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
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
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UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .