Israeli President Escapes Jail Time for Rape Charges
Women's rights activists in Israel are expressing outrage at a plea bargain that will exempt President Moshe Katsav from going to prison for sexual harassment and rape. In January, Attorney General Manchem Mazuz announced plans to indict Katsav after ten women complained that he sexually harassed them, and one accused him of raping her repeatedly over several months. Katsav has agreed to plead guilty only to committing indecent sexual acts. He will resign next month with a suspended sentence, but serve no jail time, Reuters reports. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Members of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Tel Aviv protested the plea bargain in Rabin Square on Saturday, under the slogan "we will not abandon the victims." Activists still hope that Mazuz will overturn the plea agreement, which Talia Livni, head of leading women's rights organization Na-amat, described as "spitting in the face of women," according to Haaretz, an English-language newspaper reporting on Israel and the Middle East.
Media Resources: Haaretz 6/28/07, 6/29/07; Reuters 6/28/07
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. . . .