President Bush on Monday nominated Republican Mike Leavitt to replace Tommy Thompson as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Leavitt is a former Governor of Utah and currently the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Over the course of his tenure as Governor of Utah, Leavitt signed several pieces of legislation restricting women’s right to choose a safe, legal, and accessible abortion. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, Leavitt signed bills into law that imposed a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion, required women to seek counseling before obtaining an abortion that included biased materials, and included “unborn child[ren]” as included under the state’s homicide statute. Leavitt’s administration also defended in court a 1991 law that prohibited abortion except in cases of rape, incest, life endangerment, grave danger to the woman’s health, or serious fetal defects, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. This law was later struck down by federal courts.
“I am strongly pro-life and anti-abortion,” Leavitt said in 1993, according to NARAL. “I believe in the sanctity of life at whatever stage of development that life is in.” In 1997, Leavitt said he wanted Utah to have the “toughest abortion law” in the nation, NARAL reports. In 1982 and 1988, Leavitt served as Senator Orrin Hatch’s campaign manager and chair of his campaign respectively. Hatch, a Republican, is a longtime opponent of abortion rights.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .