Officials announced Tuesday that an American woman soldier was raped early Saturday morning in the area of a Czech battalion in northern Bosnia. The investigation was focusing on Czech soldiers with the NATO-led peace mission. The soldier was evacuated Sunday to the Taszar Air Base in Hungary for treatment. U.S. Army Europe spokeswoman Capt. Leela J. Dawson-Hamm said the soldier was being provided with medical care and legal counsel. Stars and Stripes reported the soldier was in good condition and was being attended to by a full-time rape counselor.
Dawson-Hamm said the U.S. Army will now put greater emphasis on training soldiers about traveling in groups, using the buddy system and being aware of possible dangers. Currently, all American soldiers reportedly receive sexual harassment prevention training as part of their annual training. "The soldiers can be confident that incidents of this nature will be fully investigated and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Dawson-Hamm said.
Neither Dawson-Hamm nor Stars and Stripes had details on the circumstances of the rape. Czech officials have jurisdiction over the investigation which is being conducted together with American officials.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .