Significant Increase in Misconduct by Military Recruiters
In a recent investigative study, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported a significant increase of inappropriate conduct by military recruiters. From 2004 to 2005, incidents of recruiter misconduct increased by 50 percent, and criminal violations – including sexual harassment – increased by over 200 percent, Reuters reports.
According to the Associated Press, more than 100 women in the past year received unwanted sexual attention from a military recruiter. Eighty military recruiters have been disciplined in the past year for sexual misconduct, and some victims are coming forward to press charges. Barry Vogel, a lawyer representing a young woman who is suing the Marines, told CBS about his client’s case: “[The recruiter] said to her, outright, if you want to join the Marines, you have to have sex with me… She was a virgin. She was 17 years old.”
Allegations range from rape to inappropriate touching to consensual romantic relationships, but many agree that any non-professional relationship between recruiters and recruits is inappropriate. Former Marine Corps recruiter Ethan Walker told CBS: “Any recruiter that would try to claim that, ‘Oh, it’s consensual,’ they are lying… The recruiter has all the power in these situations.”
Media Resources: CBS 8/20/06; Reuters 8/14/06; Associated Press 8/20/06
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. . . .