More than half of all sexual assaults are never reported to the police and 97 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail. These statistics from the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network are horrifying — but they also remind us how incredible 16-year-old Shania Gray of Texas was. The high school junior reported her alleged statutory rape to police and was scheduled to go to trial next month to try and put her alleged rapist, Franklin B. Davis behind bars.
Tragically, Shania was murdered by Davis before she ever had a chance to testify against him. Keep reading »
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Texas is now allowed to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood clinics that participate in Texas’ Women’s Health Program. Planned Parenthood performs abortions, which the state opposes, and therefore they are allowed to defund the clinics.
The program helps roughly 130,00 low-income women with health care; it aids women who would not qualify for Medicaid unless they are pregnant. The WHP has always funded Planned Parenthood clinics in the past; its mandate is not to fund “abortion-providing entities” and Planned Parenthood got around that by creating a separate legal entity to accept the funds to use for non-abortion health care. The state knew that and funded the clinics anyway. But then the state of Texas decided it was more de riguer and keeping with the times to defund Planned Parenthood over all this. It rewrote language saying WHP funding couldn’t even go to abortion-providing affiliates. Keep reading »
Strip clubs in the fair city of Houston, Texas, will soon be hit with an interesting new tax: a $5-per-visitor tax which will go towards paying for a backlog of the city’s 6,000 rape kits. The Houston City Council passed an ordinance on Wednesday which will require almost 30 gentleman’s clubs to fork over the funds, which will then be used to pay for analyzing DNA evidence collected from rape victims. Keep reading »
Today in Call Me A Waaaah-mbulance News: Texas theater professor Linda Ozmun is suing her employer for citing her in an annual review for refusing to attend a gay-themed show performed by students back in 2010. Ozmun claims she refused to attend for religious reasons, but Lamar University wrote on her annual review in 2011 that not going to the students’ performance was “unacceptable.” Lamar also brought a performer to campus to perform a show and workshop dealing with subjects around homosexuality and Ozmun asked to be recused from attending; the school threatened her with disciplinary action if she did not go. Keep reading »
Tell us what you really think, Texas Observer. This is the magazine’s April 2012 cover: a provocative rebuke to Texas’ forced ultrasound law for women seeking an abortion and just who (faceless, white males) is behind it. I think it’s incredible. Thoughts? [TexasObserver.org]