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Policy Updates

April 2005

Communities Fighting Back Against Kansas Hate Group
The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS is well-known for its protests against organizations and groups supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues. Thoughtful people in communities across the country, however, are no longer standing idly by and letting the group's extremist messages go unchallenged. Founded by Rev. Fred Phelps ...
Senate Votes In Favor of the World's Women and Against the Global Gag Rule
On April 5 th , under the leadership of Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the Senate voted 52-46 to adopt an amendment which would overturn the Global Gag Rule and, in doing so, stood against the restrictions of free speech that have been imposed on family planning organizations around the world. The ...
South Carolina-Based Heritage Community Services Expanding their Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Program Domestically and Internationally
As part of a worrisome trend of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs expanding beyond their own state's borders, the South Carolina-based Heritage Community Services has formed affiliates in a number of states across the country and is promoting its curriculum internationally. Heritage Community Services provides a good example of the many abstinence-only-until-marriage programs ...
U.S. Government Appropriating the Uganda Success Story, New Human Rights Watch Report Reveals
A new report by Human Rights Watch documents how the U.S. government has affected HIV/AIDS-prevention efforts in Uganda, which in recent years has changed from providing comprehensive prevention messages, including support for condom use, to providing abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that promote "unproven and potentially life-threatening messages, impeding the realization of the ...
Debate Continues Surrounding Kansas Attorney General's Subpoena for Medical Records: Women's Right to Privacy at Forefront
In 2004, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline (R) issued a subpoena for the complete, unedited medical records of approximately 90 women who sought abortions after 22 weeks gestation at two Kansas clinics in 2003. If the subpoena is enforced, the documents provided to Kline would include "each patient's name, medical ...
New Study Says Comprehensive Sexuality Education is Needed to Address Growing Number of Young Teens Having Oral Sex
New research published in Pediatrics found that 20% of 9 th graders surveyed have engaged in oral sex. Conducted by Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, Professor of Pediatrics at University of California , San Francisco (UCSF) and her colleagues, the study involved an ethnically diverse sample of 580 California students ages 14 ...
Workplace Religious Freedom Act: Civil Rights Protection or Harmful Discrimination?
The Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2005 (WRFA) (S. 677, H.R. 1445) would revise and expand the existing requirements imposed on employers to accommodate the religious practices of their employees by amending Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. WRFA would significantly alter Title VII and could alter long-standing ...
One Hundred Forty-Five Organizations Ask HHS to Fix Inaccurate, Fear-Based Website
On April 1, one hundred forty-five organizations asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fix or remove due to numerous concerns, including the website's reliance on fear, biased and inaccurate information, and failure to address the needs of many youth. HHS recently unveiled and ...


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