Senate Blocks Military Justice Improvement Act
The US Senate blocked passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA).
Study Finds Continuing Gender Gap in Medical Research
Although 20 years have passed since the government instituted legislation requiring adequate female representation in medical studies, a recent study finds that a significant sex and gender gap still persists in medical research.
"Sex-Specific Medical Research: Why Women's Health Can't Wait" by researchers at the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Jacobs Institute at George Washington University Hospital finds that scientists still fail to account for differences between males and females.
Three More Texas Abortion Clinics Forced To Close
Three more abortion clinics in Texas have been forced to close this week, thanks to extreme restrictions passed last summer.
Senate Rejects Qualified Obama Nominee to Lead DOJ Civil Rights Division
The US Senate blocked President Obama's nominee to lead the Civil Rights Division within the Department of Justice.
Senators voted 47-52 yesterday in opposition to Debo Adegbile, a highly qualified attorney who worked in private practice at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison before holding several leadership positions at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including Director of Litigation, Acting President, Director-Counsel, and Special Counsel, and serving as senior counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee.
Adegbile is a voting rights expert.
US Honors Afghan Doctor as an International Woman of Courage
Michigan State University Under Federal Investigation for Handling of Sexual Assault Cases
The US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is currently investigating Michigan State University (MSU) for its potential mishandling of sexual assault cases.
A student who was allegedly sexually assaulted in an MSU dorm room in August 2010 by two student athletes filed charges against the university under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex.
Saudi Women Demand End To Absolute Male Authority
Ten Saudi women are petitioning the Saudi Arabia consultative Shura Council to demand an end to absolute male authority over women.
Activist Aziza Yousef told AFP news agency over the weekend that the activists are demanding "measures to protect women's rights," as well as the right for women to drive, ahead of International Women's Day on March 8.
USDA Expands Access to Healthy Food for Low-Income Women And Children
Two million women and seven million children will now have greater access to a variety of nutritious food options, thanks to the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) expansion of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
The revision of the program - which provides supplemental food vouchers to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and infants and children through the age of five - began in 2007 when fruit and vegetable allowances were introduced, and was finalized last week.
Wisconsin City Council Passes 160-Foot Buffer Zone Ordinance
The Madison, Wisconsin city council unanimously passed a buffer zone ordinance last week to protect people entering or exiting healthcare clinics, including women's reproductive healthcare clinics, in the city.
FDA Broadens Access to Emergency Contraception Over-the-Counter
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that generic versions of Plan B One Step will now be available over-the-counter to women of all ages.
The FDA removed age and point-of-sale restrictions on Teva Pharmaceutical's Plan B One Step in June 2013, but the agency also gave Teva a three-year protection from generic competition, meaning that generic versions of the emergency contraception (EC) could only be obtained behind the pharmacy counter and only be obtained without a prescription by women over 17 years old.
Marissa Alexander Now Faces Up To 60 Years in Prison
Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman who was imprisoned for firing warning shots against her abusive husband, will face up to 60 years of prison during her re-trial in July.
Alexander was initially sentenced to 20 years for firing warning shots during an altercation with Rico Gray, her estranged and formerly abusive husband.
Students File Two Federal Complaints Against UC Berkeley for Mishandling Campus Sexual Assault Cases
Thirty-one current and former students filed a federal Title IX complaint against the University of California at Berkeley last week, alleging that the university had discouraged reporting of campus sexual assault, failed to inform victims of their rights, and had mishandled sexual assault cases being heard through the school's disciplinary process.
Female Afghan Parliamentarian Speaks Out About Women's Progress in Afghanistan
Fawzia Koofi, a female member of the Afghan parliament, published an open letter this week to American women, urging them to continue standing shoulder-to-shoulder with women in Afghanistan.
Koofi's letter, entitled "A Letter to My American Sisters," dispels the media myth that women's lives have not improved since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.
Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas Gay Marriage Ban
A federal judge in San Antonio yesterday declared Texas' ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
US District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage deprived same-sex couples of due process and equal protection by stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently than their opposite-sex counterparts.
Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill Permitting Use of Religion as Cover to Discriminate
Stating yesterday that Arizona "Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona," Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the bill, which would have allowed Arizona businesses to refuse services to individuals based on religious objections.
The bill was strongly opposed by LGBT groups who have seen businesses in other states - such as florists, photographers, and bakers - refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.
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