Officials at St. Mary’s Hospital and Waterbury Hospital began negotiations in 2011 to merge and join a Texas-owned company. But the state Permanent Commission on the Status of Women—with MergerWatch, a hospital watchdog group—successfully argued against the merger by making the case that since the new hospital would honor Catholic religious directives, a significant portion of patients would be left vulnerable—because God help you if you are a woman and need emergency reproductive services at a Roman Catholic hospital. Medical professionals at Catholic-owned or -sponsored hospitals operate under directives—known officially as the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. These directives come from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and take 43 pages (plus footnotes) to describe what constitutes appropriate Catholic health care.
The gender wage gap has existed as long as women have been in the workplace, and despite legislation through the years — 1963’s Equal Pay Act, and 2009’s Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act – the gap doesn’t seem to be closing. That is unfair and wrong, and damaging to far more than the female employees earning smaller paychecks than their male peers. More and more, families rely on the female wage earners for necessities. What’s worse, in a few years, the gap is going to hit everyone where it hurts – in the pocketbook in the form of increased taxes needed to pay for public services for baby boomer women (like me, and thank you for your contribution) who may not be able to make ends meet living on smaller pensions and/or Social Security benefits. So now is as good a time as any to practice a little math.
If you’re a woman, Connecticut is not a bad place to be. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) released a report last month that examined the status of women by state. Overall, Minnesota was named the best place for women because of that state’s policies around issues such as reproductive rights, employment, poverty, and health. Three states – Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont – tied for second. Even better news?