Anti-Choice Amendment Restricts Abortion Funding for Indian Health Services
US Senate passed Senator David Vitter's (R-Louisiana) anti-choice amendment that would prevent funding for abortion for the Indian Health Services (IHS) yesterday. Reproductive Health Reality Check reports that this amendment to the Indian Health Services Act would not change the current policy regarding funding to the IHS because the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding of abortion. However, Sen. Vitter's amendment would be a roadblock if the Hyde Amendment were to be changed.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a press release, "Sen. Vitter's amendment is simply a political tactic that will do nothing to improve health care for Native Americans, nor reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. If Sen. Vitter is serious about preventing unintended pregnancies, he would support preventative legislation that invests in family planning programs. Unfortunately, Senator Vitter's amendment puts politics over the health and welfare of native Americans."
According to Planned Parenthood, Native American women are three-and-a-half times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted, and the teen birth rate on reservations is soaring. The IHS is the only federal agency responsible for Native American health care, and it does not provide the necessary sexual health care for Native American Women.
Media Resources: Planned Parenthood 02/26/08, 12/28/05; Reproductive Health Reality Check 02/26/08; S. Amdt. 3896; National Abortion Federation; Feministing.com 02/26/08
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. . . .