FL House Passes Controversial Abortion Restrictions
The Florida House of Representatives passed an abortion measure last Thursday that would outlaw abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus. HB 845, "Termination of Pregnancy Based on Sex or Race of Unborn Child," passed on what anti-choice activists have declared "Right to Life" day on a vote of 71 to 44.
The bill's sponsor, Representative Charles Van Zant (R) from Keystone Heights, who is white, stated that abortion groups target black women. "In America alone - without the Nazi Holocaust, without the Ku Klux Klan - Planned Parenthood and other abortionists have reduced our black population by more than 25 percent since 1973," Van Zant told the House.
Despite Van Zant's assertion that the legislation was to prevent what he called "discriminatory targeting," many black Representatives were offended during the debate and a few even left the proceedings. Representative Barbara Watson (D) of Miami chose to leave. She later told the Huffington Post, "I don't appreciate anyone trying to explain what any other ethnic group's lifestyle is and what they do, when you really don't have any authority to interpret it. I think the women and people of color in that chamber deserve an apology from him, but I don't know that it would actually change his point of view."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 3/19/13; The Florida Current 4/18/13; The Miami Herald 4/18/13; Florida House of Representatives
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. . . .