Air Force Academy Struggles with New Sex Assault Allegations
Months after the administrative shakeup replaced top brass at the US Air Force Academy, officials at the institution say incidents of sexual assault or harassment continue to occur. Academy spokesman John Van Winkle told the Associated Press, nine cases have been reported since April.
Despite implementing new proposals (termed the Agenda for Change) including dramatic shifts in student body structure, greater adult oversight, a weakened student command chain, and 24-hour dorm security and monitoring, a survey of nearly 600 female cadets released by the Defense Department last week revealed that 18 percent admitted to being sexually assaulted at least once, and 11 percent of fourth-year women said they had been victims of rape or attempted rape, according the AP.
Meanwhile, the academy is reconsidering its position regarding the confidentiality of victims reporting assault. In June, officials altered the academy's previous position and rejected victim confidentiality, mandating participation from criminal investigators, a chaplain, a nurse, and a cadet representative in every reported assault case. Rape victim advocates continue to insist that confidentiality is critical for victims to come forward.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .