Georgia Democrats propose limitations on vasectomies for men
State Rep. Yasmin Neal's bill comes in response to an abortion-restrictions bill that Georgia legislators are considering.
February 22nd, 2012
04:12 PM ET

Georgia Democrats propose limitations on vasectomies for men

By Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

(CNN) - As members of Georgia’s House of Representatives debate whether to prohibit abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant, House Democrats  introduced their own reproductive rights plan: No more vasectomies that leave "thousands of children ... deprived of birth."

Rep. Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro, planned on Wednesday to introduce HB 1116, which would prevent men from vasectomies unless needed to avert serious injury or death.

The bill reads: "It is patently unfair that men avoid the rewards of unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly ... It is the purpose of the General Assembly to assert an invasive state interest in the reproductive habits of men in this state and substitute the will of the government over the will of adult men."

“If we legislate women’s bodies, it’s only fair that we legislate men’s,” said Neal, who said she wanted to write bill that would generate emotion and conversation the way anti-abortion bills do. “There are too many problems in the state. Why are you under the skirts of women? I’m sure there are other places to be."

Personally, Neal said, she has no qualms with vasectomies.

Read the full post on CNN's This Just In blog

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Filed under: Discrimination • Gender • Health • Who we are
February 22nd, 2012
02:59 PM ET

Rareview: finding a place for Yiddish

What happens to a language that has no land?

American Yiddish speakers are asking that about the once popular Jewish language with roots in Hebrew and German.

As some wrestle with this loss –and how it defined who they are and where they come from– a small movement looks to find a new space for their displaced language.

February 22nd, 2012
02:07 PM ET

Indian Child Welfare Act impacts adoption custody battle

Ever since Veronica's biological mother gave her up for custody, Veronica's adoptive parents have been by her side.

When Veronica turned 4-months-old, her biological father wanted paternal rights. He was granted custody under a federal law, the Indian Child Welfare Act, which was created to keep Native American children from being removed from their biological families.  Veronica's biological father is Cherokee.

Now, her adoptive parents are appealing the ruling that forced them to give up their baby. CNN's Randi Kaye reports for Anderson Cooper 360.

February 22nd, 2012
12:39 PM ET

Engage: High court will revisit race in college admissions

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

University of Texas responds to high court's decision to review affirmative action case -The Texas Tribune

Report: More difficult for black, Latino seniors to retire than other Americans -Colorlines

Analysis: Women experience different symptoms, higher death rate after heart attack -Time Magazine

Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa prepares for next chapter -The New York Times

National Museum of African American History and Culture breaks ground -USA Today

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Filed under: Engage
Opinion: When 'studying while Muslim' is probable cause
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly speaks at police headquarters on January 27.
February 22nd, 2012
11:51 AM ET

Opinion: When 'studying while Muslim' is probable cause

Editor's note: Dean Obeidallah is a former attorney turned comedian and has appeared on Comedy Central's "Axis of Evil" special, ABC's "The View" and HLN's "The Joy Behar Show." He is co-executive producer of the annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and co-director of the upcoming documentary: "The Muslims Are Coming!" Follow him on Twitter.

By Dean Obeidallah, Special to CNN

(CNN) - First, there was "Flying While Muslim." This expression summed up the extra challenges of being an American Muslim when flying on commercial airlines.

This situation has become almost accepted as part of the American Muslim experience. In fact, I have even comically offered advice to people in my community on how to avoid extra problems when they fly: "Dress white, make your flight. Dress brown, never leave town."

But now there is something new: "Studying While Muslim." And there is nothing funny about it.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Education • Religion • What we think
February 22nd, 2012
08:14 AM ET

I am America: Hollywood High now a diverse high school

By Chuck Conder, CNN

Los Angeles, California (CNN) –For the better part of a century, Hollywood High School has been known as the high school of the stars: Judy Garland, Carol Burnett, Sarah Jessica Parker and James Garner are among the famous alumni.

But Judy Garland might not recognize her old alma mater today.

When she attended Hollywood High in the 1930’s the student body was almost all white.

Today, it is predominantly Latino, and made up of teens whose families came to America from every corner of the world.

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Filed under: Education • History • Latino in America • Where we live • Who we are
I Am America: Educator WJ O'Reilly
February 22nd, 2012
06:00 AM ET

I Am America: Educator WJ O'Reilly

WJ O'Reilly was raised in Foxborough, Massachusetts by an Irish father and Belgian mother who both believed in having a good education. WJ says he went to the best schools growing up, but learned that life is what you make of it depending on the path you choose to lead.

What makes you American?

Check out WJ's story and see other "I Am America" posts on iReport.

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Filed under: Education • Who we are
February 22nd, 2012
01:47 AM ET

Color lines blur at Mardi Gras: Krewe of Endymion has first African-American king

By Stacey Samuel, CNN

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) –This year George Lafargue Jr. won the lottery. His prize? He was named the King of Mardi Gras "super-krewe" Endymion.

“There’s members of Endymion been there 40-something years, and they [like me] put their names in that hopper, and they never been selected,” says Lafargue, who has been a member of Endymion, one of the largest Mardi Gras organizations, since 2005.

LaFargue’s name was picked out of 2500 members.

But, just a few decades ago his name may never have been in the running. Endymion began in 1967 and has always been integrated, but old-line krewes, the private organizations responsible for Mardi Gras festivities, were once segregated.

In the more than two centuries since Mardi Gras was introduced by the French, the pre-Lenten tradition has, for most of its existence, been experienced in black and white.

Mardi Gras spirit defines the soul of New Orleans


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Filed under: Black in America • History • Race • Where we live