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Violence Against Women Act Turns 20
Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges. President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary.

Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery
An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment. Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home.

Missouri Legislators Pass 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Law
Missouri legislators voted late last night to triple the state's current 24-hour waiting period to 72 hours, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Governor Jay Nixon previously vetoed the bill in July, calling it "extreme and disrespectful." Missouri's House voted 117-44 to override the veto, and then the Senate used a procedural move to stop a Democratic filibuster of the bill and vote 23-7 to complete the veto override Wednesday. "The only purpose of a 72-hour waiting period is to attempt to punish, shame, and demean women who have arrived at a personal decision that politicians happen to disagree with," said the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights in a statement.

Senate Holds Hearing on Police Militarization One Month After Michael Brown's Death
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) led an oversight hearing Tuesday in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee highlighting growing concerns about the militarization of state and local law enforcement agencies.

Paycheck Fairness Act Advances in the Senate
After Republicans filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) earlier in this session, the Senate has now voted 73-25 to allow the bill to move forward to a debate. The public overwhelmingly supports equal pay for equal work, but for far too long Senate Republicans have refused to allow a floor vote on a modest bill that will enable women workers to discuss their pay with co-workers, provide stronger tools to fight sex discrimination in wages, and grant the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) power to collect pay data from employers by sex and race. The Paycheck Fairness Act is long overdue.

Paycheck Fairness Act Expected to Come to a Vote Today
The Senate is expected to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act today, marking the second time this year that the Senate will take up the legislation. The Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), introduced by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), was blocked by Senate Republicans who filibustered the bill in April - just one day after "Equal Pay Day." The PFA would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by prohibiting retaliation against employees who share information about their pay, requiring employers to demonstrate that any pay differences between men and women are legitimate, providing plaintiffs better legal tools to protect their rights, and requiring employers to provide the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with pay data by sex, race and national origin of employees. While Senate Republicans were blocking a vote on equal pay legislation, President Obama in April signed two executive actions intended to help close the wage gap.

Court Sentences Seven Men for Gang Rape in Afghanistan
An Afghan court convicted seven men for the gang rape and robbery of four women in Paghman district near the city of Kabul. According to reports, a group of men - some dressed in police uniforms and carrying assault rifles - stopped a group of cars traveling in Paghman last month, pulled the women from their cars, and raped them in a nearby field.

White House Names Megan Smith as Chief Technology Officer
President Barack Obama last week named Megan Smith, former Google Vice President and out lesbian, to the highest ranking tech job in the White House. Smith will serve as the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Assistant to the President.

Ecuador Will Now Recognize Same-Sex Civil Unions
As of September 15, same-sex couples in Ecuador will finally be able to register their civil unions.

Former VA Governor, First Lady Found Guilty in Corruption Case
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, were found guilty by a federal jury Thursday on a combined 14 counts of conspiracy, fraud, influence-peddling, bribery, and extortion.

Afghan Girls Compete in Bike Race to Raise Awareness About Violence Against Women
Over a hundred people celebrated the August 25th "Orange Day to End Violence" with a bicycle race in Bamyan, Afghanistan hosted by the nonprofit organization Shuhada. Fifteen girls participated in the race to raise awareness about violence against women.

US Appeals Court Blocks Attempt to Defund Obamacare
The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has agreed to rehear a case that could protect much-needed subsidies for up to 5 million consumers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The DC Circuit issued an order today granting a US Department of Justice request for the Court to reconsider en banc the 3-judge panel decision in Halbig v.

Activists Arrested During Nationwide Protests for Higher Wages
Scores of people were arrested just hours into the nationwide strike for raising the minimum wage known as the "Fight for $15." The total number of arrests has yet to be confirmed, but according to reports in Detroit, responding officers ran out of handcuffs for demonstrators blocking traffic.

Federal Judge Upholds Louisiana Same Sex Marriage Ban
A federal judge ruled yesterday that Louisiana has the right to ban same-sex marriage in the state and to refuse to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Judge Martin L.C.

Workers Are Striking Thursday in Over One Hundred Cities
Fast food and home care workers will walk off the job in more than 100 cities on Thursday, with at least a dozen cities staging sit-ins for higher wages. Unlike actions in months past, the September 4th action is the first to involve home care aides, a workforce made up of more than 2 million people.

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