Air Force Ordered Study on Sexual Misconduct and Rape
An Air Force five-month review found that ninety-two accusations of rape by Air Force personnel were reported to military officials from 2001 to 2003 in the Pacific. According to the New York Times, the report examined how sexual assault is reported, how it can be prevented, and how commanders deal with victims. The report covered Air Force personnel in Hawaii, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Alaska, and Diego Garcia. After reviewing the report, the vice chief of staff of the Air Force ordered commands worldwide to conduct a more extensive survey on their sexual assault response programs, reports the Washington Post.
The report comes at a time when the US military faces major accusations of sexual misconduct in other areas of the world such as Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan where there have been 112 reports of sexual misconduct and rape. Last month, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered an investigation into how the Pentagon is working to prevent sexual assaults.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International and the Miles Foundation announced data on sexual and physical abuse of female troops, spouses and partners committed by members of the US military. The Miles Foundation has confirmed 83 sexual assaults against women in the military over the last 18 months in Kuwait, Iraq, and Bahrain. In addition, their report shows a sharp rise in domestic violence by US servicemen. The Executive Director of the Miles Foundation is urging the "military to do what it does best: give orders. Leaders must make clear that violence against any woman, anywhere, of any nationality, age, race, rank, or marital status will not be tolerated," Amnesty International reports.
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. . . .