Pentagon Hopes to Limit Sex Trafficking with New Rule Against Solicitation
US service members convicted of soliciting a prostitute could face dishonorable discharge and up to one year in prison if a proposed change to the Uniform Code of Military Justice is made law. The Pentagon announced the new regulation earlier this week as part of an effort to tackle the international problem of human trafficking. US troops would be subject to this regulation even in countries where prostitution is legal.
The Washington Post reports that Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ) recently stated that, in areas such as South Korea and the Balkans, “women and girls are being forced into prostitution for a clientele consisting largely of military services member, government contractors and international peacekeepers.” The Pentagon is also working to ensure that the law would also be applicable to defense contractors, allowing the termination of contracts with companies whose employees are caught patronizing prostitutes, according to the Stars and Stripes.
The Washington Post reports that earlier this summer, NATO officials adopted new guidelines to curtail the encouragement of sex trafficking by alliance peacekeepers who were seeking out prostitutes. There are currently an estimated 800,000 women, men, and children worldwide who are victims of sex trafficking, according to the Stars and Stripes.
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. . . .