The details of as many as 277 possible domestic violence related crimes involving Los Angeles police officers were posted on the internet on Friday. Bob Mullally, a lawyer from South Dakota, performed a review of personnel files of officers accused of domestic abuse and produced a report detailing 61 assaults, 28 assaults with a deadly weapon, six rapes and one sodomy. Mullally faces possible jail time for violating a court order that sealed this report but he says it was a decision of conscience to release the report anyway. Not a single one of the cases in his report were ever prosecuted, nor were any of the police officers accused of these crimes arrested. Instead, the complaints were placed in confidential personnel files, sealed, and never reopened. In an anonymous questionnaire of police officers asking if they had ever used violence in their homes, over 40 percent responded that they had. Penny Harrington, Director of the National Center for Women & Policing says, "This means that a woman calling for help has almost a 50/50 chance of getting a batterer answering her call." The LAPD has said they have changed its handling of domestic-violence cases involving officers and they now provide domestic violence training to new recruits.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .