On Tuesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio upheld a 2004 Ohio law that restricts the use of the drug RU-486, also known as mifepristone or the "abortion pill". The ruling bans the use of RU-486 beyond seven weeks, making a surgical procedure the only option for women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
This puts women at greater risk due to the more invasive nature of a surgical abortion. Judge Karen Nelson Moore, who cast the lone dissenting vote in the decision, wrote, "We simply should not conclude as a matter of law that every woman who would prefer a medical abortion would be equally likely to obtain a surgical abortion." Gary Dougherty, Planned Parenthood state legislative director said, "This decision puts ideology over science, and bans a safe method of abortion early in pregnancy."
In early September, an Idaho court blocked the case of a woman who had been criminally charged for terminating her pregnancy with RU-486 instead of traveling to a clinic or hospital as required by state law. The court found that this Idaho law does not apply to pregnant women themselves, but rather to professionals like doctors who conduct abortion procedures.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .