Vice Admiral Charles Moore, acting superintendent of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, issued a decision last week to court-martial a fourth-year midshipman, charged with raping a first-year student, reported the Associated Press. Midshipman Robert Curcio, 23, allegedly raped the woman in his room last November. However, his attorney denies any sexual intercourse. A trial date has not been set. Meanwhile, an Article 32 (military pre-trial) hearing was held last month for two second-year academy midshipmen accused of raping two female classmates during a spring-break trip in May 2002. The case against Eric Bailey, 23, and Todd Thurston, 20, could go to a court-martial, an administrative proceeding, or be dropped, according to the New York Times.
The US Air Force Academy continues to struggle amidst the ongoing rape scandal. Last week, Douglas Meester, 20, submitted his request to Air Force Secretary James Roche, seeking permission to resign from the academy rather than stand trial for raping a female cadet last October. In the last two years, Roche has approved resignation requests from eight Air Force members facing court-martials, according to the AP.
The Air Force Academy also held an Article 32 hearing this week for Lt. Ronen M. Segal, a 2002 graduate and employee of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, who is charged with raping a female cadet last August. The woman who was 18 at the time, testified that upon speaking with a clinic military chaplain the day after, "The chaplain said the situation was primarily my fault because I had gone there on my free will... And I would have to come to grips with that," reported the Denver Post.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .