Female Officers to Begin Serving on US Navy Submarines
On Thursday, the US Navy announced that women will start serving on US submarines in December 2011. Twenty-four female officers began training in July and will become the first women to serve on American submarines, according to CNN. Though women have served on the Navy's non-combat surface ships since 1973 and its combat surface ships since 1993, they have never been allowed to serve on submarines.
The Associated Press reports that women were previously barred from submarine duty due to the extended deployments and the close quarters required for submarine service.
The female officers were chosen from US Naval Academy graduates, ROTC programs, and Officer Candidate School, reports CNN. The women will serve on four submarines, including the USS Wyoming and USS Georgia, which are based in Kings Bay, Georgia, and the USS Maine and USS Ohio, based in Bangor, Washington. The 560-foot submarines were chosen for their large size, which will allow the Navy to create accommodations for women onboard.
The Associated Press reports that the Navy is currently allowing only female Officers to serve on submarines.
Media Resources: CNN 10/22/10; Associated Press 10/21/10
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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.
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