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3/20/2014 - New Bill Aims To Expand Health Care Access for Immigrant Women and Families
The Health Equity and Access Under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act of 2014, introduced last week, would significantly improve the ability of immigrant women and families to access affordable health care. The act will eliminate discriminatory barriers to coverage, including the current 5-year ban on enrollment after an immigrant has established lawful status....

3/20/2014 - Breastfeeding Woman Pushed To Resign Will Not Get Discrimination Trial
A woman who filed charges against her employer for failing to accommodate her and encouraging her to resign when she was breastfeeding cannot continue with her lawsuit, a court ruled on Thursday. Angela Ames returned to work in 2010 at Nationwide Mutual Insurance in Des Moines after a two-month maternity leave....

3/18/2014 - Senate Votes to Reauthorize Child Care Bill
The Senate voted 96-2 last week to pass the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG), a federal grant program that provides child care assistance to families and funding for child care initiatives. The CCDBG was authored by Sens....

3/18/2014 - Federal Court Strikes Down Arkansas Early Abortion Ban
US District Judge Susan Webber Wright struck down an Arkansas law last week that would have banned abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy....

3/14/2014 - McDonald's Employees File 7 Class-Action Lawsuits For Wage Theft
McDonald's employees in three states filed seven class-action lawsuits against the company and some franchise owners this week, alleging they were illegally underpaid. The employees assert that hours were erased from their timecards, they were not paid overtime, and they were often ordered to work off the clock....

3/14/2014 - Students and Activists Demand Sexual Assault Reform at Dartmouth
Thousands of people are calling on Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to improve its sexual assault policies, after a student whose name appeared in a "rape guide" on a student-run website was sexually assaulted. Women's advocacy group UltraViolet created a petition demanding that Dartmouth "take student recommendations seriously and expel rapists, list rape as a punishable offense and expulsion as the preferred punishment in the student handbook, and block access to the 'rape guide' on campus." Over 50,000 people have already signed on....

3/14/2014 - Obama Aims To Reform Overtime Pay Regulations
President Barack Obama announced in a statement yesterday that he would be directing Tom Perez, the Secretary of Labor, to improve overtime pay labor regulations as part of his "year of action." It is expected that the salary threshold for overtime pay will be raised, among other changes. "If you go above and beyond to help your employer and your economy succeed, then you should share a little bit in that success," Obama said in his remarks yesterday. Under the current rules, any worker making more than $455 per week or $23,660 per year is not eligible for overtime pay, a threshold that has not been significantly changed since 1975....

3/13/2014 - Majority of Americans Approve of Obamacare Contraception Mandate
A poll conducted earlier this month by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal found that a majority of Americans agree with the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception mandate....

3/12/2014 - Uninsured Rate Hits New Low as Affordable Care Act Puts Insurance Within Reach
The percentage of Americans without health insurance has hit a second consecutive five-year low, falling to 15.9 percent according to a Gallup telephone survey of over 28,000 adults....

3/12/2014 - New York Legislators Introduce Bill Banning Employer Discrimination Against Women For Reproductive Health Decisions
New York State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) introduced a bill last week that would ban employers from discriminating against employees based on their reproductive health decisions. "Employers should not have the right to make healthcare decisions for their employees," said Assemblymember Jaffee in a statement....

3/11/2014 - Senate Passes Limited Military Sexual Assault Reform Bill
Only a few days after the Senate blocked the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), it unanimously approved a bill that proposes several different reforms to combat sexual assault in the military. "This debate has been about one thing - getting the policy right to best protect and empower victims, and boost prosecutions of predators," Sen....

3/10/2014 - Anti-Choice Laws Move Through State Legislatures
Across the country, state legislatures are moving to restrict access to abortion to the point of elimination....

3/10/2014 - Domestic Violence Program Survey Demonstrates Need For More Resources
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released its 2013 census report documenting the continued, dramatic need for domestic violence services and a lack of adequate resources for domestic violence shelters and programs that are struggling to help victims in need. "Domestic Violence Counts: Census 2013 Report" was conducted by surveying domestic violence programs on a single day, September 17, 2013....

3/10/2014 - Feminist Majority Endorses Maura Healey for Attorney General of Massachusetts
The Feminist Majority is proud to announce today its endorsement of Maura Healey for Massachusetts Attorney General....

3/10/2014 - Report Finds Record Number of Women Winning Political Seats Worldwide
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) - an international organization of parliamentarians - released its annual review of Women in Parliament last week at the United Nations, showing a record number of women winning Parliamentary seats around the world. Overall, there was a 1.5 percentage increase last year in the number of women holding seats in government worldwide....

3/7/2014 - Senate Blocks Military Justice Improvement Act
The US Senate blocked passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA)....

3/7/2014 - Study Finds Continuing Gender Gap in Medical Research
Although 20 years have passed since the government instituted legislation requiring adequate female representation in medical studies, a recent study finds that a significant sex and gender gap still persists in medical research. "Sex-Specific Medical Research: Why Women's Health Can't Wait" by researchers at the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Jacobs Institute at George Washington University Hospital finds that scientists still fail to account for differences between males and females....

3/6/2014 - Michigan State University Under Federal Investigation for Handling of Sexual Assault Cases
The US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is currently investigating Michigan State University (MSU) for its potential mishandling of sexual assault cases. A student who was allegedly sexually assaulted in an MSU dorm room in August 2010 by two student athletes filed charges against the university under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex....

3/6/2014 - Senate Rejects Qualified Obama Nominee to Lead DOJ Civil Rights Division
The US Senate blocked President Obama's nominee to lead the Civil Rights Division within the Department of Justice. Senators voted 47-52 yesterday in opposition to Debo Adegbile, a highly qualified attorney who worked in private practice at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison before holding several leadership positions at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including Director of Litigation, Acting President, Director-Counsel, and Special Counsel, and serving as senior counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee. Adegbile is a voting rights expert....

3/6/2014 - Three More Texas Abortion Clinics Forced To Close
Three more abortion clinics in Texas have been forced to close this week, thanks to extreme restrictions passed last summer....

3/5/2014 - USDA Expands Access to Healthy Food for Low-Income Women And Children
Two million women and seven million children will now have greater access to a variety of nutritious food options, thanks to the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) expansion of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The revision of the program - which provides supplemental food vouchers to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and infants and children through the age of five - began in 2007 when fruit and vegetable allowances were introduced, and was finalized last week....

3/5/2014 - Wisconsin City Council Passes 160-Foot Buffer Zone Ordinance
The Madison, Wisconsin city council unanimously passed a buffer zone ordinance last week to protect people entering or exiting healthcare clinics, including women's reproductive healthcare clinics, in the city....

3/4/2014 - FDA Broadens Access to Emergency Contraception Over-the-Counter
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that generic versions of Plan B One Step will now be available over-the-counter to women of all ages. The FDA removed age and point-of-sale restrictions on Teva Pharmaceutical's Plan B One Step in June 2013, but the agency also gave Teva a three-year protection from generic competition, meaning that generic versions of the emergency contraception (EC) could only be obtained behind the pharmacy counter and only be obtained without a prescription by women over 17 years old....

3/4/2014 - Marissa Alexander Now Faces Up To 60 Years in Prison
Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman who was imprisoned for firing warning shots against her abusive husband, will face up to 60 years of prison during her re-trial in July. Alexander was initially sentenced to 20 years for firing warning shots during an altercation with Rico Gray, her estranged and formerly abusive husband....

3/4/2014 - Students File Two Federal Complaints Against UC Berkeley for Mishandling Campus Sexual Assault Cases
Thirty-one current and former students filed a federal Title IX complaint against the University of California at Berkeley last week, alleging that the university had discouraged reporting of campus sexual assault, failed to inform victims of their rights, and had mishandled sexual assault cases being heard through the school's disciplinary process....