On Tuesday, Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reintroduced a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The version of the bill they introduced is the same version that passed in the Senate during the last legislative session. Additionally, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a reauthorization bill that is identical to the Senate version, H.R. 11. funny cat pictures
The bipartisan-supported Senate Violence Against Women Act includes expanded protections for Native American women, LGBTQ individuals, students, and immigrant women. In addition, the proposed reauthorization closes a loop-hole in regards to U visas that House conservatives had used as an excuse to dismiss the Act in the last session. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) told reporters "In the interest of making quick and decisive progress, we introduce the bill today without that provision in order to remove any excuse for House inaction." funny picturesfunny images
VAWA expired at the end of 2012. This was the first time VAWA has not been reauthorized since it was first passed in 1994. House conservatives had proposed their own version of the reauthorization in the last legislative session, the Cantor/Adams VAWA, that did not include protections for Native American women, LGBTQ individuals, and other disenfranchised groups. funny photos
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. . . .