Congo Government Fails to Protect Tens of Thousands of Rape Victims
A leading human rights organization issued a report last week documenting how the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has not taken the necessary steps to prosecute the militiamen and renegade soldiers responsible for raping and beating tens of thousands of women and girls in the eastern part of the country. “Sexual violence has shattered tens of thousands of lives in Congo, but fewer than a dozen victims have seen their assailants prosecuted,” said Alison Des Forges, a senior advisor of Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Africa Division, which released the report.
HRW reported victims as young as three years old. In the town of Bunia, Congo, eight to ten people were reported as being raped each day. HRW found that over the past two years, women started to seek justice from the Congolese judicial system but were confronted with deficiencies in the law and the unwillingness of officials to treat rape as a serious offense.
Earlier this year, cases of girls being sexually abused by UN peacekeepers in the DRC began surfacing. The UN Office of Internal Oversight Services found that UN troops paid women and girls food and money in return for sex.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .