Duke University has suspended games of the men's lacrosse team, which was ranked number two in the nation, while allegations of gang rape involving members of the team are investigated. An African-American student at neighboring North Carolina Central University told police she was raped for approximately half an hour by three white members of the Duke lacrosse team on March 13 at a party in a house rented by three team captains. She and another woman had been hired to perform at the party as exotic dancers. In addition to rape, the woman is alleging that she was physically assaulted by the players, and subjected to racial slurs, according to ABC News. The alleged victim, a mother of two children, was working at an escort service to finance her education, according to InsideHigherEd.com.
Though all team members deny the accusations, both a nurse trained to handle rape victims and a physician said that their examination of the student found symptoms consistent with sexual assault, according to the Associated Press. In addition, a police search of the house where the alleged crime took place found personal items belonging to the woman, including her false fingernails, which she says broke off when she was struggling to break free as a team member strangled her, according to the News York Times. White team members (only one of the 47 team members is African American) were required to provide DNA samples, but District Attorney Mike Nifong says that even if the DNA tests prove inconclusive, he had enough other evidence to believe that a crime did occur, the Associated Press reports.
The alleged assault has roiled both the campus and the community. Students, faculty, and Durham residents marched on Wednesday, planned before the rape charge to coincide with Sexual Assault Prevention Week at the university, protested the incident, and other protests have been held outside the lacrosse house.
Media Resources: Associated Press 3/30/06; ABC News 3/26/06; New York Times 3/30/06; Charlotte Observer 3/30/06; InsideHigherEd.com 3/29/06; Duke University
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. . . .