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8/8/2014 - Michigan Jury Finds Renisha McBride's Killer Guilty
A jury yesterday found Theodore Wafer, the Michigan man who shot and killed Renisha McBride, guilty of murder....

8/7/2014 - Study Finds Sexual Health Education Should Begin As Early As Age 10
Children should begin receiving formal education about sexual health as early as age 10, according to a new study published in the journal Global Public Health. The study's researchers note that although sexual health programs typically focus on older adolescents, sexuality and gender identity begin emerging between the ages of 10 and 14....

8/7/2014 - Florida Lawmakers Hold Special Session to Redraw Gerrymandered Maps
Florida lawmakers are in Tallahassee today for a special nine-day session to redraw the state's congressional districts after a state court ruled last month that Republicans had illegally redrawn the districts for their own benefit. Leon County, Florida Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis found in July that state Republicans had created "a shadow redistricting process" that violated the state constitution and "made a mockery of the Legislature's transparent and open process of redistricting." He continued, "they might have successfully concealed their scheme and their actions from the public had it not been for the Plaintiffs' determined efforts to uncover it in this case." The League of Women Voters of Florida brought the lawsuit challenging the redistricting plan, arguing that state Republicans had drawn congressional districts with the purpose of favoring GOP-candidates in violation of the Fair Districts Amendments to the state constitution, specifically intended to prohibit this kind of gerrymandering....

8/7/2014 - US-Africa Leaders Summit Closes With Funding Commitments and Focus on Women
After three days of unprecedented meetings between the US and leaders from nearly 50 African countries, the US Africa Leaders Summit ended Wednesday....

8/6/2014 - Department of Justice Sues Pennsylvania State Police For Sex Discrimination
The US Department of Justice filed a federal lawsuit against the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Police last week alleging that the state police has engaged in a pattern and practice of employment discrimination against women. In its suit, the DOJ alleges that the Pennsylvania state police excluded qualified women from consideration as entry-level troopers by requiring candidates to pass a physical fitness test that did not test for physical skills necessary to perform the job. According to the DOJ complaint, the test "disproportionately screened out female applicants, resulting in a disparate impact against those applicants" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964....

8/6/2014 - Supreme Court Decision Affects Buffer Zone Laws Around the Nation
Cities and states across the United States have been responding differently to the US Supreme Court's decision in June to strike down Massachusetts' 35-foot abortion clinic buffer zone in McCullen v....

8/5/2014 - Federal Court Rules Alabama TRAP Law Unconstitutional
Federal US District Court Judge Myron Thompson ruled yesterday that an Alabama TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion provider) law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges is unconstitutional. In his 172-page opinion, Judge Thompson detailed the history of violence against Alabama abortion providers, explaining that the context of violence could not be overlooked in deciding whether the admitting privileges requirement placed an undue burden on a woman's right to obtain a legal abortion....

8/5/2014 - Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Union Limits and Voter ID Laws
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Thursday to uphold a 2011 law, championed by Governor Scott Walker (R), that significantly decreased collective bargaining rights for workers in public employee unions....

8/4/2014 - Congress Introduces Legislation to Protect Students from Sexual Assault
A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. The Campus Accountability and Safety Act, cosponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Dean Heller (R-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), focuses on steps colleges can take to proactively protect students....

8/4/2014 - New Bills Would Advance Reproductive Healthcare Gains of Affordable Care Act
Two new bills introduced in Congress could help improve health outcomes for people of color, low income communities, and female members of the U.S....

8/4/2014 - President Obama Signs Executive Order Promoting Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces
President Obama signed an executive order last week aimed at promoting fair pay and safe workplaces for workers employed by federal contractors. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order is intended to hold corporations accountable by requiring prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations from the previous three years and to collect that information from subcontractors....

8/1/2014 - A Call for Action to Reduce Gun Deaths Among Victims of Domestic Violence
Over 250 people gathered inside the Dirksen Senate building on Wednesday to support legislation aimed at decreasing intimate partner homicide through gun violence. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chaired the standing-room only Senate Judiciary Committee hearing - which required an overflow room – and was joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen....

8/1/2014 - Constitutional Court Invalidates Uganda's Anti-Gay Law
Uganda's Constitutional Court today struck down - on procedural grounds - a package of anti-gay policies signed into law this February by President Yoweri Museveni, but left room for lawmakers to attempt to pass the law, or another version of it, again. Ten petitioners, including activists, academics, advocates, and MPs, challenged the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act in court, claiming that it was passed improperly and violated the constitutional rights of Ugandans to live free from discrimination and with privacy and dignity....

7/31/2014 - First World Day Against Human Trafficking Encourages International Action
The first World Day against Trafficking in Persons took place Wednesday in an effort by the United Nations to bring attention to the continuing need for international support to help trafficking victims and end impunity for perpetrators. Millions of people are still trafficked every year, sold to work in brothels, fields, and sweatshops....

7/31/2014 - Massachusetts Enacts New Law to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Facilities
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) signed into law yesterday a bill to help protect access to reproductive health care facilities in the state. The law, entitled An Act to Promote Public Safety and Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities, enables a law enforcement official to order the "immediate dispersal of a gathering that substantially impedes access to or departure from an entrance or a driveway to a reproductive health care facility." The order would "remain in place for 8 hours or until the close of business of the reproductive health facility, whichever is earlier," and make noncompliance punishable with a fine or jail time....

7/30/2014 - Fifth Circuit Court Rules In Favor Of Mississippi's Last Clinic
Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic will remain open after a the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against HB 1390, the Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at area hospitals. Had the court not upheld the lower federal's court's injunction, HB 1390 would have shuttered Jackson Women's Health Organization (JWHO), the state's only comprehensive reproductive health center....

7/30/2014 - Legislation Introduced to Establish Fair Work Scheduling Practices
Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced a bill last week that aims to protect hourly workers from scheduling abuses and allow for greater flexibility and certainty around their work schedules. The Schedules that Work Act (HR 5159) will protect employees from retaliation if they request a more flexible or stable schedule, require that retail, food service and cleaning employees receive their work schedules at least two weeks in advance, and create a process for employers to consider special scheduling requests of employees....

7/30/2014 - North Carolina Mayor Journeys 273 Miles for Medicaid Expansion
After journeying 273 miles on foot, Adam O'Neal, Republican Mayor of Belhaven, North Carolina, arrived on the lawn of the US Capitol earlier this week for a special Moral Monday gathering....

7/29/2014 - Supporters March for Marissa Alexander in Jacksonville
Hundreds of supporters from all over the United States marched to the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, FL yesterday to demand that all charges against Marissa Alexander be dropped....

7/29/2014 - Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US
The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM. According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice. Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters....

7/29/2014 - Three Anti-Abortion Extremists Sentenced In Mississippi
Last night, three of four anti-abortion extremists were found guilty by a Jackson, Miss....

7/29/2014 - Women Just Won Big In Mississippi
Feminist Majority Foundation leaders are elated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider) law that would have closed the only abortion clinic in the state....

7/29/2014 - Women Just Won Big In Mississippi
Feminist Majority Foundation leaders are elated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider) law that would have closed the only abortion clinic in the state....

7/28/2014 - Study Proves Texas Laws Have Significantly Reduced Access to Abortion
The Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) released a study in the medical journal Contraception finding that access to abortion has been significantly reduced since the state enacted it omnibus anti-abortion law HB2. The study, released last week, details the striking impact that HB2 has had on abortion access in Texas....

7/28/2014 - Wisconsin Will Not Enforce Contraceptive Coverage Law If Employers Raise Religious Objections
Citing the recent United States Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v....