Women’s rights and Haitian groups are outraged over a ruling by a Quebec judge sentenced two Haitian men to house arrest for the gang rape of a young Haitian woman. Judge Monique Dubreuil sentenced Patrick Lucien and Evens Sannon to 100 hours of community service and 18 months of house arrest. Also, the assailants are not allowed to contact the victim.
Prosecutor Helene DiSalvo asked for four and five years for Lucien and Sannon, respectively. The judge commented on her controversial, mild sentence, “the absence of regret of the two accused seems to be related more to the cultural context, particularly with regard to relations to women.”
Eric Faustin, director of a Haitian religious organization in Montreal said, “She’s saying it’s normal for Haitian men to carry out group rape and not feel any remorse. I find that outrageous.” Women’s rights activist Evelyne Margron condemned the ruling, “The judge is saying that Haitian women consent to being sexually assaulted. It is as false in Haiti as elsewhere. I fear that if the victim had been a white Canadian, the judge would have been less lenient.”
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .