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  1. ‘Yes Means Yes’: Grappling With Teen Sexual Assault

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    California became the first state to require public schools to teach students that when it comes to sexual consent, “yes means yes.” This year, legislation has been proposed in several states to teach it. April 12, 2017 By: Teresa Wiltz A few years ago, when Mae Gayle Dalton was in the 9th grade, her close friend was sexually assaulted by a former boyfriend on school grounds. Making matters worse, Dalton said, school administrators punished her friend more severely than the boy. Fueled with rage, Dalton gave herself a crash course on sexual assault and the cultural forces that sometimes encourage it. And this year, as part of a Girl Scout project, she took on the task of educating her Danville, Virginia, community about what she learned. Armed with buttons and flyers, Dalton, now a high school senior, has been camping out at local fairs, Rotary Club meetings and school board sessions, giving speeches about her cause. And she’s been pushing her state…

  2. Montgomery County Delegate Sees Affirmative Consent Bill Falter at Session’s Close

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    Delegate Ariana Kelly said she plans to resurrect legislation next year April 12, 2017 By: Bethany Rodgers A push to incorporate lessons about affirmative consent into sex education curriculum across Maryland failed Monday in the waning hours of this year’s state legislative session. The legislation, spearheaded by Delegate Ariana Kelly (D-Bethesda), would have required school systems to teach students that “clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed and voluntary agreement” should precede any sexual activity. The proposal cleared the House of Delegates by a wide margin in March but got bogged down in the Senate on Monday as the  session drew to a close. On Tuesday, Kelly voiced optimism that the proposal will have more success down the road. “I think we will be able to get it through next year,” she  said. “The good news is that Montgomery County is still moving forward regardless.” Kelly said Montgomery County Public …

  3. Ariana Kelly takes helm of group dedicated to fighting for women

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    April 11, 2017 By: Suzanne Pollak After being elected president of the Women Legislators of Maryland, Del. Ariana Kelly (District 16) proclaimed that she had just “fulfilled one of my legislative dreams.” Kelly, who is already known around Annapolis for fighting for women’s causes, now heads an organization dedicated to the rights and needs of women and girls on issues such as child care, domestic violence and human trafficking. “I think it’s an incredible opportunity. I think there are a lot of ways to improve women’s lives,” she said. “For me, it’s both a tremendous honor to be elected by my colleagues, but it also is a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of the women of Maryland.” Maryland was the first state to have a women’s legislative caucus in the United States, according to Executive Director Marsha Wise. The caucus has 67 members, seven of whom are male, Wise said. Men gained the ab…

  4. Bethesda Delegates Urge Hogan To Speak Out Against Trump’s Proposed NIH Cuts

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    The state representatives said Bethesda research center is important part of state’s economy and worldwide healthcare, and Hogan should defend its funding March 23, 2017 By: Andrew Metcalf Three state delegates that represent the Bethesda area sent Gov. Larry Hogan a letter Tuesday imploring him to speak out against President Donald Trump’s proposed $5.8 billion cut in spending for the National Institutes of Health. Signed by Democratic Dels. Bill Frick, Ariana Kelly and Marc Korman, the letter notes Hogan has remained silent on the potential budget cut and that he should petition the federal government to stand up for the medical research center. NIH is Montgomery County’s largest employer with over 20,000 employees at its Bethesda headquarters. The cut proposed by Trump in his budget outline released last week would be about 19 percent of NIH’s annual budget. The cut was among many proposed by Trump at large federal agencies, some of which could h…

  5. Maryland legislators consider additional funding for Planned Parenthood

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    March 9, 2017 By: John Rydell   The Maryland General Assembly is continuing a contingency plan to help fund Planned Parenthood of Maryland if federal funds for the organization are eliminated. The action comes as a result of the proposal introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Monday to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Karen J. Nelson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland, says the impact of losing federal funding would be great. "Twenty five thousand women on Medicaid and the Title Ten Program utilize Planned Parenthood services each year so we're worried about those 25,000 patients that come to us for life saving health care." A bill being considered by Maryland legislators would appropriate $2.7 million a year in state funding for Planned Parenthood of Maryland. Delegate Ariana Kelly, a Democrat who represents Montgomery County, says "We're talking about family planning visits, well woman visits, STD testing, cancer screenings, servic…

  6. Md. bill would direct state money to Planned Parenthood if Congress cuts funding

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    By Ovetta Wiggins  March 8, 2017    Leading Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly want to increase funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in the state if Congress cuts federal funds for the reproductive health-care services the organization provides. Lawmakers have sponsored a bill that would allocate $2.7 million to help pay for health-care services that officials say nearly 25,000 women in Maryland could lose under a proposal introduced in Congress this week. “This is about protecting the citizens of Maryland, keeping them in good health,” lead sponsor Del. Shane E. Pendergrass (D-Howard) said Wednesday, surrounded by a host of female lawmakers dressed in red for International Women’s Day. “We will not let the federal government mess up the state of Maryland.” The legislation is the latest attempt by Maryland Democrats to counteract actions by President Trump and Republicans in Congress that Democrats co…

  7. State House Democrats rally in support of legislation protecting women

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    By David Collins March 8, 2017   State House Democrats on Wednesday rallied in support of legislation protecting women who rely on the services of Planned Parenthood, not the least of which is contraception. The legislation is in response to a proposal now before Congress that cuts off federal funding for Planned Parenthood. It's also part of an ongoing effort by state House Democrats to counter actions by President Donald Trump. Nursing student Keisha Bates is among the 25,000 people in Maryland who depend on Planned Parenthood for some of their medical care. Keisha sought an intrauterine device form of contraceptive. "I have never been more comfortable with such an invasive and intimate procedure. I left my appointment feeling empowered and respected and in control of my body," Bates said. Bates spoke out in opposition to a move in Congress toward cutting off federal money for Planned Parenthood. The Trump administration said it will support funding if the organiz…

  8. Maryland weighs teaching ‘yes means yes’ as part of sex ed

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    By Josh Hicks  February 13, 2017   Two Maryland lawmakers are pushing legislation that would require the state’s public schools to teach a “yes means yes” standard for sexual consent, wading into a national debate as they try to change the way young people think about romantic relationships. Maryland would become only the second state to require public schools to teach affirmative consent if the legislature and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) approve the proposal by Dels. Ariana B. Kelly and Marice Morales, both Montgomery County Democrats. California adopted a similar mandate in 2015, in the wake of rape allegations involving a student at Stanford University who argued that his sexual encounter with an intoxicated young woman was consensual. Kelly and Morales that would require Montgomery County Public Schools to teach affirmative consent in sexual-education classes will be the focus of a hearing Tuesday before the House Ways and Mean…

  9. Wealthy Maryland is poor in child-care subsidies

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    By Josh Hicks   January 2, 2016   A group of Maryland lawmakers is pushing Gov. Larry Hogan and the General Assembly to increase financial assistance for families struggling to cover child-care costs, noting that the state ranks among the least generous in the nation for such aid. Advocates say state and federal funding levels for child-care subsidies are too low, forcing Maryland to restrict how many low-income families qualify for vouchers and greatly limiting which day-care centers those families can afford. Adding to the financial pressure are new federal regulations that say states must subsidize child care at rates that allow parents to enroll their children in higher-priced programs, rather than only the cheapest. Del. Ariana B. Kelly (D-Montgomery) and Sen. Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery), who chair a legislative committee that oversees child care in the state, want Hogan (R) to increase funding for subsidies and work with the panel to come up with tax pro…

  10. Teaching consent proposed for sex education

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    By Susan PollackDecember 22, 2016 With a little help from her daughter, District 16 Delegate Ariana Kelly has proposed the inclusion of a definition of “affirmative consent” into the seventh and tenth grade sex education classes in the Montgomery County Public Schools. Students in those grades learn about pregnancy prevention, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, but “nothing about the basic concept” that the sex must be consensual, Kelly said, adding, “Shouldn’t that go first?” Her one-page bill, which is co-sponsored by District 19 Delegate Marice Morales, defines “affirmative consent” as “clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed and voluntary agreement between all participants to engage in each act within the course of sexual activity.” The Montgomery County Board of Elections is opposed to the bill. “The Board believes in maintaining local authority to determine educational policy and curri…