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ND Passes Six Week Abortion Ban

ND Passes Six Week Abortion Ban

Today the North Dakota state Senate approved two bills that together would form the strictest abortion ban in the nation. Now they go to North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) for his signature. The state Senate voted to approve a measure that would ban abortion when a heartbeat is detected. With a transvaginal ultrasound, a heartbeat can...
Steubenville Trial Begins

Steubenville Trial Begins

Yesterday, both sides made opening statements in the case of two high school football players accused of raping a 16 year old classmate in Steubenville, Ohio. The judge will continue to hear arguments and witness testimonies today in a non-jury trial. Prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter has argued that the victim was too intoxicated to consent, while the defense...
Senate Democrats Announce Budget Proposal

Senate Democrats Announce Budget Proposal

In response to a budget proposed by House Republicans, Senate Democrats announced their own budget proposal for 2014. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, released a proposal that combines spending cuts with increased tax revenue, an aspect missing from Representative Paul Ryan’s proposal. The Murray budget seeks to close tax loopholes for the...
Archbishop of Buenos Aires Elected as Pope

Archbishop of Buenos Aires Elected as Pope

Yesterday Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected to replace Pope Benedict XVI. After two days of discussion, the conclave announced that they had selected Cardinal Bergoglio to lead the Catholic Church and assume the name Pope Francis. He is the first Latin American pope, as well as the first Pope selected from...
AZ Ban on Mexican American Studies Ruled Constitutional

AZ Ban on Mexican American Studies Ruled Constitutional

On Friday a federal judge ruled that a 2010 law banning Mexican American studies in Tuscon, Arizona, is constitutional. Federal Judge Wallace Tashima of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appealsdetermined that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the law was too broad or violated student first amendment rights. Only one part of the law was struck...
Idaho "Fetal Pain" Bill Struck Down By Federal Court

Idaho “Fetal Pain” Bill Struck Down By Federal Court

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that an Idaho law banning abortion after 20 weeks is unconstitutional because it places an undue burden on a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy before viability. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote in his opinion, “the Idaho Legislature’s enactment of the [fetal pain law] in light of this...
UN Affirms Commitment to Ending Violence Against Women

UN Affirms Commitment to Ending Violence Against Women

  On Monday, the 57th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women began in New York. The two-week long convention discusses the current problems facing women and girls around the world and what the international community can do in response. The primary goal of the commission is to eliminate violence against women and girls. Deputy Secretary-General...
AR Legislature Passes Toughest Abortion Ban in the US

AR Legislature Passes Toughest Abortion Ban in the US

Yesterday, the Arkansas state legislature voted to override Governor Beebe’s veto of the Human Heartbeat Protection Act, which bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected with a standard ultrasound (usually 12 weeks). While the bill does include exemptions for rape, incest, severe fetal abnormality, and to save the life of the mother, the bill is the...
President Obama to Sign VAWA Today

President Obama to Sign VAWA Today

President Obama will sign the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) into law today. The ceremony will take place at Interior Department. After over 500 days without congressional reauthorization, the House approved an inclusive, bipartisan VAWAas passed by the Senate on February 28. The reauthorization includes expanded protections for students, LGBT individuals, immigrants, and Native Americans. Eleanor Smeal, President...
Lieutenant General Overturns Service Member's Rape Conviction

Lieutenant General Overturns Service Member’s Rape Conviction

On Monday, Lieutenant General Craig Franklin overturned the rape conviction of an air force service member who was found guilty by a jury. Franklin claims there was not sufficient evidence that the woman had been raped. The Air Force fighter pilot was convicted in November for aggravated sexual assault by a jury of four colonels and a...