Anti-Abortion Priest Convicted; Tries to Escape to Afghanistan
Reverend Norman U. Weslin, found guilty of violating a court-ordered buffer zone in front of a Buffalo, NY abortion clinic, was sentenced last week to five months in jail. At the sentencing, however, Weslin informed the court that he had contacted the Pentagon about serving as a military chaplain in Afghanistan and that the Pentagon had expressed interest in the idea. Weslin, a retired Army officer, is the founder of an anti-abortion extremist group, Lambs of Christ. During his sentencing, Weslin compared himself to Jesus Christ and defended his obstruction of the law by claiming, “I obey God’s law, and whenever there’s a conflict with man’s law, I follow God’s law.” Glenn Murray, lawyer for the Buffalo clinic and former Army captain, said that Weslin’s proposal was “a preposterous idea…When I was in the military, you were supposed to lead by example. He’s a terrible example.”
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. . . .