A group of eight Planned Parenthood organizations filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas on Wednesday to prevent the state from excluding them from its Women's Health Program. In March, Governor Rick Perry implemented a rule that excludes affiliates of abortion providers from the Medicaid Women's Health Program, essentially cutting any government funding to Planned Parenthood. The eight Planned Parenthood organizations who filed the suit do not provide abortion services.
CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County in South Texas, Patricio Gonzales, told reporters from Reuters that the "worst of all my fears is that these women will forgo life-saving screenings, comprehensive exams, reliable birth control and other vital preventive healthcare services."
Following the implementation of the funding restrictions, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the federal government will no longer provide funding through the Medicaid family planning program for the state of Texas. Officials at the Medicaid federal agency said that states are not allowed to restrict patient's access to particular providers and still receive federal funding.
Media Resources: Reuters 4/11/12; AP 4/11/12; NPR 4/11/12, Feminist Daily News Wire 3/16/12
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .