Dr. Kaye Whitley Testifies at Congressional Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military
The Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs on Wednesday held a hearing on sexual assault in the military. Dr. Kaye Whitley, director of the Department of Defense's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, testified at the hearing. She was ordered by her Pentagon superiors to ignore a congressional subpoena to attend a previous hearing on the topic this past July.
In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman John F. Tierney (D-MA) said that "not only did Dr. Whitley and the Department choose to defy a legal subpoena and to place Dr. Whitley in danger of contempt and personal legal jeopardy for her non-appearance, but the Department gave no valid legal justification for restricting her from appearing, and Dr. Whitley proffered none as well."
In her testimony (see PDF) Dr. Whitley stated that “we have accomplished remarkable progress in a short time frame but we know our work to eradicate sexual assault is not complete." She outlined the current programs she directs throughout her testimony, but did not directly address her absence at the July hearing.
The Department of Defense's Fourth Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military cites 2,688 reported cases of sexual assault by military personnel in fiscal year 2007. Report rates are suspected to be low, and according to the DOD only 8% of those investigated for sexual assault were referred to courts martial. In the civil courts 40% of arrested rape suspects are prosecuted.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 8/1/08; Department of Defense Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, March 2008; Testimony of Dr. Kaye Whitley 9/10/08; John F. Tierney Opening Statement 9/10/08; Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .