Items planned to be sold in an online auction to support the legal defense of Scott Roeder, the alleged murderer of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller, MD, were posted briefly on eBay last night. Items posted include an autographed protest bullhorn, drawings by another inmate and signed by Scott Roeder, and a prison cookbook written by Shelley Shannon, who shot Dr. Tiller five times in 1993, according to Talking Points Memo. Currently, the pages for the items state that the listing "has been removed, or this item is not available."
Last week, eBay announced plans to block the auction and, according to the Associated Press, eBay said, "Based on the details we know about the anticipated listings, we believe these would violate our policy regarding offensive material. The company intends to remove any listings that are posted due to policies that bar listings promoting or glorifying violence or hatred." On Friday, eBay's associate general counsel for government relations, Jack Christin Jr., said "We do not oppose all listings that raise money for legal defense funds...However, our policy does not permit listings that benefit someone charged with or convicted of a crime."
The trial for Roeder has been postponed until January 2010. Roeder's trial for first degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault had originally been set to begin in September of this year. If convicted of all charges, Roeder faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Dr. Tiller, who was medical director of the Women's Health Care Services clinic in Wichita, Kansas, was killed in May at his church. The Department of Justice opened an investigation in June to look into possible federal crimes associated with the murder. The federal government also convened a meeting of the National Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers in the days following the murder and Attorney General Eric Holder deployed US Marshals to protect highly threatened clinics and staff.
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. . . .