New Jersey Law Will Require Hospitals to Provide EC to Sexual Assault Victims
Governor Richard Codey of New Jersey recently signed legislation that will require hospitals in the state to inform sexual assault victims about emergency contraception (EC) in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy after rape. The law will also require all New Jersey hospitals to dispense EC to patients who request it, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. This legislation, referred to as “Compassionate Care for Survivors of Sexual Assault,” makes New Jersey the fifth state with such a law, joining New York, Washington, California, and New Mexico, according to Women’s eNews.
The Justice Department's recently released guidelines do not mention offering EC to rape victims – an omission that has spurred criticism from many women’s, civil liberties, and health groups across the country. Ninety-seven US members of Congress, led by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), sent a letter in January to the Department of Justice, in which they "strongly urged" the revision of its new guidelines for the treatment of sexual assault survivors to include information about emergency contraception.
The Congress members’ letter to Diane Stuart, Director of DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women, said that "by failing to even mention ... [emergency contraception] as a potential option for sexual assault victims, the department ignores a crucial opportunity to provide vital and time-sensitive health care to victims of rape and sexual assault." Maloney said, "It is clear that the administration's ideological opposition to choice now even extends to rape victims. Women who are sexually violated at the very least deserve the right to prevent unwanted pregnancies."
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defundÂ Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).Â Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell asÂ out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of twoÂ heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .