Human Rights Watch released a report Tuesday finding that Los Angeles County has at least 12,669 untested rape kits sitting in storage facilities. Sarah Tofte, a researcher for that study, calls it a case of major injustice to rape survivors.
(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersA federal judge ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make Plan B emergency contraception available to 17-year-olds and to reconsider its 2006 policy implemented during the Bush administration that requires a prescription for those under 18, the Washington Post reported March 24. In the ruling, Judge Edward R. Korman said the age restriction was an “arbitrary and capricious” decision that was influenced by “political and ideological” considerations.”I think FDA is now in a position where it can make a fair decision because of the change in leadership and the commitment by everyone involved to make science-based decisions,” Susan F. Wood, a scientist who resigned from the FDA in 2005 to protest politically motivated delays in the agency’s approval of the drug, told the Post. “This is a chance for the agency to demonstrate it is back on track.”More News to Cheer This Week:The Vermont state Senate passed a bill 26-4 on March 23 to legalize same-sex marriage, and on March 26 the New Hampshire state House did the same, 365Gay.com reported. Both votes represent an advance for advocates of equal marriage rights pressing for gains in all six New England states by 2012. If the Vermont bill wins final passage and overcomes a gubernatorial veto, the state would become the first to legalize same-sex marriage through a legislative–as opposed to judicial–measure.For the first time, health authorities in Northern Ireland have published rules to inform doctors about when abortions may be performed legally, the Associated Press reported March 17.
Bollywood-style Indian weddings have been at the forefront of the increasingly lavish U.S. wedding trend. One high-profile ethnic wedding consultant expects lavish weddings to continue, but this is also the first year her business has faced a recession.
Women’s eNews editor in chief Rita Henley Jensen was treated to a holiday concert that was both exquisite and a pointed reminder of the need for women to be heard in the churches and in other power centers.
Women have been winning U.S. asylum to avoid female genital mutilation in their homelands. But in 2007 three denials challenged that trend. One of those cases now under review could clarify their legal standing.
Three years ago emergency contraception became available over the counter in India and now doctors there say it’s being misused. The solution, according to a tabloid sex columnist: more sex ed and better product information.
As policymakers craft a Wall Street bailout, budget experts with women’s policy groups worry about the fate of public programs and hail some Democratic provisions. Some activists and pundits, meanwhile, reiterate protests against the Iraq war.
Lynne Rosenthal’s lifetime commitment to supporting women’s causes deepened as she read Ms. magazine. It helped direct her focus to a rising women’s movement and her ability to give grew over time. Twelfth in a series on women funding serious change.