Montana District judge G. Todd Baugh faces criticism for sentencing a 54-year-old former teacher, Stacey Rambold, to only 30 days in jail for repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl. Rambold was first charged in 2008 when the victim, one of his students, told a church counselor she had been sexually assaulted. She committed suicide in 2010 as the case was proceeding in court.
The judge's original remarks blamed the girl for the rape, saying she was just "as much in control of the situation" as her teacher and that she was a troubled youth "older than her chronological age." The judge later apologized for his remarks, but he stands by the sentencing decision he made on August 26 of this year.
Almost 30,000 people have already signed a petition on MoveOn.org calling for Baugh to resign. "Something is not right with our system when a judge can make that kind of decision," Marian Bradly of the Montana National Organization for Women said.
After his 30-day term, Rambold must register as a sex offender, and he will be on supervised probation for 15 years.
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 8/28/2013; Washington Post 8/28/2013
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. . . .