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.
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. . . .