This Week in Women: Justice is Served (Kind of)
You know that saying about justice being blind? Well, it’s not. Sometimes “justice” translates to women being sent to jail for having miscarriages. Then again, sometimes it means women have the option to sue publications for accusing them of being high-profile escorts due to a few nude pictures. Welcome to this week in women: the justice has (kind of) been served edition!
Three Strikes, Weiner’s Out
On Monday, the New York Post revealed that Huma Abedin’s husband Anthony Weiner had cheated on her via sext. Again. For the third time. There’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to this man’s sexting career.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Abedin is a top aide to Hillary Clinton who served as Deputy Chief of Staff during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. She is with Clinton basically all the time and has been embroiled in her own fair share of political scandals, both Clinton- and non-Clinton related.
Abedin and Weiner, former New York State congressman, married on Long Island in 2009. Two years later, he accidentally tweeted a dick pic that he had meant to slide into someone’s DMs. He first told Politico that he had been hacked, but that was, of course, not true. A week after his first sexting incident, he tearfully admitted he had been sexting various women, not just the one who was supposed to get the leaked image. Despite this, Abedin decided to stay with him. Also, she was pregnant. Strike one for Weiner.
In 2013, Weiner ran for Mayor of New York City with Huma by his side. “Look, I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down, but I’ve also learned some tough lessons. I hope I get a second chance to work for you,” he said in a campaign video. And then new sexts emerged, allegedly from 2012. Strike two.
This past year, Weiner was released, a documentary about the twice-disgraced politician’s campaign. The documentary showed that, despite their tumultuous marriage, Anthony and Huma were close political allies. And, if this video is anything to go by, that’s all they were.
Strike three came this week, when it emerged that Weiner was sexting a Trump supporter, of all people, while sitting in bed next to his and Abedin’s young son, Jordan (Weiner is now reportedly being investigated by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services). Finally, after the third strike, Huma was out.
“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband,” Abedin said in a statement the morning the third round of dick pics emerged. “Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”
Girl, people have been sifting through your emails for weeks now. We respect your desire for privacy, but it’s unlikely you’ll be getting that any time soon.
Another Trump Lawsuit?
Earlier this year, the Daily Mail reported that Melania Trump’s modeling agency “operated as an escort agency for wealthy clients,” insinuating that Melania was an escort, not a model. The Mail since retracted their claims, but it’s too late. Melania announced that she’s suing the Mail, as well as a U.S.-based blogger, Webster Tartly, for defamation.
Her attorney, Michael Harder, was recently Hulk Hogan’s lawyer in his multimillion-dollar suit against Gawker Media—and we all know how that turned out.
Melania is seeking $150 million in damages for “the egregious, malicious, and harmful actions of the publication and the blogger,” the Huffington Post reports. According to Harder, these allegations were “tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation.”
“Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the U.S. and the world—without any justification,” Harder said in a statement about the case. “Their many lies include, among others, that Mrs. Trump was supposedly an ‘escort’ in the 1990s before she met her husband.”
On the one hand, being lied about and publicly defamed is a terrible thing no one should go through. On the other hand, you know that old saying about those who live in glass houses?
Reproductive Justice, Sort Of
Last year, an Indiana jury sentenced a 33-year-old woman named Purvi Patel to 30 years in prison for the apparent crime of delivering a 24-week-old stillborn child in her home and disposing of the body in a dumpster. She will soon be released from prison, after having served a little over a year of her sentence.
She was found guilty of both feticide and child neglect, which, as Jezebel’s Jia Tolentino points out “both hinge on the same question and cancel each other out: if Patel had killed her fetus (allegedly with abortion drugs purchased online) then there would be no child for her to criminally neglect.” No trace of abortion drugs were found in her body, nor was any evidence found of Patel having purchased the drugs. Patel was the seventh woman from Indiana to face charges for feticide.
Her feticide charge was overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals—the child neglect one was not—since her attorney had argued that prosecuting a client for miscarrying under Indiana’s feticide law was both unprecedented and a misapplication of a law intended to be used against illegal abortion providers or abusive partners who forced women to have abortions, not against women themselves.
In August, the state’s Attorney General refused to appeal the decision, making her release possible. This week, Indiana judge Elizabeth C. Hurley announced that Patel should be released from prison effective immediately.
Although this is a huge victory for Patel—and presumably for other women who miscarry in the state of Indiana—Indiana is infamous for its draconian abortion laws. Abortion is legal in Indiana, but women seeking abortions are required to endure mandatory waiting periods and counseling, as well as parental consent for minors. In March 2016, Governor Mike Pence (yeah, that Mike Pence) passed a law banning abortions based solely on a fetus’ disability or genetic anomaly, which was later blocked by a federal judge. Boom, roasted.
Image via the LA Times.
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.