Canadian and U.S. police broke up an international prostitution ring which had bought impoverished southeast Asian women and forced them into the sex circuit.
Following several raids in Toronto and San Jose, Calif., the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service announced Sept. 11 that they had arrested dozens of Thai and Malaysian women and several suspected leaders of the prostitution ring. The women will face prostitution charges and be deported, while the leaders are "probably looking at lengthy jail time in Canada," said RCMP Cpl. Rick Watt.
The sex ring originated in southeast Asia, where young women were sold into slavery for around $18,000. They were smuggled into North America and forced to work in brothels, massage parlors and escort agencies to pay off their "immigration debts."
The police said despite the bust and more predicted arrests, the complexities of Asian prostitution rings meant they were far from victorious.
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. . . .