After a long delay, the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims Bill is now being considered by the Wisconsin State Assembly. The bill, which would require hospitals to provide rape victims with information about emergency contraception and access to the medication if it is requested, already passed the State Senate with a 27-6 vote. It has been stalled in the Judiciary and Ethics Committee of the State Assembly.
Representative Mark Gundrum, chair of the committee, finally granted a long-awaited hearing on the bill last Thursday. A Republican who opposes the bill, Rep. Gundrum resisted holding hearings because of his concerns regarding doctors with religious objections to emergency contraception. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), a sponsor of the Assembly bill, stated that the bill already made exceptions for these doctors. Rep. Pocan anticipates an attempt by opponents to amend the legislation, which he said he would be open to as long as the alterations do not "gut" the bill, the Capital Times reports.
Although the bill has faced recent defeats in the state Legislature, similar legislation has been successful elsewhere. Chris Taylor, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, stated, "Nine other states have passed this law and there has never been a constitutional challenge. The state clearly has the right to regulate health care professionals and entities to protect the safety, health and life of patients," reports the Capital Times.
Media Resources: Madison Times 9/7/07, 9/6/07, 9/5/07; Daily Cardinal 9/10/07
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. . . .