Women's Activists Urge G-8 To Stop Military's Sexual Violence
An international network of women's activists from the United States and East Asian countries aim to expose U.S. military's involvement in multiple cases of rape and sexual abuse towards women and children. The pre-summit meeting, which prepared proposals that will be submitted at the upcoming Group of Eight summit in July, drew 40 delegates from South Korea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the U.S., as well as 40 Okinawan activists.
Suzuyo Takazato heads the Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence, an international organization which was founded after three U.S. servicemen gang-raped an Okinawan schoolgirl in 1995. Takazato stated, "Cases of sexual violence against women (perpetrated by U.S. military personnel) have been brushed aside as being just personal tragedies - which has forced the victims to remain silent." More international pressure is necessary to urge governments to end sexual violence caused by military personnel on or near military bases. The soon to be established International Criminal Court would serve as an indicator of governments' commitment to ending the cycle of violence targeting women and girls during conflict situations.
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. . . .