Blog of Rights

Vania
Leveille

DoD Comes Closer to Recognizing that Women Are Already Serving on the Front Lines

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 5:13pm
Last week, Pentagon officials got a few steps closer to recognizing what those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have known for years: servicewomen fight on the battlefield alongside their male counterparts, despite a longstanding rule barring them from being assigned to units that engage in direct ground combat. The Defense Department didn't altogether scrap the rules officially banning women from being assigned to such units, but it did loosen them. Under the new rules, women will be allowed to serve in some jobs — though not infantry, armor, or special operations forces — at the battalion level — that is, closer to combat than had previously been permitted. To the Pentagon's credit, it scrapped the infamous ban on women serving in units that are physically "co-located" with ground combat units, recognizing that the policy has become "irrelevant" on the modern battlefield. Now, 14,000 new jobs and assignment opportunities are open to servicewomen, though 238,000 positions still remain closed across all the armed services.
Mother's Day is Over - But Pregnancy Discrimination Isn't.

Mother's Day is Over - But Pregnancy Discrimination Isn't.

By Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office & Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 12:03pm

Women make up almost half the workforce today, and, if they become pregnant, most will work throughout their pregnancy. Given this reality, you probably think the stories below are works of a bygone era. Well, you’d be wrong.

A woman was…
MARCH Onward for our Military Women!

MARCH Onward for our Military Women!

By Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office & Elayne Weiss, Washington Legislative Office at 3:01pm

Enactment of last year's National Defense Authorization Act brought about a long overdue and welcome change on the military health care front by allowing military women and dependents to receive insurance coverage for abortion in cases of rape or incest.…

Forget Abstinence-Only Programs and Let’s Get Real.

By Kristina Roth & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 12:10pm

The attacks on common sense have begun again. The recently introduced House Labor and Health and Human Services FY12 spending bill makes massive cuts to the teen pregnancy prevention initiative (TPPI). It cuts the program by $85 million and, if…

D.C. Gets Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T…But Not From Congress

By Elayne Weiss, Washington Legislative Office & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 11:55am

We're happy to report that last Wednesday, the Obama administration criticized a provision in a bill that bans the District of Columbia from using its own local funds to pay for abortion care for low-income women. The White House issued a Statement…

House Gets Ready to Vote on Radical Anti-Abortion Bill

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 11:18am

The U.S. House of Representatives is getting ready to vote on the misleadingly titled No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3) today. As early as noon, your representatives will be deciding whether or not to take away insurance coverage for…

The Agony and the Ecstasy: Reproductive Rights on Capitol Hill

By Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 6:02pm

We Won The Big Fight For Planned Parenthood! There is cause for celebration! The President of the United States and the Senate Majority Leader were unwavering in their support and stood strong against a hard push by extremists in the House who…

The Agony and the Ecstasy: Reproductive Rights on Capitol Hill

By Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 6:02pm

We Won The Big Fight For Planned Parenthood! There is cause for celebration! The President of the United States and the Senate Majority Leader were unwavering in their support and stood strong against a hard push by extremists in the House who…

The Senate Gives Up on Military Women's Access to Health Care

By Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project & Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 3:29pm

On Veterans' Day, we told you that Congress had the historic opportunity to overturn the ban on privately-funded abortions on military bases.

Overturning the ban would have had a real impact on our servicewomen's lives. Because of the ban,…

What Does Birth Control Have to do With Your Mortgage?

By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 2:19pm

Imagine if you were applying for a loan and were asked to write a letter to the bank discussing your "family planning." Believe it or not, that is what happened to one woman in Pennsylvania who was applying along with her husband for a…

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