Michigan is on the verge of passing a ban on abortion procedures similar to the current federal law that was just declared unconstitutional by a US District Court judge in San Francisco. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm vetoed the bill banning so-called “partial-birth” abortion, but proponents of the bill collected enough petitions to allow the state legislature to bypass the normally required Governor’s signature. Legislative leaders expect easy approval of enacting the bill into law in early June, according to the Detroit Free Press.
In October, Granholm said she vetoed the bill because "federal courts have repeatedly declared unconstitutional efforts to end partial birth abortion." The bill also did not contain an exception to protect the health of the woman. In both 1996 and 1999, anti-abortion lawmakers passed abortion procedures bans in Michigan, and both times these bans were declared unconstitutional because of the lack of a health exception, according to the Associated Press.
Enforcement of the federal abortion procedures ban was stayed by a federal judge earlier this month in a ruling that affects all 900 Planned Parenthood clinics in the country. The federal ban still faces court challenges in New York and Nebraska.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .