Army Releases Single Mother on Administrative Discharge
The US Army decided last week to dismiss specialist and single mother Alexis Hutchinson with an other-than-honorable discharge instead of a court-martial. Hutchinson, a 21-year-old Army cook, failed to board her flight for deployment to Afghanistan last fall after child care plans for her 10-month-old son fell through. The next day, the military arrested Hutchinson and temporarily placed her son in military daycare.
Hutchinson will not face criminal charges. However, due to the administrative discharge, Hutchinson will lose some of her veteran and Army benefits and her rank will be reduced, reported the New York Times.
Army regulations allow for extended time to set up new accommodations when single parent's childcare plans fall through. The parent is then honorably discharged if an alternate solution cannot be found, according to Truthout.
Hutchinson's mother, Angelique Hughes, had originally agreed to be the child's caretaker for Hutchinson's year-long deployment. She took him in for a few weeks in October, but found herself overwhelmed with existing responsibilities caring for other relatives and running an in-home daycare. According to the New York Times, Hughes contacted Hutchinson's company commander to explain the circumstances. At the time, she was told Hutchinson could delay deployment for 30 days to find alternate care.
Hutchinson's civilian attorney Rai Sue Sussman said during an interview with Truthout: "Here, the Army did not act according to their own regulations, and did not value the family responsibilities of this soldier. The lives of military families are very difficult and they often face a command that isn't understanding or empathetic towards the situation of raising a child in that environment."
Media Resources: Truthout 2/11/2010, NY Times 2/11/2010
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .