On Saturday, Nancy Mace became the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, a formerly all-male military college.
The Citadel reluctantly accepted Shannon Faulker as its first female student in 1995 after Faulker won a 3-year legal battle against the school. Faulker's lawyers argued that the school was legally obligated to admit women because it was financed by the state of South Carolina. The Supreme Court agreed, saying that the school must either begin admitting women or give up its public funds.
Although Faulker dropped out soon after entering the school in 1995, her efforts made it possible for other women to enroll in The Citadel and another formerly all-male bastion, the Virginia Military Institute. The Citadel's first-year class of 1,800 now includes 42 female cadets, and many more are expected to enroll next fall.
Although progress has been made, female cadets at The Citadel still face great animosity. Mace's colleagues hissed at her earlier this year during a ceremony in which cadets received their class rings. While the audience did applaud when Mace stepped forward to claim her degree on Saturday, the class gave a standing ovation to the cadet who followed her.
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. . . .