Women of Senate Vow to Continue Fight Against Military Sexual Assault
Various women in the Senate have vowed to continue the fight against military sexual assault despite Senator Carl Levin's announcement Tuesday that he would be removing a provision in the defense spending bill that would take sexually violent cases out of the chain of command. Speaking to MSNBC's Chris Hayes Wednesday, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said, "You know, for 20 long years, various secretaries of defense have said these words: 'We have zero tolerance for this kind of activity in the military and were not going to allow it.' And every single secretary of defense never made the changes. We have to make the changes."
"It's very disappointing," she continued, "but I have to tell you - what they did today is embrace the status quo instead of embracing the victims and using this as an opportunity to bring needed change."
Boxer insists she and her colleagues, which include a bipartisan coalition of 27 Senators who backed her original legislation removing prosecution from the chain of command, will continue to advocate for her language in the defense bill. "We're going to fight to get it done we are going to get our day on the full Senate floor," she told Hayes.
Media Resources: New York Times 6/12/2013; CBS 6/12/2013; Feminist Newswire 6/12/2013; MSNBC 6/12/2013
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. . . .