CA: New Laws in Effect for Same-Sex Couples, Female Athletes, Battered Women
Beginning New Year's Day, several laws took effect in the state of California that bolster the equality of women, girls, and same-sex couples. According to the Washington Post, one new law will guarantee to same-sex couples who register as domestic partners many of the same benefits marriage affords, including access to divorce court, automatic parental status over children born to oneís partner, shared responsibility for a partnerís debt, the power to determine arrangements for the remains of a partner, and protection from having to testify against oneís partner in court.
Another new law has made California the first state to ban gender discrimination in community youth athletics programs. The law (AB 2404) ensures that state- and county-sponsored sports programs meet the same guidelines of gender equality that Title IX has required of educational programs that receive federal financial assistance for the past 30 years.
A law (SB 1385) that also went into effect on January 1 will allow imprisoned women a chance for a new trial or reduced sentence if they can prove that their crime was committed under coercion of an abusive partner. The law is an expansion of a law that enabled women convicted of killing their abusers before 1992 to seek a new trial or reduced sentence. The law could mean release from prison for those who felt forced to commit a crime, knowing that they would be severely beaten by their abuser if they chose not to.
7/30/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Rules In Favor Of Mississippi's Last Clinic - Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic will remain open after a the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against HB 1390, the Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at area hospitals.
Had the court not upheld the lower federal's court's injunction, HB 1390 would have shuttered Jackson Women's Health Organization (JWHO), the state's only comprehensive reproductive health center. . . .