Allegations of sexual abuse by a 16-year-old girl imprisoned in Alabama’s only youth lockup facility for girls have generated a $171 million federal lawsuit against the Department of Youth Services, which administers juvenile corrections in Alabama. The lawsuit, brought by Alana Williams, her mother and eight others, claims that girls were raped, beaten, and pressured to have abortions after being impregnated by male guards.
After the lawsuit was filed, at least 36 girls brought allegations against the Chalkville facility, charging everything from inappropriate comments by guards to oral sex between girls and employees. Although the Department of Youth Services will not comment on the lawsuit, it has either fired or recommended the termination of 15 men and has not denied that workers had sexual relations with underage girls. Allegations of this kind are not unique to Alabama, but rather fit into an alarming tendency for United States prisons to not protect female inmates from sexual abuse, according to a March Amnesty International Report.
Media Resources: Associated Press - June 18, 2001 and Amnesty International - March 2001
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .