Governor Gray Davis of California signed into law yesterday measures to protect women’s reproductive health by increasing clinic safety and accessibility to emergency contraception. California, which has the highest rate of anti-abortion clinic violence of any state in the nation, will now require more training for law enforcement on clinic violence and how to guard against it. The new law, a state version of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), makes attacks and threats of violence against clinics and clinic workers a state crime. In further opposition to anti-abortion activists, Davis also authorized pharmacists to provide emergency contraception. These pharmacists, however, will be subject to training courses and must be overseen by physicians.
Davis also signed legislation giving gays and lesbians more domestic partner rights. Partners, who register with the California Secretary of State, will now have more property and medical rights as well as the right to adopt a partner’s child and the right to sue for wrongful death. Although the bill faced major opposition, Davis defended his position, stating, “This bill is about responsibility, respect, and most of all, about family – and its about time.” There are already more than 16,000 registered partners in California who will benefit from this new law.
Media Resources: LA Times, 10/15/01; Washington Post, 10/15/01
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .