A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against a twelve week abortion ban in Arkansas while the constitutionality of the bill is in question.
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright of Little Rock granted the request of two doctors involved in the case to block the enforcement of the bill. In her decision she said, "I believe that there is a threat of irreparable harm, because these doctors... could face loss of their license... They also have established that their patients could suffer irreparable harm by not being able to have abortions post 12-weeks but during that pre-viability period." The injunction will prevent the bill from going into effect until after Wright has heard closing arguments in the case and issued her decision. Currently, no date has been set to hear arguments in the case.
The "Human Heartbeat Protection Act," or Act 301, bans abortion once a human heartbeat is detected using a standard abdominal ultrasound, usually at 12 weeks gestation. The bill was passed into law when the state legislature voted to override the governor's veto. The ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights have filed a lawsuit on behalf of two doctors in the state who are challenging the constitutionality of the pre-viability ban.
Media Resources: Associated Press 5/17/2013; Los Angeles Times 5/17/2013; New York Times 5/17/2013; Feminist Newswire 5/17/2013
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. . . .