated a fetus to be charged with infanticide or homicide. This is one state amongst others who are attempting to apply such laws.
  • Continuing this logic, a loophole is opened that would allow a battered woman, afraid to leave her partner, who loses her fetus could be charged with attempted feticide or homicide.
While decriers criticize women's rights activists as taking an extreme interpretation on the hemming of pro-choice values, the fact remains that cases are coming forward that have this negatively legal effect on pregnant women. For eg. a young pregnant woman in Iowa fell down some stairs and when she went to the hospital, she was arrested for attempted infanticide. Another case in Utah where a woman pregnant with twins refused a C-section and was charged with murder after one of her babies emerged stillborn.

*Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming are amongst the states that allow insurance to deny coverage on the basis of domestic violence.

Greg Palast Blows the Cover on Vulture Funds Preying on Poor African Nations
(47 minutes into show)

Over the last five years, Britain, the United States and other countries have written off billions of dollars in loans to the world’s poorest countries. But a small group of vulture funds have been trying to divert that money into their own pockets. Investigative journalist Greg Palast traveled to the West African country of Liberia to investigate how vulture funds have been operating there and why Liberia lost a $20 million case against two vulture funds in a British court. [includes rush transcript]

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