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The Pope, Pregnant Children, and Violence Against Girls and Women

Pope Benedict XVI.

The Pope’s rationale is that his “age means he lacks strength to do job.” You could use the exact words to describe the nine-year old girl the Pope excommunicated for having a life-saving abortion after being raped and impregnated, with twins.

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Four Things You Probably Don’t Know About Title IX

Title IX is an enormously important law for female athletes – no other law has done more to expand opportunities for women and girls in athletics. But what many people don’t know is that the benefits and protections of Title IX aren’t limited to athletics.

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Can We Pass CEDAW?


We find that ratification of CEDAW leads to real, concrete changes in the lives of women and girls. Yet, inconceivably, the United States is one of only seven countries that has yet to ratify CEDAW, keeping company with the likes of Iran and Somalia. But the moment is upon us. 

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Forcing Rape Victims to Give Birth? New Mexico Has a Novel Approach

New Mexico State Legislator Cathrynn Brown. (Alamy via Huffington Post)

What if we made fetuses evidence and said abortion would “destroy” it? It’s illogical in every way.

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In India and Elsewhere, Laws Without Accountability Won’t End Gender Violence or Bring Justice to Its Victims

Bus in New Delhi. (nraja.freeservers.com)

The death from gang rape of a 23-year-old student has turned a spotlight on India’s gender norms. In response, Human Rights Watch has come out with a series of policy recommendations for India. But without effective enforcement, these laws won’t even move the needle on acts of violence against women.

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California Court Says Rape by Impersonation Isn’t Rape if Woman Is not Married

Los Angeles Court of Appeals (Google Street View)

A recent California decision shows why updating our sex crimes laws should be a top priority of 2013.

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I Was Raped: Figuring Out What Happened and Why It Felt Wrong (*TRIGGER WARNING*)

Photo: Demotix.

If I heard this story about anyone else, even then, I would have zero hesitation in applying the label “rape.” But at the time, and for a long time afterword, I was unable to view my own rape for what it actually was.

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In Peru, an Epidemic of Rape and Double Jeopardy for Rape Victims Seeking Abortion

Peru has more reported cases of rape and sexual violence than any other country in South America. Eight in ten of these victims are minors. Women and girls in this situation are faced with two options: seek an illegal abortion and risk going to jail or carry the pregnancy to term.

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“Abortion Doesn’t Unrape You:” Following Election Disaster, Anti-Choice Activists Look to Re-frame Discussion of Rape

Todd Akin (right). Photo: Twirlit.

Faced with polls saying that eight in 10 Americans think abortion should be legal when a pregnancy results from rape, anti-choice activists are actually pushing for more public discussion of the issue. It’s part of a long-term campaign to try to change Americans’ minds and to bring the country closer to banning abortion in nearly all cases.

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Silence On Rape is the Biggest Obstacle to Rape Prevention

I recently held a seminar on rape in war with military lawyers from across the world. We talked through a number of obstacles to prevention and elimination of sexual violence, but at the end of the seminar everyone agreed that the biggest of them all is silence. 

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