Israel's Supreme Court's three-judge panel ruled unanimously to reject former President Moshe Katsav's appeal of his rape charges. Katsav was ordered to spend seven years in jail for sexually harassing two women while serving as president and raping an employee during his term as cabinet minister.
Judge Salim Joubran stated, that Katsav "fell from the loftiest heights to the deepest depths. Such a senior official should be a role model to his subordinates. Every woman has a right to her own body. A right to dignity. A right to freedom. No one has the liberty to take any of those from her."
Katsav will begin to serve his sentence on December 7th. According to the Washington Post, "Katsav is the highest-ranking Israeli official ever sentenced to prison." Katsav was first accused in 2006 and resigned in 2007, just two weeks before his seven year term was set to expire.
Media Resources: Associated Press 11/10/11; Huffington Post 11/10/11
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
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.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .