Two brutal police family violence cases, one in Ohio and another in Pennsylvania, have been making headlines this month. Luther McCormick, a former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, was sentenced earlier this week to 10 years in prison for shooting his wife in the face and critically wounding her. The case has drawn much controversy because McCormick’s wife, Tara, testified on her husband’s behalf, indicating that she believed that there was no way her husband would have intended to harm her. McCormick alleged that his gun accidentally discharged while he was unloading it. The jury, however, ruled that McCormick intended to harm his wife, evidenced by his unusual behavior after the incident – he left his home, while his bloodied wife made her way to a neighbor’s home to ask for help, and was found 20 miles away at a patrol post, casually chatting with police colleagues.
In a Pennsylvania police family homicide case, prosecutors have said that they will not seek the death penalty for Craig Knepper, a 12-year veteran of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Police Department, who was charged in June with murdering his girlfriend, while the victim’s 4-year-old son watched. Knepper is currently being held without bail, and, if convicted of first-degree murder, will face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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. . . .