Fort Hood Soldiers Recruited for Prostitution Ring During Sexual Assault Program
Female soldiers testified on Monday that they were recruited for a prostitution ring organized by a sergeant at Fort Hood in Texas.
The officer who organized the ring preyed upon and recruited young female soldiers through a sexual assault and harassment program, which he coordinated. The current trial involves a different man, who allegedly used the prostitution ring, and arose from an investigation into the coordinator, who remains unnamed.
This case adds to the growing outcry over the rate and mishandling of sexual abuse cases in the U.S. military. Reports of sexual assault in the military increased by a whopping 36 percent in 2012, but the vast majority of victims - 89 percent, according to the Pentagon itself - do not report sex crimes at all.
One-half of female victims indicate not reporting sexual assault because they do not believe anything will be done by their commanders. The Military Justice Improvement Act, which is languishing in the Senate, aims to improve the situation by taking prosecution of sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and giving it to independent military prosecutors
TAKE ACTION: Email your Senators to tell them that we must change the current system of handling sexual assault cases. It is simply not working.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .