In an effort to help local police officers and prosecutors crack down on rapes committed using "date rape" drugs, the Justice Department has issued an instruction video and book entitled "The Prosecution of Rohypnol and GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) Related Sexual Assaults."
Attorney General Janet Reno explained that drug-facilitated rapes are "very difficult for police officers and prosecutors to investigate and bring to trials," mostly due to the fact that victims, incapacitated by drugs, cannot give details about their rape. Given these difficulties, Reno commented "Collaboration among prosecutors, law enforcement officers, health care professionals and advocates is key to successfully investigating and prosecuting these cases."
The video and accompanying manual were produced by the American Prosecutors Research Institute and have been endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The video and manual explain the effects of "date rape" drugs on victims, and offer strategies for prosecutors who face especially difficult circumstances. The manual is also intended to serve as a basic reference for law enforcement officers and prosecutors. It includes information on state and federal statutes concerning drug-facilitated sexual assault, several case studies, and information on how sexual assault survivors commonly respond during an investigation.
The Department of Justice encourages law enforcement officers, prosecutors, sexual assault coalitions, rape crisis centers, and criminal justice educators to order the video and manual, which are available for a small fee from the American Prosecutors Research Institute. Call the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free at 1-800-851-3420 or call APRI directly at 703-549-4253.
Media Resources: Department of Justice's Violence Against Women Office - May 18, 1999
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
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10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .