A North Dakota Judge has overturned a 2011 law that restricted drug-induced abortions yesterday, citing it as unconstitutional. East Central Judicial District Judge Wickham Corwin stated that, "I remain convinced that a woman's reproductive rights must be protected under the state constitution and must be recognized as fundamental," at the end of the three day civil trial.
The legislation, House Bill 1297, outlawed the use of medication for the intent of ending a pregnancy, despite this being a safe and common alternative to surgical abortions. The case was originally brought to court in July of 2011 by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), representing the Red River Women's clinic, the only women's clinic in North Dakota currently providing abortion services.
Nancy Northrup, the president and CEO of The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), said of the ban, "These efforts to keep North Dakota women from the best available medical care and deny them their right to make their own decisions about their pregnancies, their families, and their futures are not only disingenuous, but wholly unconstitutional."
Media Resources: Park Rapids Enterprise 4/19/13; Raw Story 4/19/13; San Francisco Chronicle 4/18/13
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. . . .