Violence Against Women Act Reauthorized; Cuts Made to Minority Programs
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act programs through fiscal year 2009. The legislation increased funding for new rape crisis centers and increased grant money to organizations working on domestic violence issues.
However, an amendment to the legislation, sponsored by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), was passed and undermines VAWA’s authority to create programs for women of color and immigrants. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, strongly opposed the amendment, as did major domestic violence advocacy groups, including the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Family Violence Prevention Fund, Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault, Legal Momentum and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Feminist Majority, the National Organization for Women, and the NAACP. The amendment passed by a narrow margin of 225-191.
On the floor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the amendment would shortchange domestic violence prevention and treatment services that target women of color and immigrant victims of domestic violence. The amendment could still be removed in conference with the Senate as the two houses work out differences in the legislation.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily News 9/28/05; US House of Representatives Roll Call Vote; US Newswire 9/28/05
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .