Groups Granted Motion in Mentally Disabled FL Rape Case
In what is becoming an increasingly moot point for the severely disabled, pregnant 22-year-old woman who was raped while in state custody and due to give birth later this month, Florida's 5th District Court of Appeals last week granted an emergency motion, giving abortion-rights and civil rights groups "friends of the court" status in an appeal involving Jennifer Wixtrom, who seeks guardianship of the woman's fetus and the state Department of Children and Families (DCF). Last June, Orange County, Florida, Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Kirkwood appointed a guardian for the woman (known as J.D.S.) but denied Governor Jeb Bush’s (R) request to appoint a guardian for the fetus. Stating that state law offered no basis for such an appointment and that a 1989 Florida Supreme Court ruling deemed the appointment of a fetal guardian "clearly improper," Kirkwood also rejected Wixtrom’s request for guardianship. Wixtrom filed an appeal, with the DCF supporting her position, in the case misleadingly termed Wixtrom vs. DCF, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Under the latest court order, the abortion-rights groups and civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Florida National Organization for Women will now have an opportunity to present an adversarial position. Pro-choice advocates say the case is yet another loosely veiled attempt to undermine abortion rights by granting legal personhood to a fetus.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .