A Mexican woman who served 22 years in prison for the murder of the man who bought and raped her in 1976 was released and allowed to remain in the United States after pressure from various human rights group and members of Congress. According to the Associated Press, Maria Suarez was sold into sex slavery for $200 to a 68-year-old man, Anselmo Covarrubias, when she was 16 years old.
Suarez endured years of being beaten and raped until 1981 when she found her neighbor bludgeoning Covarrubias to death. Suarez helped her neighbor hide the weapon and as a result was convicted of first degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Suarez was granted parole last year with the law stating that she would have to be deported back to Mexico after her release. Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA) mobilized other members of Congress to grant Suarez a visa and to send letters to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, reports the Associated Press.
Suarez was granted a T-visa that was created in 2000 for victims of severe forms of human trafficking.
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. . . .