In New Jersey, a bill that would prevent sexual assault survivors from receiving invoices for forensic examinations, as well as for medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy tests, and emergency contraception, awaits the signature of Republican Governor Chris Christie. The bill was passed by a majority in both the state House and Senate. It is unclear whether Christie will sign the bill into law.
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) stated, "In no other crime would it even be contemplated that victims receive an invoice for the collection of evidence needed to prosecute the offenders."
Congresswoman Annette Quijano (D-Union), who sponsored the bill,remarked, "This is simply the right thing to do. Sexual assault victims have already suffered enough. I see no reason why we should add to that suffering by essentially forcing them to pay for the investigation into their own assault. We must remember that these women are the victims, not the criminals."
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 8/16/11; Newark Star Ledger 8/14/11
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. . . .