The U.S. Justice Department recently reported a 15 percent overall drop in violent crime from 1999 to 2000, which found the number of rapes dropped from 141,070 in 1999 to 92,440 the following year. The statistics were gathered by the National Crime Victimization Survey, and have been championed by Attorney General John D. Ashcroft as an indication of improved quality of life. However, criminologists and women's groups are skeptical of the findings, citing ambiguity in the survey's definition of rape and flaws in data collection.
The survey was based on the testimony of women over 12 years of age. According to Lawrence Greenfeld, acting director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly one-fourth of all rape victims are younger than 12. The survey is also conducted on the phone, even though the highest rape rates are reported among those in the lowest economic bracket who may not have telephone access. Discrepancies between separate long-term studies conducted by last week's victimization survey and the FBI also raise doubts concerning the decrease in rape. According to Bonnie Campbell, former director of the Violence Against Women Office, "the failure to deal with the culture around rape and sexual assault has made these numbers somewhat irrelevant." Despite the reports, women should "have no doubts about the reality of rape in the United States."
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .