A Texas senate committee has passed a TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) bill that would require abortion clinics in the state to meet strict operating standards that could potentially close many of Texas's abortion providers. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed SB 537 on a vote of five to two. Similar TRAP laws threaten clinics in other states such as Alabama, Virginia, and Mississippi.
The bill was authored by Senator Bob Deuell (R) and two senate physicians. The proposed requirements would force abortion providers to follow the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, including specifics regarding the flooring and ventilation systems. Many clinics, especially in more rural areas, may not be able to afford the necessary renovation that SB 537 would require and could face closure.
Media Resources: CBS Dallas Fort Worth Local 3/19/13; Houston Chronicle 3/19/13; Texas Legislature Online
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. . . .