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Women’s March Debates Whether to Include Pro-Life Group and Other Notes from the Week

Catch up on all the news you might have missed with our handy summary of the week’s top stories.

We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.


As Women’s March on Washington Approaches, Organizers Debate Whether to Include Pro-Life Groups

This week much news buzzed around the Women’s March on Washington. Organizers have been planning the march in the months following the election of Donald Trump, hoping to send a message to the new president upon his inauguration. Trump is coming to power with a history of sexism, including mocking Megyn Kelly after a Fox debate, belittling Carly Fiorina for her looks, judging his own daughter by her sexual attractiveness on a radio program, and being exposed for saying exploitative comments about women on a tape with Billy Bush. All this, coupled with how many women were hoping they’d be breaking the presidential glass ceiling this year, has led many women to want to show their strength in numbers.

The march has reached support from women on all ends of the political spectrum. This week, however, talk of whether or not pro-life supporters should be included sparked a controversy. Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, founder of the pro-life feminist group New Wave Feminists, signed up to be a partner of the Women’s March and was accepted this past week, but after the Atlantic published a piece praising the inclusiveness of the March, abortion advocates reacted strongly on Twitter requesting the organizers remove the group from its partners. “You're not a feminist (or at all smart) if you don't support safe and legal access to abortion for all women,” read one Tweet. Shortly after the Twitter storm, the March organizers removed New Wave Feminists from its online list of partners. Herndon-De La Rosa, who says her anti-abortion stance stems from feminist principles, remains undeterred in her resolve to march; as she said in a statement on her Facebook page, “See ya Saturday!” —Mary Rose Somarriba

People’s Choice Awards Was a Night o’ Surprises

The People’s Choice Awards took place this week, revealing the nation’s favorites in categories ranging from TV to film to music. Country singer Blake Shelton, for instance, beat Beyoncé for best album. Later, when Blake Lively beat Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Amy Adams for Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress for her role in The Shallows, the actress had some positive words to share: “When you guys voted for this [award], you didn’t just vote for this movie or me, but you voted for girl power,” Lively said accepting the award. “Thank you for sending a message to Hollywood that people want to hear stories about women . . . tell your stories, now more than ever. You need to be heard. You are valuable and no one can limit you.”

Among other favorite winners were Ellen DeGeneres for Daytime TV Host, Melissa McCarthy for her comedic role in Ghostbusters, This Is Us for New TV Drama, and The Girl on the Train for Thriller Movie. But perhaps our favorite moment of all was when Tyler Perry, upon accepting the Favorite Humanitarian award, shared some convicting words with viewers on the harms of information-overload: “You turn on your phone, you turn on your television, you are met with darkness, negativity . . . You don’t even need to search for it because it’s searching for you. It can find you. It’s right there beside you. It’s in your pocket,” the actor and producer warned. “You have to be careful of that when you have things that close to your pocket that they don’t seep into your heart. If you keep taking it in, it can consume you. It can make you become cynical and jaded and remove you from all the struggles of our brothers and sisters.” Given the realities of social media overload and Internet addiction, we can’t help but agree. —MRS

Reese Witherspoon Says Hollywood Needs More Real Stories of Women

Reese Witherspoon this week spoke out about the need to portray real women’s issues on the big screen. The star is no stranger to speaking out for more women’s representation in cinema, having advocated in the past for women to play a more major role in the film industry. The Oscar-winning actress has taken on roles that depict a strong female lead, such as Wild, as well as roles behind the camera. Her latest pursuit has her producing the upcoming television series Big Little Lies, in which she also acts alongside five leading women.

Speaking recently at the Televisions Critics Association Winter Press Tour, Witherspoon took the opportunity to speak out about the need for more real issues that affect women to be represented in entertainment, “I’m passionate because things have to change. We have to start seeing women as they really are in film. And not just in a movie theater with a tiny budget. We need to see real women’s experience whether it involves domestic violence, whether it involves sexual assault, whether it involves motherhood or romance or infidelity or divorce.” She went on to reference her Big Little Lies’ costars, “I feel like I constantly see women of incredible talent playing wives and girlfriends in thankless parts, I just had enough. It’s a unique pleasure to be able to come to other women with a piece of material I feel deeply proud of and excited to see their performance. These are the kinds of things that shift consciousness.” —Katie Faley

Dancing with the Stars’ Peta Murgatroyd Speaks Words of Patience to Postpartum Women

Peta Murgatroyd is getting real about post-baby bodies this week. The Dancing With the Stars pro took to Instagram a couple of weeks after welcoming her first child to share her thoughts on the postpartum experience. Murgatroyd welcomed her son, Shai Aleksander, on January 4 with fiancé and fellow Dancing with the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The star showed off her postpartum shape along with a caption, "Real life: I took this photo eight days post-birth. I left the hospital looking five months pregnant. Many people think a woman should shrink right back to her pre-birth weight immediately. That is just not the truth for most." She wrapped up her post saying, “The female body is incredible and resilient, but healing and strengthening take time. Now it's time for patience and hard work. Lots of love to all the new mamas out there on the journey." On the topic of postpartum patience with our bodies, we couldn’t agree more! —KF

Betty White Turned 95

Betty White turned 95 years young this past Tuesday. We’re celebrating her more than seventy years in Hollywood making us laugh and winning us over with her charm and flair for entertainment. From The Golden Girls to that time she taught Cam Newton everything he knows about dabbing, White has won over our hearts—and hopefully will continue to do so for many more years to come.

In an interview with Katie Couric, White gave us some wise life advice to all of us: Snuggle often, stay busy, and most of all—have fun. But perhaps some of her best advice we can take away from the interview on her birthday is to live in and for the present. “One day at a time,” she tells us. If the fabulous Betty White can live one day at a time, surely we can too. —Mary Brodeur

Gaga Halftime Show Promises Horses

Superbowl LI is quickly approaching, and there might be no one else as excited for it as Lady Gaga. We first heard she would perform at the Super halftime last September, but only recently has Lady Gaga been showing us how she’s gearing up for her performance of a lifetime. With a string of teasers posted across her social media platforms, it appears Lady Gaga is preparing for quite the show—horseback riding and all.

The Super Bowl airs Sunday, February 5. With at least 110 million expected to tune in, we’re sure to be a part of that population who can’t wait to see what Lady Gaga has in store. Will it be a country-meets-pop showdown? We can only hope. —MB

Katherine Heigl Welcomes Her Third Child

Katherine Heigl’s family is now a party of five. The actor and her musician husband, Josh Kelley, opened up this week about welcoming their third child last month. Joshua Bishop Kelley Jr. joins big sisters Naleigh and Adalaide. Last year, Heigl took to Instagram to share the happy news with her fans. Upon sharing the big news, Heigl joked, “This is an incredibly exciting time for us filled with hope, anticipation, and hormones. Well, only I’m filled with hormones, but everyone in the family gets to enjoy them.” After welcoming her first two daughters via adoption, the actress confirmed she and her husband were expecting by posting a picture of the sonogram. “We were considering adoption again, fostering, or pregnancy if possible,” she explained. Heigl, who is 38, said, “Seeing as I have never been pregnant and as my OB-GYN reminded me last year I’m of advanced maternal age, I wasn’t sure pregnancy was even in the cards for us." Congratulations to Katherine and Josh on their growing family. —KF