Massachusetts Makes Emergency Contraception Available at All Hospitals
In a victory for women's health, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) reversed his position under pressure and will support a state law that makes emergency contraception available at all hospitals, regardless of religious affiliation.
The Massachusetts legislature made emergency contraception available behind-the-counter at pharmacies in September, overriding Romney’s veto. The new law included the statement “each female rape victim” is guaranteed access to emergency contraception, according to the Associated Press. Last week, it was revealed that Romney’s Department of Public Health had adopted a policy that, contrary to the new law, would exempt private hospitals that had so-called moral or religious objections. Romney initially refused to force private hospitals, particularly Catholic hospitals, to abide by the new law.
Romney drew much criticism for his original refusal to enforce the new law, including that from his Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, who stated publicly that “it’s extremely important that victims of rape should be able to access emergency contraception in whatever medical setting they present themselves,” according to the Globe. Romney, who is considering running for president, changed his position on Thursday, overturning the Health Department policy.
Media Resources: AP 12/8/05; Boston Globe 12/8/05, 12/9/05
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .