Top military officials are calling to lift the military's ban on women serving on submarines. Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the top military officer in the US, said in congressional testimony on Friday that he believes the US should "broaden opportunities for women" and that "one policy [he] would like to see changed is the one barring [women's] service aboard submarines," according to Reuters.
Navy Secretary Ray Mubus said in a statement Friday, "we are moving out aggressively on this. I believe women should have every opportunity to serve at sea, and that includes aboard submarines...This is something the CNO (chief of naval operations) and I have been working on since I came into office," reported Agence France Presse.
Due to the lifting of some combat bans in the 1990s, women in the Navy are able to serve on surface combat ships and combat aircrafts. However, they have not been not allowed to serve on submarines in part due to living space issues. According to the Washington Post, submarines would need to be slightly modified to provide privacy in the living quarters of both enlisted women and men, and bathrooms would need to be accessed in a time-sharing arrangement. Naval officers told the Washington Post that women's lower retention rates (15 percent compared to more than 30 percent for men) lead to the military's concern that integration could result in gaps in the submarine force.
Media Resources: The Washington Post 9/26/09; Reuters 9/26/09; AFP 9/26/09
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. . . .