Monsignor William Lynn was convicted of endangering children on Friday in the landmark case against him in Philadelphia, in which he was charged with child endangerment and conspiracy for allegedly failing to act in response to cases of priest sex abuse of children. Lynn was accused of not removing priests suspected of abusing children and for covering up the scandal. He was taken into custody following the verdict to await sentencing on August 13. Lynn's lawyers have filed a motion asking that the former cardinal's aide be released on house arrest until his sentencing.
In a statement, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) wrote, "The unsung heroes of this case are the dozens of victims, witnesses and whistleblowers who bravely came forward to testify." The statement continued, "We are grateful to these courageous men and women for their efforts to protect kids, expose wrongdoing and get healing. They refused to remain silent and did the right thing by going to law enforcement and not church officials." They also urged the judge to impose the stiffest penalty possible, writing, "Children are safer when predators and those who shield them are behind bars."
The jury deliberated for 13 days, convicting Lynn on one count of child endangerment, though acquitting him of one count of conspiracy and an additional count of child endangerment. Lynn's conviction is being hailed as an historic victory, as Lynn is the first senior official in the church to be convicted of covering up sexual abuse by priests.
Media Resources: Washington Post 6/25/12; New York Times 6/22/12; Reuters 6/22/12; CBS/AP 6/22/12; SNAP Statement 6/22/12
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. . . .