Senate Votes for Anti-International Criminal Court Amendment
The Senate voted 78-21 in favor of adopting an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act that would block the United States from participating in the International Criminal Court (ICC). The amendment, a version of the deceptively named American Servicemembers’ Protection Act authored by Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), passed after an earlier attempt by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) to delay the vote on Helms’ language was defeated by two votes. Senator Helms has been leading the fight in the Senate against the ICC, but his amendment may be removed in conference. The House version of the appropriations bill does not include language on the ICC.
The ICC would be a permanent court designed to prosecute war criminals, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the ICC also presents clear language defining gender crimes to include rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity. Forty-two countries, including several members of the European Union, have ratified the ICC treaty, and only eighteen more must ratify for the court to be established.
Media Resources: Washington Post, 12/8/01; Campaign for Global Change Press Release, 12/9/01; Feminist Majority
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .