Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order on Monday calling for the immediate revision of the state's rules that determine the eligibility of rape and sexual assault victims looking for state-compensation for medical charges directly relating to their assaults. Jindal called for an end to double victimization of Louisiana rape victims who are often billed thousands of dollars from hospitals for health exams and tests.
Jindal issued his orders in the hours following a tense meeting of Louisiana state lawmakers and state health officials on Monday that addressed the state's Victims Reparations Fund. The governor's orders demand that the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement reconstruct its rules to better protect sexual assault victims. The state currently requires conditional circumstances for victims to qualify for medical cost compensation through the fund, which prevents many victims from being eligible to receive the funding, leaving them with large personal debts.
"We should not be victimizing people twice with hefty bills or uncomfortable investigations," Jindal's spokesperson Shannon Bates said. "Sexual assault is a heinous crime that causes a tremendous amount of suffering and we want to do everything we can to protect the victims of these terrible acts." more >>
Two Christian ministers who own an Idaho wedding chapel were told they had to either perform same-sex weddings or face jail time and up to a $1,000 fine, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court.
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d'Alene.
"Right now they are at risk of being prosecuted," their ADF attorney, Jeremy Tedesco, told me. "The threat of enforcement is more than just credible." more >>
Jill Duggar and husband Derick Dillard have revealed that they are having a baby boy come the spring, despite initial thoughts that they were expecting a girl.
"I was really excited," Derick told People. "As a new dad, to have a firstborn son to be our first child and be the leader of his siblings, it is very special."
The couple had a special gender-reveal ultrasound on Saturday, then shared the big news with the rest of the family. more >>
Fashion designer and icon Oscar de la Renta died Monday, Oct. 20 after a battle with cancer; he previously spoke about his Roman Catholic faith being a comfort to him and that the only certainties in life were birth and death.
"Yes, I had cancer," de la Renta said last year. "Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life."
The designer, the only son of seven children born to a couple in the Dominican Republic, made a name for himself with his elaborate yet tasteful designs. He managed to dress several of the first ladies of the United States, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. more >>
This column first appeared on Live Action News.
Earlier this month, Jennifer Lawrence's exclusive cover story with Vanity Fair hit the stands. The popular Hunger Games' star speaks openly about the Internet scandal involving the stolen nude photos of her. She calls it a "sex crime," and says that anyone who purposely looked at the photos of her is guilty.
Lawrence is right that, just because someone is a public figure, it doesn't give the general public – or anyone in particular – a right to view stolen photos of them. more >>
A North Carolina couple is clinging to their faith after losing a set of septuplets and say that they would do nothing differently and not choose selective reduction in order to "save" the pregnancy.
Lindsey and Steve Justice are the parents of 4-year-old Hannah and Hope, 2, but knew they wanted more children. After trying for several months, the couple turned to fertility treatments and even considered adoption, but nothing worked. However, they were happily surprised to learn that Lindsey was indeed expecting, and at six weeks gestation, they learned that there could be a complication: Lindsey was not carrying just one baby … her doctor estimated she could be carrying as many as six.
"He just said, 'this is dangerous. The human body is not meant to carry six-plus babies, and for your health and for the babies—their chances of survival, your best medical option is to selectively reduce.' Steven and I didn't even have to look at each other," Lindsey told NBC. "That was just not going to be an option." more >>