Arrests were made in California last weekend of three men and seven boys, ranging in age from 15 to 25, for the rapes of a 12-year-old and two 13-year-old girls. The girls, who were reported as runaways, were offered a ride home from the ex-boyfriend of one of the girls. The girls were taken to a motel in Fresno where friends of the driver were throwing a party. The girls were allegedly taken to the bathroom and raped by as many as 16 men over several hours.
Later in the evening a boy snuck out of the party and called the police. When the police arrived they questioned many of the suspects and the girls, but the girls did not officially report the rapes until two days later. Sylvia Ogden of the Victim Witness Service Center said that most gang rape victims do not report the crime. “A lot of rape victims feel dirty. ... They’re fearful. Most victims blame themselves. They feel alone,” said Ogden.
Authorities have charged the three men and five juveniles with counts of rape, gang rape, lewd and lascivious acts with children and false imprisonment, according to a Scipps Howard news story. Chief Deputy District Attorney J. Worthington Vogel said the assailants would likely be convicted since the suspects were identified by the victims.
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. . . .