Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


from feministing

Esquire has a wonderful profile of Dr. Willie Parker, one of the two doctors who flies in from out-of-state to work at Mississippi’s sole embattled abortion clinic. Parker, whose decision to become an abortion provider is deeply rooted in his Christian faith, quit his obstetrics practice to do the procedures full-time after Dr. Tiller was assassinated five years ago. These days, he travels around the country providing abortion care in areas where access is most limited and isan eloquent advocate for reproductive justice

Many of these women come from hours away, one from a little town on the Kentucky border that’s a seven-hour drive. They don’t know much about Dr. Parker. They don’t know that he grew up a few hours away in Birmingham, the second youngest son of a single mother who raised six children on food stamps and welfare, so poor that he taught himself to read by a kerosene lamp and went to the bathroom in an outhouse; that he was born again in his teenage years and did a stint as a boy preacher in Baptist churches; that he became the first black student-body president of a mostly white high school, went on to Harvard and a distinguished career as a college professor and obstetrician who delivered thousands of babies and refused to do abortions. They certainly don’t know about the “come to Jesus” moment, as he pointedly describes it, when he decided to give up his fancy career to become an abortion provider. Or that, at fifty-one, having resigned a prestigious job as medical director of Planned Parenthood, he’s preparing to move back south and take over a circuit roughly similar—for safety reasons, he won’t be more specific—to the one traveled by Dr. David Gunn before an antiabortion fanatic assassinated him in 1993. Or that his name and home address have been published by an antiabortion Web site with the unmistakable intent of terrorizing doctors like him. Or that he receives threats that say, “You’ve been warned.” Or that he refuses to wear a bulletproof vest, because he doesn’t want to live in fear—”if I’m that anxious, they’ve already taken my life”—but owns a stun gun because a practical man has to take precautions. What they do know is this:

He is the doctor who is going to stop them from being pregnant.

The profile captures Dr. Parker’s motivation for doing this work and the great care and empathy he brings to it. It also offers a rare glimpse into what actually happens at an abortion clinic and shows the huge diversity among the stories of the dozens of women Dr. Parker helps each day. You should really read the rest here.

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ESPN panelist Stephen A. Smith has been roundly panned for his comments on domestic violence, in which he suggested women should do what they can not to "provoke" their partners into abusing them.

On Monday, Smith apologized for his comments, but MSNBC pundit Goldie Taylor wasn't about to let him off the hook.

In a series of tweets, the journalist explained exactly why his comments were so dangerous. She opened up about her own experience being stabbed by an abusive partner, and revealed the victim-blaming she suffered -- even from her own family.

On top of the physical abuse, Taylor was also financially abused by her partner. According to her testimony, he made her turn over her paycheck each week and would not allow her to have a credit card, a common tactic used by abusers to control and isolate their victims.

Here are a selection of Taylor's tweets; visit her twitter feed to read the entire conversation.


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from Intlawgrrls...

The last few weeks have seen numerous reports on the growing number ofunaccompanied minors seeking entry to the United States through the Mexican border. The reasons for the uptick in crossings are numerous and complex, and, like the question of whether the children meet the definition of refugees, are not the focus of this post. My question here is a simpler one: whether the adjudication mechanisms under consideration in response to this crisis afford these children a fair hearing focused on a determination of credible fear and other harm which, if identified, would trigger international protection. If the contemplated changes do not comport with a good faith application of the principle of non-refoulement, we run the risk that the U.S. will be in breach of its international obligations.

A “fast-track” process eases the short-term administrative and resource burden at the risk of returning children in need of protection, and would violate the principle of non-refoulement. Non-refoulement, or a prohibition on forcible return, compels States to ensure that no person is forcibly returned to a place where they face persecution,torture or inhuman treatment. In the context of refugee law, States have an obligation of non-refoulement until a negative refugee status determination has been made and States have a good faith obligation to ensure that this takes place. Refoulement can be explicit or it can be constructive, but the UNHCR has stated that it applies at the border, even before an entry is made.


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Programa Interdisciplinario de Estudios de la Mujer
Centro de Estudios Sociológicos
Programa Universitario de Estudios de Género

Conferencia: Violencia de Género: archivos estatales, reportes mediáticos, memorias viscerales
Impartido por la Dra. Ileana Rodríguez

Modera: Dra. Marta Lamas, PUEG-UNAM

Salón 5524, El Colegio de México
Junio 25 de 2014

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 Research in Brief—Putting Sex Traffickers Out of Business: Combatting Human Trafficking and Prostitution by Reducing the Demand for Commercial Sex 
Maureen Q. McGough, Esq., Policy Adviser, Office of the Director, National Institute of Justice

 From the Assistant Attorney General—OJP’s Partnership with Law Enforcement Against Human Trafficking 
Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

 Making the Case for a Collaborative Response to Human Trafficking Crimes: U.S. v. Andrew Fields

 Addressing Victims of Sexual Trafficking with a Dose of Humanity: The Role of Peer Counselors 
Tom Dart, Sheriff, Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office

 Ten Years and Counting...
One Woman’s Path from Survivor to Mentor

Marian Hatcher, Project Manager, Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs

 The Front Line: Challenges for Law Enforcement in the Fight Against Human Trafficking 
Maureen Q. McGough, Esq., Policy Advisor, Office of the Director, National Institute of Justice

 Human Trafficking: Building an Agency’s Social Capital Through a Social Justice Response 
John Vanek, MA, Lieutenant (ret.), San Jose, California, Police Department, and Adjunct Professor, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Middlebury College, Monterey, California

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El Comité de Expertas de la CEDAW recomienda al Estado peruano intensificar esfuerzos para lograr igualdad de género

Madrid, 24 jul. 14. AmecoPress. El Comité de Expertas que vigila el cumplimiento de la Convención para la Eliminación de Toda Forma de Discriminación Contra la Mujer (CEDAW), examinó al Estado peruano el día 1 de julio en su 58° periodo de sesiones. Ayer este Comité hizo público su Informe Final en el que saludan los progresos del Estado en materia de no discriminación contra las mujeres, como la aprobación de la Guía Técnica Nacional para el procedimiento de Aborto Terapéutico. Sin embargo señalan sus preocupaciones por la persistencia de barreras para el cumplimiento de la Convención y la vigencia de los derechos de las mujeres.



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Bishop Robert Vasa sent a letter to parishioners explaining the Catholic Church’s latest molestation settlement. This was obviously done in hopes of encouraging people to still donate to capital campaigns in the diocese.

He wrote: “Many think the church or I as bishop has the ability to definitively root out every hint of this type of perversity. This however is a task beyond any human power. We will only accomplish this through prayer and works of penance such as fasting and giving of alms to the poor. In short, it will only happen through each of us working first for the conversion of our own hearts and then for the wider renewal of the church. When through conversion every heart has redoubled its resolve to avoid every occasion of sin, that is the day we need no longer worry about another of these terrible horror stories happening.”

Say what?

Vasa, in a transparent attempt to dodge responsibility, pretends there’s no church hierarchy. That’s convenient now, but how come he speaks with the authority of the apostles when it’s time to tell lay Catholics how we must live? Sorry, the diocesan capital campaign will not receive a cent from me. I will continue to donate only to my parish.


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Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. And since the rest of puberty's really no picnic either, it's easy to see what a huge impact it can have on a girl's self-confidence. 

We're kicking off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.

"In my work as a documentarian, I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand," said Lauren Greenfield, filmmaker and director of the #LikeAGirl video. "When the words 'like a girl' are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering. I am proud to partner with Always to shed light on how this simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women. I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine 'like a girl' into a positive affirmation."

So tell us... what do YOU do #LikeAGirl?

For the past 30 years, Always has been empowering girls globally, bringing puberty education to millions of adolescent girls. 
Find out more at http://www.always.com/en-us/likeagirl...

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/always
Twitter - http://twitter.com/Always

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from Feminst Law Professors Blog

Polly Morgan is a Lecturer in Law at the University of East Anglia School of Law. UAE is located in Norfolk, England. She recently answered these questions for Feminist Law Professors.

What is your educational and professional background?

I hold an undergraduate degree in law, a master’s degree in family law and policy, and also the professional qualifications to practise law as a solicitor. (In the UK, Law is an undergraduate degree followed by a further stage of more practical procedural training to become either a solicitor or a barrister.) I spent about eight years in practice as a family solicitor, which culminated in my co-founding my own specialist family law firm. However, in 2012 I was approached to teach family law at the University of East Anglia, and am now full-time faculty. I do not regret leaving practice, although I sometimes miss being obliquely rude in that way that lawyers can do so well.


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   Sobrecarga laboral sin paga que las mantiene en la pobreza

Foto: Maricruz Montesinos
Por: Angélica Jocelyn Soto Espinosa

Cimacnoticias | México, DF.- 22/07/2014

El trabajo del hogar –tanto el que se realiza por un pago como el que se hace de manera cotidiana sin remuneración alguna– es una forma de violencia poco visibilizada y una pérdida económica y de tiempo para las mujeres, mientras que el Estado mexicano avanza a cuenta gotas para erradicar la desigualdad en el ejercicio de esta labor.
Esta fue la conclusión de expertas durante el foro “Día Internacional del Trabajo Doméstico. Hacia un reconocimiento de la economía de cuidado” –efeméride que se conmemoró hoy–, y al que convocó el Instituto de las Mujeres del Distrito Federal.
Ximena Andión, directora del Instituto Simone de Beauvoir, y Paz López, asesora técnica en Estadística y Políticas de Igualdad de Género de la oficina de ONU-Mujeres en México, coincidieron en que de no reconocerse las aportaciones económicas del trabajo del hogar, las instituciones y la sociedad no asumirán su responsabilidad para terminar con la desigualdad.
Detallaron que las mexicanas destinan 48 horas a la semana para el trabajo no remunerado en los hogares –lo que genera el 21 por ciento del Producto Interno Bruto (PIB)–, mientras que los varones sólo destinan 16 horas para esta tarea.


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from Feministing...

IX graduation hats

Editor’s Note: This piece is cross-posted from Know Your IX’s website. Join the campaign here

In response to coverage of university mistreatment of sexual assault survivors, many observers have wondered why schools handle these crimes at all: why not just leave it to the police? Here’s the answer in a couple easy bullet points.

Why do schools handle sexual violence reports?


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Exeter, PA July 18, 2014, officer fired: allegedly watched porn, solicited sexual relationships using work comp on duty http://ow.ly/zp2rwhttp://

Miami Beach, July 19, 2014, FL 20-yr veteran homicide detective jailed, accused of sex in cop car w teen girl http://
Beaufort, South Carolina: July 17, 2014, A police officer pled guilty to simple assault against his 10-year-old stepdaughter, then resigned from the police department. According to warrants, he slapped her on the right side of her head. http://ow.ly/zkrDR
Charleston County, South Carolina: July 17, 2014, The sheriff’s office says a detective was fired after an internal investigation discovered that the officer had a sexual relationship with a murder suspect’s mother and lied about it.  http://ow.ly/zkthZ
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: July 18, 2014, A police officer has been arrested on a domestic violence charge for the second time in two years. After speaking with the victim and the suspect, officers found probable cause to charge the officer with third degree domestic violence criminal coercion. http://ow.ly/zktCr
Montgomery, Alabama: July 16, 2014, A police officer is being charged with domestic violence following an arrest, according to the department. http://ow.ly/zk7cE
 Irwindale, California , July 15, 2014, A now-former police officer denied molesting a 14-year-old police Explorer. He pled not guilty to using a minor for sex acts, sending harmful matter, oral copulation of a person under 16, sexual penetration by a foreign object and two counts of contact with a minor for sexual offense. http://ow.ly/zjvTR
: Berthoud, Colorado  July 14, 2014,: A now-fired police officer was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in a jail work-release program for physically abusing a 15-year-old girl for years. http://ow.ly/zjiH4
New Orleans, Louisiana: July 14, 2014, A police officer accused of trying to kill his girlfriend pled not guilty to charges of attempted second-degree murder and simple battery. http://ow.ly/zeURO
New Orleans, Louisiana: July 14, 2014,A second police officer has been charged with a felony stemming from an alleged domestic matter. http://ow.ly/zeWTq
Loveland, Colorado, July 14, 2014, Fired Berthoud police officer Jeremy Yachik was sentenced Monday to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in a jail work-release program for physically abusing a 15-year-old girl. A Larimer County judge also ordered Yachik to perform 80 hours of community service and to undergo a domestic violence evaluation to determine if he will be required to participate in a domestic violence-treatment program. 
According to court records, the girl told Loveland police investigators that Yachik abused her almost daily for years. The abuse allegedly included restraining her hands with handcuffs or plastic zip ties and then slamming her head into a wall hard enough to leave a hole and choking her until she blacked out, according to a Loveland Police  Department arrest affidavit. The girl also said he beat her with ropes, restricted her food, shackled her in a darkened room for hours and force-fed her “ghost pepper sauce” that’s roughly 10 times hotter than habanero peppers, the affidavit said. During a voluntary Sept. 27 interview with Loveland investigators, Yachik, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, admitted doing many of these things to the girl, the affidavit said. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/fired-berthoud-police-of...
Cleveland, Ohio: July 11, 2014,A police officer was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor 10 years or older. He is also charged with four counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, according to the court website. http://ow.ly/zby0c
Memphis, Tennessee, July 12, 2014,  A now-former police officer has been convicted of two counts of rape involving a student from Rhodes College. He was also charged with three counts of assault and four counts of official misconduct. http://ow.ly/zf8hY
 Placer County, California,: July 11, 2014, A decorated sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a teen who was volunteering at his department, according to authorities. http://ow.ly/z9ac1
Washington, DC, July 11, 2014,  A now-former police officer has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing a girl who participated in his church choir. After he gets out of prison he will have to register as a sex offender. http://ow.ly/z8VcM

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Since 2006 when Europe closed its borders, human trafficking has burgeoned in Egypt’s Sinai Desert, where Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees heading north to Israel are kidnapped, held hostage, and tortured by Bedouin smugglers demanding exorbitant ransoms for their freedom. Fleeing an oppressive military dictatorship at home, with a “shoot-to-kill” policy at the border and where only pregnant women are exempted from service, over 300,000 Eritreans have fled their homeland in North Africa. Many of these men, women and children die in Sinai’s torture camps. 

This powerful documentary intimately follows Swedish-Eritrean journalist Meron Estefanos and her efforts to aid the hostages and their families. From Stockholm she runs a popular online radio show, fielding calls for help from Eritrean victims and their relatives. Her activism takes her to Israel and Egypt’s Sinai Desert to seek the release of a badly abused young woman held captive with her baby and to search for another who disappeared along the Egyptian-Israeli border after her ransom had been paid. Both eloquent and harrowing, SOUND OF TORTURE spotlights one of today’s most underreported human rights violations and the one woman who is making it her mission to create change.  MORE HERE

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Since October 2013, more than 52,000 children, most from Central America and unaccompanied by adults, have crossed the Southwest border into the United States, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That’s nearly double last year’s total and 10 times the number from 2009. Administration officials have called it “an urgent humanitarian situation.”

Maria Woltjen discussed the latest crisis with UChicago News. She heads the University of Chicago Law School’s Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights Clinic, a national initiative that provides child protection advocates for unaccompanied immigrant children detained by the federal government. 

What has caused the recent surge of unaccompanied children crossing the Southwest border into the United States?


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  • Entrevista con Alejandra Burgos, defensora de DDHH en El Salvador e integrante de la Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del aborto terapéutico, ético y eugenésico y de la Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local                                                                                                                                                                                                 Madrid, 17 jul. 14. AmecoPress. “Ser mujer en El Salvador es un riesgo”, asegura Alejandra Burgos, teóloga, filósofa y sobre todo, activista feminista. Está en Madrid para participar en los cursos de verano de Amnistía Internacional y en diversos actos y encuentros en los que habla de la vulneración de los derechos humanos que implica la penalización del aborto en su país y lo que va a suponer para España, en caso de que se apruebe, el Decreto Ley que ha preparado el Gobierno. Amecopress habla con ella.

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    La crueldad y presiones que reciben las mujeres que quieren abortar en El Salvador saltó a la comunidad internacional a partir del caso de Beatriz, la joven a quien se le prohibió abortar pese que su embarazo ponía en peligro su vida y su bebé era anencefálico (sin cerebro). En aquella ocasión, numerosas organizaciones, entre ellas AI, y representantes institucionales impulsaron una campaña para apoyar a esta mujer y pedir que se le permitiera abortar y salvar su vida. Beatriz fue sometida finalmente a una cesárea y hoy sigue recuperándose de las secuelas de aquella situación.   Pero su caso “removió las conciencias” y facilitó que otras situaciones vieran la luz.                                                                                                                                                                                                               CONTINUES


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The 2014-2016 three year strategy was developed following a series of consultations with members of Girls Not Brides from around the world, as well as with other key partners and stakeholders. 
Girls Not Brides was created to help bring an end to child marriage, so that girls can have the opportunity to thrive and become full and equal members of society. The overall strategic objectives of the global civil society Partnership, as agreed upon by the members in 2011, are:
 Increased awareness of the harmful impact of child marriage at the local, national and international 
 Expanded policy, financial and other support to end child marriage and to support married girls; and
 Strengthened learning and coordination among organisations working to end child marriage.
While these aims are broad, they provide all Girls Not Brides members – whether acting individually or as groups – with a sense of how their work fits into the overall movement. However, with the increased global momentum on child marriage, members have been keen to identify more specific objectives for the Partnership to help focus our efforts and to maximise our Impact.
This three-year strategy was developed following a series of consultations with members of Girls Not Bridesfrom around the world, as well as with other key partners and stakeholders. 


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One of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation passed in the closing decades of the 20th century is also one of the most overlooked.
The 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, passed following the savage 1991 beating of African American motorist Rodney King by four LAPD officers and the catastrophic Los Angeles Riots a year later, gave the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice an extraordinary mandate.
One of the law’s provisions empowered the government to sue police agencies anywhere in the country if they exhibited a “pattern and practice” of using excessive force and/or violating people’s civil rights—and compel them, under what’s known as a “consent decree,” to change those practices.
Since the law came into effect 20 years ago, two things have become apparent: how resistant many police departments remain to fundamental reform; and how critical, therefore, the consent decree has been—first, in forcing police departments to jettison their often brutal racist, and unaccountable warrior-cop cultures; and second, in transforming them into organizations committed to policing constitutionally and with legitimacy among the populations they serve.

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recent analysis of U.S. gun deaths has found that a majority of mass shootings were related to domestic or family violence.

The analysis, performed by Michael Bloomberg's gun violence prevention group, Everytown for Gun Safety, looked at mass shootings that took place between January 2009 and July 2014. In that span of five and a half years, the group identified 110 mass shootings, which were defined as shootings in which at least four people were murdered with a firearm. Of those shootings, at least 57 percent were related to domestic or family violence.

Kim Gandy, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said the report serves as sobering evidence for the need to improve gun laws.

"It’s clear that many of these murders were committed by people already barred from gun ownership by federal law -- but that law is full of loopholes, like background checks not being required for private sales, like Craigslist or at gun shows," she said. "It’s shocking that the gun lobby has succeeded in blocking such common-sense solutions, and that there aren’t more members of Congress standing up on the issue."

CONTINUES (with report and data base at end of article)

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 (California) Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill to help teachers better understand their mandated obligation to report suspected child abuse or neglect to law enforcement or child protective services.

When teachers apply for credentials or renewals, they are now required to sign statements acknowledging they must report suspicions of child abuse directly to law enforcement or child protective services, instead of to school district officials, according to AB 2560 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, which Brown signed into law Wednesday.

The bill also requires that a written report of suspected child abuse or neglect be submitted within 36 hours of a teacher becoming aware of such an incident.

The law addresses the growing number child abuse cases in schools where reports were delayed.


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   Aún no hay castigo para agresores de Inés García

Inés García, reportera del Semanario Zeta, fue agredida física y verbalmente por dos sujetos el pasado 9 de julio cuando cubría una audiencia en los tribunales de Tijuana, Baja California, y aunque uno de sus agresores recibió una sanción administrativa, el ataque sigue impune.
En entrevista con Cimacnoticias, la periodista relató lo sucedido y lamentó que cuando se agrede a una comunicadora la acusación se desestime y se tolere, ya que con ello parece que el hostigamiento se ve “dentro de un parámetro que no merece ser denunciado”, lo que no sucede con los varones.


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Two weeks after the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision allowing corporations to refuse some kinds of birth control coverage for female employees, the brouhaha has not died down. In fact, anger is building among women -- and at precisely the time the Democrats are counting on single females to push them to victory in November.

Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, promised action to undo the decision, which not only elevates the rights of corporations over those of women, but legitimizes a form of sex discrimination in employment.

One option would be repeal of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the law on which the decision was based (impossible with a slim Democratic majority and no chance at all in the Republican-controlled House). Instead, a vote was held on Wednesday on whether to consider a measure dubbed the "Not My Boss' Business Act," introduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO). The bill mandates that employers cannot disrupt coverage for contraception or other health services that are guaranteed under federal law. No big surprise -- the GOP blocked the bill from even going forward for debate.

That means direct action by women will likely ramp up. Demonstrations have been ongoing in several cities, and social media is abuzz with hashtags like like #DrHobbyLobby and Facebook sites opposing the decision and calling for a boycott of Hobby Lobby. Other businesses that have sued to exclude birth control from company insurance are also in the crosshairs, including Eden Foods. Michael Potter, Eden's CEO, claims among other things, that contraception "almost always involve[s] immoral and unnatural practices." A petition went up immediately to "buy organic" somewhere else.


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The Protected Innocence Challenge is a comprehensive study of existing state laws designed to inspire and equip advocates. Under the Challenge, every state receives a Report Card that grades the state on 41 key legislative components that must be addressed in a state’s laws in order to effectively respond to the crime of domestic minor sex trafficking. In addition, each state receives a complete analysis of this 41-component review and practical recommendations for improvement. Click here to view 2013 report cards and analyses if you cannot see the map below.


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EXCERPT: Haselberger's accusations stand out because of her credentials and timing.

She is the highest-level official from a U.S. diocese to make claims of a cover-up. A canon lawyer educated at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, she served as a judge on church tribunals in Minnesota and was trained through the U.S. bishops' conference on child safety and monitoring guilty clergy.

Also, Haselberger is coming forward in what Anderson calls "real time." The bulk of previous disclosures about U.S. bishops sheltering abusers had been made years, if not decades, after the wrongdoing. Haselberger alleges a cover-up is happening now in Minnesota.

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