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10/20/2014 - Jay Leno Receives Mark Twain Prize, Salutes Mavis and Her Work for Women's Rights
Former long-time host of "The Tonight Show" Jay Leno saluted his wife, Mavis, for her work on behalf of women's rights around the world when he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this weekend at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The Mark Twain prize is awarded for comedic achievement, and the event, where Leno performed a monologue and paid tribute to the many comedians he has worked with throughout his career, brought together supporters of the The John F....

10/20/2014 - North Carolina Board of Elections Eliminates On-Campus Voting Sites Across the State
North Carolina will begin state-wide early voting on Thursday, and unlike the 2012 presidential election, many students across the state will have no polling place on-campus, making it more difficult for students to exercise their right to vote. The North Carolina State Board of Elections recently eliminated the only on-campus voting location for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a campus with more than 20,000 students....

10/20/2014 - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Slams Supreme Court for Upholding Voter Suppression in Texas
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a blistering dissent after a ruling by the US Supreme Court this weekend threatened to disqualify more than half a million Texas voters from early voting. In an unsigned order Saturday, a majority of the Supreme Court sided with a Texas law requiring voters to produce specific forms of photo identification in order to cast a ballot in the 2014 election....

10/17/2014 - Boko Haram Claims Kidnapped Chibok Girls Will Be Released Monday
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigeria's military are reportedly negotiating the release of the nearly 300 young women and girls who were abducted by Boko Haram more than six months ago, ostensibly bringing an end to six months of activist efforts calling for their return. An adviser to President Jonathan, Hassan Tukur, told Voice of America that President Jonathan and the self-described "secretary-general of Boko Haram," Danladi Ahmadu, have been in talks in Saudi Arabia regarding the over 270 schoolgirls abducted by the extremist group in April....

10/17/2014 - Student Activists Across the Country Are Fighting Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures
In Tennessee, North Dakota, and Colorado - three states deciding ballot measures aimed at restricting birth control access and outlawing abortion in the upcoming election - student activists are mobilizing to get out the vote. Members of student-led Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance group Vanderbilt Feminists at Vanderbilt University have been working tirelessly to get out the word about Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would take the right of privacy for reproductive rights out of the state constitution and give local legislators the power to restrict access to abortion, even in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, and outlaw many forms of birth control, such as the IUD or the pill....

10/16/2014 - Over 80,000 Safety Violations Found At Bangladesh Garment Factories
A recently completed inspection found more than 80,000 safety violations in Bangladeshi garment factories - where 85 percent of all workers are women. The inspections were made as part of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which covers more than 1,500 factories, is a legal agreement between 180 garment companies and 12 Bangladeshi trade unions and was formed after April 2013, when more than 1,100 workers died, and thousands more injured, in a factory building collapse in Rana Plaza. Of the inspected factories, 17 had structural integrity below an acceptable level and 110 factories were not currently up to acceptable safety levels for workers to work inside....

10/16/2014 - Prosecutors Claim South Carolina's Stand Your Ground Law Doesn't Apply to Domestic Violence Survivors
According to South Carolina prosecutors, the state's Stand Your Ground law, which allows people to use force to defend themselves when faced with "great bodily injury," is an unfit defense for domestic violence victims who live with their attackers....

10/15/2014 - Supreme Court Ruling Keeps Texas Abortion Clinics Open
The US Supreme Court issued an order last night blocking enforcement of two provisions of a restrictive Texas anti-abortion law that had forced all but eight of the state's abortion clinics to close....

10/15/2014 - Enforcement of Voter Suppression Law in Texas Uncertain
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled yesterday that Texas could enforce its strict Voter ID law, despite a lower court's finding that the law was discriminatory and would likely suppress the votes of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas. Writing for the Court, Judge Edith Brown Clement described the immediate challenge to the Texas law as "not a run-of-the-mill case." She continued, "Instead, it is a voting case decided on the eve of the election....

10/14/2014 - Activist Dolores Huerta Fights for Reproductive Rights in Colorado
Legendary human rights leader Dolores Huerta will be in Denver, Colorado next Friday to Get Out the Vote for the 2014 election. Huerta, a Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, will be on the educational facility the Auraria Campus to take a stand against proposed Amendment 67, a personhood initiative on the Colorado ballot this Fall aimed at restricting abortion and birth control access. If passed, Amendment 67 would extend the definition of "person" and "child" to a fertilized egg in the Colorado criminal code and Wrongful Death Act....

10/14/2014 - Early Voting Has Started in Many States
In many states, the 2014 elections have already begun through early and absentee voting....

10/14/2014 - Girls Spoke Out at the United Nations on International Day of the Girl
The United Nation's third annual International Day of the Girl was recognized Saturday by activists and leaders alike....

10/13/2014 - As Midterm Elections Near, Courts Are Taking On Voter Suppression
With less than a month before the November 4 elections, courts are weighing in on voting rights across the nation. In a victory for voters in Wisconsin, the US Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the state's new voter identification law from taking effect in November....

10/13/2014 - Full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Refuses to Hear Challenge to Texas TRAP Law
The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to rehear a March panel decision upholding HB 2, the Texas TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law that has forced 80 percent of abortion clinics in the state to close. Only 3 of 15 judges - all Democratic-appointees - supported the application to rehear the case against two provisions of HB 2....

10/10/2014 - Study Finds Abortion Restrictions Adversely Impact Women's Health Outcomes
States with the greatest restrictions on abortion are the worst for women's overall health, according to a new study from the Center for Reproductive Rights and Ibis Reproductive Health. More than 250 bills restricting abortion were introduced in 40 states in 2014 alone, and in the period between 2011 and 2013, states signed 205 new abortion restriction provisions into law - "more laws than were enacted in the entire previous decade," the report states....

10/10/2014 - Catholic Church Files Civil Rights Complaint Against State Over Abortion Mandate
California's Catholic leaders have filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services over a recent decision by the state to mandate that religiously affiliated universities there offer full abortion coverage in their employees' health care plans. Earlier this year, the California Lawyer learned that despite the state's commitment to fully protect comprehensive reproductive rights, two Catholic universities - Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara - had discontinued coverage for "not medically necessary" abortion services for their employees....

10/9/2014 - Staff at Immigration Center Accused of Sexually Abusing Women Detainees
Several civil rights organizations have filed a complaint against a privately run detention center in Texas, citing widespread allegations of sexual abuse and harassment. Last week, attorneys from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Immigration Rights and Civil Rights Clinics at the University of Texas Law School, Human Rights First, and the Law Office of Javier N....

10/9/2014 - UPDATE: Supreme Court Justice Delays Marriage Equality in Idaho
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy halted a decision Wednesday that would have allowed same sex couples to marry in Idaho. The Justice issued a one-page order requiring the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to delay a Tuesday ruling striking down Idaho's same-sex marriage ban and calling them unconstitutional until either Kennedy or the full Supreme Court weighed in....

10/8/2014 - Marriage Equality Set to Take Hold in 35 States Following Court Rulings
Following the US Supreme Court's decision Monday to decline review of three federal appeals courts' decisions striking down same-sex marriage bans in five states, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday struck down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada, bringing the number of states in which same-sex marriage bans are effectively null and void to 35. Monday's decision by the Supreme Court immediately expanded the number of states were same-sex marriage is legal from 19 to 24....

10/8/2014 - Georgetown University Administrators Apologize for Shutting Down H*yas for Choice Protest
Georgetown University has formally apologized to students and alumni following a university police response to an off-campus H*yas for Choice protest last week that sparked outrage. On September 22, the Georgetown Department of Public Safety (DPS) forced the H*yas for Choice to relocate from an off-campus sidewalk, where they were "quietly presenting an alternative view" to the school's decision to grant an honorary degree to Washington, DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl....

10/7/2014 - Texas Providers Ask Supreme Court to Block Restrictive Abortion Law
Reproductive health care providers in Texas have asked the US Supreme Court to block enforcement of unnecessary, harmful abortion restrictions in Texas that have closed all but eight of the state's abortion clinics overnight. The Center for Reproductive Rights, on behalf of the health care providers, filed an emergency application with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia after Thursday's decision by the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to allow the immediate enforcement of two provisions - the ambulatory surgical center and admitting privileges requirements - of the Texas omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2. Before the enactment of HB2, Texas had 44 abortion clinics....

10/6/2014 - Religious Leaders Unite in Tennessee and Colorado to Oppose Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures
Local religious leaders have come together to denounce ballot measures in Tennessee and Colorado that, if passed, would jeopardize access to abortion in those states. At Sunday services last week, local clergy from Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, United Pentecostal, Presbyterian and Free Will Baptist churches, as well as leaders of other faiths, spoke out against Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would allow the government to interfere with women's personal health decisions....

10/6/2014 - Experts Recommend IUDs and Contraceptive Implants for Sexually Active Teenagers
Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggested sexually active teenagers use contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) over other forms of birth control. This is the first time the AAP has suggested pediatricians recommend long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs) such as IUDs and implants before recommending other, less-effective forms of birth control to sexually active teens....

10/3/2014 - Federal Appeals Court Blocks Access to Abortion in Texas
The state of Texas lost all but eight of its abortion clinics overnight after the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the state could begin enforcing unnecessary and harmful abortion restrictions passed as part of Texas's omnibus anti-abortion bill, HB 2, last year....

10/3/2014 - White House Releases Updated Title IX Guidance on Campus Sexual Assault
As part of the "It's On Us" campaign to end campus sexual assault by changing campus culture, the White House has released guidance to assist with enforcement of institutional Title IX policies. The documents released include a "Guide to Drafting a Sexual Assault Policy," "Definitions of Key Terms in Sexual Misconduct Policies," the "Role of Title IX Coordinator," and how to include "Interim and Supportive Measures for Victims." All education institutions in the United States that receive federal funding must adhere to Title IX policies....