Obama Administration Endorses Abortion Access for Military Survivors of Rape
The Obama Administration released an official statement yesterday that includes support for abortion access for military survivors of rape. The statement [PDF] calls for changes to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, which details the military's budget, but supports an amendment that would allow military personnel to use their insurance to cover an abortion in cases of rape or incest. The statement also supports access to elective abortions for all servicewoman and military dependents when they use their own funds, including servicewomen overseas.
Under the amendment, armed servicewomen would be granted the same rights as civilian women under federal policies that provide affordable abortion care to women who are the victims of rape or incest. Under the current policy, servicewomen are only eligible for abortion care if the woman's life is at risk.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) told reporters, "[This amendment] is particularly important given the tragically high rate of sexual assaults in our military. ...I believe that American service women are entitled to the same rights and access to reproductive health care as the civilians they protect."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 11/29/12; Statement of the Administration Policy 11/29/12; East County Magazine 11/27/12; Feminist Newswire 5/25/12
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. . . .