After James Kopp admitted to the fatal shooting of Dr Barnett Slepian in an interview with the Buffalo News, he and lawyers involved in the case have been ordered by a state court judge to refrain from publicly discussing the case before it goes to trial in Erie County Court in March. In parallel federal proceedings, US District Judge Hugh Scott ruled that Kopp cannot retain Bruce Barket as his lawyer in federal court because Barket is also defending Loretta Marra, an alleged accomplice of Kopp’s, according to the Associated Press. Barket, who shares Kopp’s extreme anti-abortion beliefs, will still represent Kopp in state court.
Dr. Slepian, a Buffalo obstetrician/gynecologist and abortion provider, was assassinated in 1998 in his Amherst, New York, home. Kopp was an early suspect in the murder and went on the run from authorities until he was apprehended in France in 2001. Despite admitting to the fatal shooting, Kopp will plead “not guilty” because he claims his intention was to wound Dr. Slepian, not kill him. If Kopp is convicted of the murder, he faces 25 years to life in prison. Marra and Dennis Malvasi are on trial in New York for aiding Kopp while he was a fugitive. The two were recently denied bail at a detention hearing in New York City.
Malvasi has already served five years in prison for the bombings of three reproductive health clinics as well as the attempted bombing of a fourth clinic. Marra was twice arrested with Kopp during anti-abortion protests in Vermont and New York in the early 1990s. Kopp, who was at one time on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, is not only facing charges in the murder of Dr. Slepian, but also has been indicted for the 1995 shooting of Ontario abortion provider Dr. Hugh Short and is the primary suspect in three separate shootings of abortion providers in Canada and New York.
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. . . .