The Boston Archdiocese announced yesterday that it will pay 86 people who have filed claims of sexual abuse at the hands of the defrocked Boston priest, John J. Geoghan, up to $30 million. As part of the settlement, the archdiocese also agreed not to make the accusers sign confidentiality agreements, a practice that had been standard in previous sexual abuse scandals handled by the Catholic Church, and which helped perpetuate the pedophilia problem within its ranks for years. The Boston Archdiocese, including Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, was expected to be named as a defendant had the suits proceeded to trial. Cardinal Bernard Law, who knew of numerous allegations of sexually abuse by priests, including John Geoghan, publicly apologized for allowing suspected pedophiles to remain in their posts as priests. Law has now authorized the release of the names of more than 80 priests suspected of pedophilia to prosecutors. The Boston Archdiocese still faces dozens of potential lawsuits as numerous individuals continue to come forward claiming sexual abuse at the hands of priests.
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
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