Chief Penny E. Harrington, National Center for Women and Policing Director; SAIC Margaret Moore, NCWP Assistant Director
For the first time in the memory of most of us, a foreign enemy has attacked the United States on our soil. This event is sure to change the lives of each of us. Certainly, the families and friends of the thousands of people who were killed have been most directly affected. But there are many thousands, indeed millions more people who also are directly affected.
Most police officers have had to deal with disasters at some time in their careers. However, no one has ever been faced with a disaster that has involved this magnitude of death and destruction. For months, police officers, firefighters, medical workers and many others will be involved in dealing with the aftermath. They must face the horror that most of us will never see-the burned and mangled bodies of thousands of people at the base of that rubble. The lives of these rescue workers will be forever changed. They will undoubtedly experience emotional trauma from what they are seeing.
This is a time for all of us to reflect upon the service that we receive from these brave officers. Day in and day out, most of the police officers and firefighters in this nation work to protect us and assist us in times of crisis. They seldom receive praise for their work, and, in fact, are often criticized. And yet, when we are in crisis, they are the ones to step forward and put their lives on the line, as they did so bravely last week in New York and Arlington County, VA
As we move forward over the next months and years, let us keep this in mind. Police officers are the ones who are on the front lines today and will be there tomorrow and the next day. They need our support and our gratitude for a job well done.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .