Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger is managing editor at Raw Story and a former Prospect editorial assistant.

Recent Articles

A D.C. Repro Rights Victory

Congress ended a ban on D.C.'s use of local funds to pay for abortions. It is a rare win in the ongoing battle to secure reproductive rights.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed a bill that will allow the District of Columbia to once again use its own local tax dollars to pay for abortion services for low-income women. The 2010 omnibus appropriations bill lifted a restriction on the nation's capital using local funds for abortion care that has been imposed by Congress every year since 1988. (The bill also lifted restrictions on funding potential medical marijuana and needle exchange programs.) "This is really something to be celebrated from the point of view of women who live in D.C. who are low-income," said Heather Boonstra, senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute. At its core, lifting the restrictions gives D.C. "home rule" like other states and allows autonomy over its own funding. Now, D.C. can once again put local funding toward Medicaid that would pay for abortion services and care. Medicaid is paid for through a combination of federal and state funds. Federal funding can't be used for...


Yesterday, on the 60th anniversary of the integration of the military, the House Armed Services Committee held a the first hearing to review President Bill Clinton 's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. One of the opponents to gays serving in the military that testified was Elaine Donnelly , the president of the Center for Military Readiness. Donnelly seemed more than obsessed with the "sex" part of "homosexuals," as she always made sure to say. She claimed that by allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, there would be an increase of "inappropriate passive aggressive sexual behavior common in the homosexual community." Her definition of "passive aggressive" behavior is sexual conduct that "stops short" of sexual assault. She kept referring to the "close living quarters" military lived in and the "power of sexuality." In other words, Donnelly seems to think that gays and lesbians are unable to control their sexual conduct. She also seemed to think that by placing gays...


Ralph Blumenthal , who has done some fantastic investigative crime reporting, wrote an article in the Times this weekend examining the FBI's efforts in the 1980s to break up a sect of the Sicilian Mafia by cooperating with the Italian government. Blumenthal wonders if this method could be used to break up some of the drug gangs in Mexico. The comparison both works and doesn't. Clearly we live in a vastly different world than the one the Brooklyn Mafia dominated, but the common thread is asking for international cooperation to leverage power against drug lords that cannot be countered by one government alone. The problem is, if anything, greater this time around. Since 2006, in Mexico, there have been 4,402 violent deaths in Mexico -- of those, at least 449 were police officers or soldiers. Meanwhile the dialog related to Mexico in the United States is restricted primarily to immigration. The media generally ignores the reality that Latin immigration in the United States is related to...


As a follow up to Kate 's post on the Rand study about post-traumatic stress disorder I wanted to note a couple of things. The LA Times article about the study says that "screening techniques for stress disorders are vastly improved from previous wars." That's true because treatment for PTSD basically didn't exist before Vietnam veterans began returning, but, as I've reported before , there are basically two things that will vastly improve the treatment and post-combat condition of incoming soldiers who could suffer from combat-related stress. First, provide a comprehensive screening survey that would signal which soldiers are more likely to bring harm to themselves or others thanks to mental stress. This by no means would be a perfect system, especially since many soldiers feel stigma from combat-related stress and don't want to appear weak by saying they've had flashbacks or thoughts of suicide, but it would provide leaps and bounds of data for research on how to best treat soldiers...


Dana rightly pointed out that affirmative action is under threat this fall in several states, but there is some good news. It's not five states, as Dana said, it's now four. Oklahoma withdrew it's anti-affirmative action ballot initiative earlier this month due to a lack of signatures. In fact, the secretary of state found that of the 141,184 signatures gathered, many were duplicates. --Kay Steiger