The debate over women serving on board the U.S. Navy's submarine's has been revived by the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACWS), the Pentagon's advisory committee that recommends policies on issues women face in the armed services. "It's important we examine what is still closed to women," stated Mary Wamsley, chairwoman of DACWS, and deputy chief of police in Commerce City, CO.
Although women were admitted to the Naval Academy in 1976, women are still restricted from serving in 33,000 positions in the Navy, 25,000 of which are submarine positions. Opponents to the gender integration of naval submarines claim the cost of converting submarines to incorporate women. Also opponents of gender integration insist the experience of spending days or weeks submerged in tight quarters with no privacy makes service in submarines too prohibitive for women.
Wamsley dismissed those concerns stating, "It is ludicrous to say the living conditions and psychological conditions have more of an impact on women than on men." As it stands, the Navy has difficulty recruiting men to fill positions on submarines due to the more rigorous intellectual and psychological standards required. By allowing women, who constitute nearly 14 percent of naval personnel, to serve on submarines the pool of recruits would expand measurably.
Media Resources: New York Times - November 15, 1999
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .