A fire that occurred late last week at a New Orleans women's clinic appears to be arson. The fire, at Women with a Vision, occurred shortly after the FBI announced it was investigating arson attacks against clinics in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Women with a Vision's executive director, Deon Haywood, told the Times Picayune that several small fires appeared to have been set in four different places in the office, but the damage mostly occurred in one room. She also said that the fire occurred shortly before midnight and no one was injured.
Haywood told reporters, "I feel a great sense of pain and hurt. I feel violated. Our clients are not just numbers. They are family. We take care of one another." In a statement, the group that operates the Women with a Vision said that most of their equipment and resources were destroyed in the fire but vowed to continue their work. They wrote, "This cannot and will not stop us from speaking out for people who do not have a voice."
The National Abortion Federation reports that last year there were 114 attacks against abortion providers, "including three physicals assaults, one bombing, one incident of arson, 27 counts of vandalism and eight burglaries."
Media Resources: ThinkProgress 5/29/12; Care2 5/29/12; Times Picayune 5/28/12; Feminist Daily Newsire 5/25/12
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .