The Archdiocese of Chicago announced a $12.6 million settlement for 16 survivors of sexual assault by priests. Along with the financial settlement, the Archdiocese of Chicago also awarded survivors private apologies and a public apology by Cardinal Francis George, USA Today reports.
In the public apology, George said he hoped the settlements would help survivors and their families recover and continue their lives. For the future, George said, "We must continue to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the children in our care," according to the Associated Press.
A deposition made by Cardinal Francis George in the latest lawsuits was made public. In this statement, George conceded that he should have removed Daniel McCormack, a priest who had abused five children, at the recommendation of the archdiocese review board after McCormack's arrest in 2005. Two of the 16 cases relate to accusations against McCormack.
Survivor Therese Albrecht, 48, said of her abuse and the settlement case, "I'm very grateful I survived this. I didn't think I would." Albrecht had been raped and sodomized by Rev. Joseph R. Bennett as a child. When she reported her abuse as an adult, she felt the Archdiocese did not believe her claims, the Associated Press reports.
Media Resources: Associated Press, 8/13/08; USA Today, 8/13/08; Archdiocese of Chicago, 8/14/08
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. . . .