High-Profile Case Highlights Problem of Rape in Mexico
A high-profile case involving the conviction of 15 former policemen on charges of kidnapping and rape in Mexico City has focused public attention on the lack of protection for rape victims in Mexico. In this case, two girls, aged 13 and 15, were abducted and raped by the police officers, then publicly harangued by the defendants’ supporters and the media.
Although in this case the officers were convicted, an atmosphere of hostility and shame prevents many other rape victims from ever filing charges. Investigators and lawyers often ask victims to prove that they were virgins prior to the rape and whether they “enjoyed” it. Women are frequently threatened by rapists’ relatives and friends, and accused by their own families of “provoking” the attack. One woman who identified the godson of the state attorney general as an attacker was illegally jailed and beaten by police. She later committed suicide.
Women’s rights organizations in Mexico have responded by calling for the implementation of laws that protect victims’ privacy. However, Rivera said, “As long as men continue to be taught that women are sex objects, something to have power over, nothing is going to change.”
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. . . .