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Adding to these pressures, sexual and reproductive health and rights are being neglected by many policymakers. Notably, the $2 trillion federal COVID-19 relief package signed on March 27 provides desperately needed funds to state and local governments, hospitals, businesses and federal agencies, but it leaves out much in the way of protection and support for sexual and reproductive health and rights.
2) Protect and expand access to comprehensive health insurance coverage. In this crisis, more people will need insurance coverage in order to afford all of their health care needs. Congress must bolster Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and improve coverage specifically for sexual and reproductive health care. To do so, Congress should:
This list is by no means exhaustive of all that Congress can and should do, and other federal and state policymakers also have important roles to play. Many of these actions are ones that Congress has failed to take for years or even decades. Yet, it is clear that reproductive health care is especially vulnerable to the broader problems posed by a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic and is being singled out and attacked during this crisis. For these reasons, Congress must recognize that strong protections for sexual and reproductive health and rights are even more critical right now.
November 9, 1993. I guess I'm not a total outcast! I had a meeting in the Oval Office with President Clinton. He said that if I voted for NAFTA he would sign an executive order making sexual harassment by any five-term senator from Oregon legal. Gergen looked up and slapped him. Clinton apologized and took the offer back.
Former fellow M. Reese Everson with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation accused the representative this December of sexually harassing her. Scott confirmed that Everson had worked for him in November.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. (right), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, speak at a press conference on sexual harassment in Congress on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption
"Zero tolerance is meaningless unless it is backed up with enforcement and accountability," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a leading co-sponsor of the ME TOO Congress Act, named after the #MeToo social media awareness campaign for victims of sexual harassment and assault.
The legislation is in addition to recent moves by the House and Senate to mandate previously optional sexual harassment training for all lawmakers and Capitol Hill employees. The Senate already approved the rules change, and House Speaker Paul Ryan said this week the House will do the same soon.
Speier has become a prominent voice regarding the work climate on Capitol Hill after she divulged in a YouTube video that she had been sexually assaulted by a chief of staff decades ago when she was a young congressional aide. At a congressional hearing on Tuesday, she also testified that she was aware of two sitting members of Congress who had engaged in sexual harassment, but she has declined to identify them because "the victims are the ones who do not want this exposed."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is leading the effort in the Senate. She has previously disclosed that she has been harassed by unnamed male colleagues. She has also worked on combating sexual abuse in the U.S. military. "There is a serious sexual harassment problem in Congress and too many congressional offices are not taking this problem seriously at all," Gillibrand said.
Speier said it was unlikely Congress would act on this legislation this year because the legislative calendar is already crowded through December. However, she noted party leaders have so far been receptive to efforts to make improvements to Capitol Hill culture in response to the recent wave of of high-profile sexual harassment and assault allegations in the news.
Nothing in history has transformed the character and practice of child sexual exploitation more than the internet. Individuals who commit child sex crimes through internet services, use social networks and mobile apps to meet minors and each other in ways they cannot make contact in person and to groom victims by normalizing abusive sexual acts. For victims, abuse begins with the harm perpetrated against them, but it does not end when the abuse stops. Victims must relive abuse when being interviewed by rescuing investigators and in court proceedings. There is no simple method for reliably targeting and finding the most dangerous individuals at the start of an investigation; however, online child sexual exploitation is a public health crisis and should be addressed as such. Online sex crimes against children can be described using a simple epidemiological model. Children are being harmed by individuals who sexually exploit them, and the internet is an environment that brings the two together. The model illuminates three broad strategies for addressing this crisis: 1) helping investigators stop those committing the crimes; 2) educating children and parents about how to avoid dangerous individuals; and 3) changing the environment to thwart exploitation. Improving the tools available to investigators to stop online child sex crimes and to rescue children from abuse is only one strategy and too often the focus. It is also necessary to examine how internet services, apps, app stores, and device makers who have children as customers operate and are regulated. Child sexual abuse happens on every internet platform, and each platform presents a challenge for investigators. For each known venue, investigators require methods to enumerate all those in the venue who are committing crimes against children and to locate venue victims.
Since the attached Title IX Legal Manual was issued in 2001, sex discrimination jurisprudence has developed significantly. Notably, on June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court held in Bostock v. Clayton County that sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (Title VII) encompasses discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status. 140 S. Ct. 1731, 1741, 590 U.S. ___, ___ (2020).
In addition to the statutory exemptions discussed above, the Title IX common rule contains a few other exceptions permitting single-sex programs under certain limited circumstances. For example, section ___.110(a)requires appropriate remedial action if a designated agency official finds that a recipient has discriminated against persons on the basis of sex. In the absence of a finding of discrimination, section ___.110(b) permits affirmative action consistent with law to overcome the effects of conditions that resulted in limited participation in a program by persons of a particular sex. Either of these provisions could permit single-sex programs under appropriate circumstances. In addition, several other regulatory provisions permit single-sex programs: section ___.415(b)(5) permits portions of education programs or activities that deal exclusively with human sexuality to be conducted in separate sessions for boys and girls; section ___.445(b) permits a program offered to pregnant students on a voluntary basis that is comparable to that offered to non-pregnant students; sections ___.414(b)(2) and (6) permit recipients to make requirements based on objective standards of physical ability or of vocal range or quality; and section __ .415(b)(3) permits separation by sex in physical education classes involving contact sports. In addition, section 420(b) permits exclusion, on the basis of sex, of any person from admission to a nonvocational school operated by a local education agency, so long as "...such recipient otherwise makes available to such person, pursuant to the same policies and criteria of admission, courses, services, and facilities comparable to each course, service, and facility offered in or through such schools." 4
Unlike Title VI which covers employment only in limited circumstances, Title IX clearly covers employment discrimination. Title IXs availability as an independent basis to attack discriminatory employment practices does not mean, however, that its analytical and evaluative methodology is divorced from that used under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Rather, like Title VI, Title IX borrows heavily from Title VII in its theory and approach to sex-based employment discrimination. It is generally accepted outside the sexual harassment context that the substantive standards and policies developed under Title VII apply with equal force to employment actions brought under Title IX. By contrast, however, it is generally held that Title IX does not incorporate the procedural requirements of Title VII. For a more detailed discussion of the relationship between Title IX and Title VII, see Chapter IV(b) of this Manual. Section 5 of that chapter discusses the joint rule issued by the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sets forth procedures that federal agencies are to utilize when processing Title IX employment cases.
A year later, Title IX began its congressional life in earnest when an amendment was introduced in the Senate by Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana, who explained that its purpose was to combat "the continuation of corrosive and unjustified discrimination against women in the American educational system." 118 Cong. Rec. 5803 (1972). During debate, Senator Bayh stressed the fact that economic inequities suffered by women can often be traced to educational inequities. In support of the amendment, Senator Bayh pointed to the link between discrimination in education and subsequent employment opportunities:
In Grove City College, the Supreme Court found that there was no basis to create a distinction not made by Congress regarding funding paid directly to or received indirectly by a recipient. 465 U.S. at 564-65. In reaching its conclusion, the Court considered the congressional intent and legislative history of the statute in question to identify the intended recipient. The Court found that the 1972 Education Amendments, of which Title IX is a part, are "replete with statements evincing Congress' awareness that the student assistance programs established by the Amendments would significantly aid colleges and universities. In fact, one of the stated purposes of the student aid provisions was to provid[e] assistance to institutions of higher educations. Pub. L. 92-318, ï½§ 1001(c)(1), 86 Stat. 831, 20 U.S.C. ï½§ 1070(a)(5)" Grove City College, 465 U.S. at 565-66. Finally, the Court distinguished student aid programs that are "designed to assist" educational institutions and that allow such institutions the option of participation in such programs, from other general welfare programs where individuals are free to spend the payments without limitation. Id. at 565 n.13. 781b155fdc