Amnesty International to Report Abuse of Female Inmates
Amnesty International has uncovered widespread evidence that female inmates in U.S. prisons are subjected to a "double sentence" of rape, unwanted groping and fondling, and other inhumane treatment meted out by prison guards. Michel Forst, who heads Amnesty International in France, said that female inmates are punished both through their court-ordered sentences and "specific humiliation because they are women."
In a report to be issued tomorrow, a New York prisoner was quoted as saying that officers had forced her to perform oral sex on them. Other female prisoners in Arizona told Amnesty International that prison guards had subjected them to "frequent, prolonged, close-up and prurient viewing during dressing, showering and use of toilet facilities."
The report also alleged racial discrimination in imprisonment, noting that the percentage of black and Hispanic women in prisons is wildly distorted compared to their makeup in the general U.S. population. "The rate of imprisonment of black women is more than eight times the rate of imprisonment of white women; the rate of imprisonment of Hispanic women is nearly four times the rate of imprisonment of white women," the report read.
Amnesty International furthers alleges that pregnant women are subjected to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" both during and after labor. Prison inmates are shackled at the arms and legs while they give birth. The report cites Dr. Patricia Garcia of Northwestern University as saying "Having the woman in shackles compromises the ability to manipulate her legs into the proper position for the necessary treatment," noted that incapacitating the women is dangerous for both mothers and newborns. After grueling labor, women prisoners are then subjected to further suffering. The report noted, "In at least 40 states, babies are taken from their imprisoned mothers almost immediately after birth or at the time the mother is discharged from hospital."
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.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
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. . . .