US Female Soldiers Speak Out Against Sexual Assault
With over 190,000 women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, female soldiers have brought sexual assault in the military to the attention of military authorities and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). According to the Associated Press, 15 percent of women veterans who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have reported being sexually assaulted, raped, or sexually harassed to the VA.
To focus more on the needs of women veterans, the VA has opened a new ward in New Jersey to treat these survivors of military sexual trauma. Carolyn Schapper, of the Virginia Army National Guard, reported repeated sexual harassment from a male superior who would come into her room unannounced. Schapper feared that reporting this behavior would result in her removal from the house, not the other solider. “I didn’t want to be moved, and basically I’d be punished in a sense,” Schapper commented to the Associated Press.
The Miles Foundation, a non-profit that supports survivors of sexual assault in the military, reported that depression, anxiety, and domestic abuse could follow from instances of sexual abuse, according to the Associated Press.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .