US Ranks 16th in 2014 Social Progress Index
The Social Progress Imperative recently released its 2014 Social Progress Index, ranking the United States in 16th place among 132 countries.
Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, a Republican who led the report team, told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that he was surprised by the ranking.
Florida Supreme Court Recognizes Anti-Discrimination Protections for Pregnant Workers
The Florida State Supreme Court ruled last week that pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Florida employment law.
The 6-1 decision allows Peguy Delva to proceed with her lawsuit against her employer, real estate developer Continental Group.
Arizona Governor Signs Bill Allowing Suprise Inspections of Abortion Clinics
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law last week allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without a warrant.
HB 2284 repeals an Arizona law that requires a judge to give approval for inspections of abortion clinics.
Alaska Governor Signs Law Restricting Definition of Medically Necessary Abortions
Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell signed a bill last week limiting which abortions can be labeled medically necessary by a doctor and therefore covered by Medicaid under the federal Hyde Amendment.
Texas Hospitals Revoke Admitting Privileges to Abortion Providers
Reproductive health access in Texas continues to vanish in the wake of HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that, among other things, requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges in order to keep their clinics open.
Dartmouth President Calls For Changes In Wake of Federal Sexual Assault Investigation
Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon gave a powerful speech Wednesday night calling for significant changes on campus in light of its high rates of sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and discriminatory social scene.
"Darmouth's promise is being hijacked by high-risk and harmful behaviors, behaviors that are hurting too many of our students, dividing us as a community and distracting from our important work of teaching and learning," Hanlon said.
Federal Court Permanently Blocks North Dakota's Extreme 6-Week Abortion Ban
A federal district court permanently blocked one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation yesterday, calling it "invalid and unconstitutional."
The North Dakota law, HB 1456, directly challenged Roe v.
Supreme Court of India Recognizes Transgender Rights
India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that official documents must allow transgender people to identify as a third gender and directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people, known as hijras, in welfare programs such as education, health care, and job programs.
"All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender,'" said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who petitioned the court.
Female Afghan Parliamentarian Injured in Shooting Attack
Maryam Koofi, a member of Afghanistan's Parliament, was wounded in a shooting yesterday.
10-Year Old Girl Banned from Boys Basketball Team Will Now Play
Ten-year old Albuquerque, New Mexico fourth-grader Jaelyn Bates plays on the Frey Academy Basketball team, and her coach, Kevin Frey, thinks she's pretty good.
Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women
Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor.
Activist Monica Jones Found Guilty of Walking While Trans
Trans woman, student, and sex work activist Monica Jones was found guilty Friday of "manifesting prostitution" by a Phoenix, Arizona judge after she accepted a ride with two undercover police officers in May 2013.
Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services
President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA.
Advocates Ask Court To Reconsider Texas Admitting Privileges Case
The Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the ACLU of Texas filed a petition last week asking the full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reexamine the constitutionality of the admitting privileges requirement contained in HB2, Texas' omnibus anti-abortion bill.
"We're asking the court to acknowledge what is crystal clear--this law hurts women," said Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director.
Philippines Supreme Court Upholds Law Promoting Reproductive Health Access
The Philippines Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the country's Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, also known as the RH Law, is constitutional.
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