The Army announced on January 28 that a fifth soldier, Sgt. 1st Class William Jones, has been accused of sexual misconduct at Maryland's Aberdeen Proving Ground. If convicted, Jones faces up to six months in a military prison for indecent assault, being intoxicated on duty and failing to obey orders regarding student-instructor interaction involving six female trainees and one civilian employee. Jones has been reassigned to a maintenance division at Aberdeen.
On the same day, Sgt. 1st Class Theron Brown was granted a discharge, neither honorable nor dishonorable, on adultery and forcible sodomy charges rather than go through a court-martial. Two other sergeants and a captain have already been accused of rape and improper fraternizing with female recruits and face trials in March and April. Up to 17 instructors have also been suspended pending an investigation. Since the Army set up its toll-free hotline at 1-800-903-4241, 50 women have filed complaints that will be investigated. Aberdeen officials expect more charges to be filed.
At the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, a committee has been appointed to review the process of the integration of women into the formerly all-male military college. The five-member panel, headed by president emeritus retired Army General James Grimsely, will produce a report by mid-March on the assimilation process.
Media Resources: The Washington Post - January 29, 1997; The Nando Net and the Associated Press - January 29, 1997;USA Today - January 29, 1997
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. . . .