This week, Christine Blasey Ford made her first public appearance since her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September.



This Week In Women: Injustices We Can't Ignore

*Phew!* If you have felt like this week has been a roller coaster ride of emotions, you are not alone. Seriously, the power grabs have been major and we are living for all of the Nancy-Pelosi-in-the-Oval memes. “It was so wild. It goes to show you: you get into a tickle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you,” she said to CNN’s Manu Raju about the showdown with Trump over his border wall.

And before we get to the big conversations about America’s justice system and certain injustices that reared their ugly heads this week, can we just stop and make another acknowledgement as to how good it was to see Christine Blasey Ford make her first public appearance since her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. “Rachael Denhollander, I am in awe of you and I will always be inspired by you,” said Blasey Ford in a video presentation of Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year Award to Denhollander. “In stepping forward you took a huge risk and you galvanized future generations to come forward even when the odds are seemingly stacked against them.”

Buckle up, it’s time for This Week in Women!

Jacob Walter Anderson Rapes Woman, Walks Away With No Jail Time

In a truly deplorable day in court this week, a Texas judge accepted a plea deal from ex-Baylor student Jacob Anderson, who pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint in exchange for deferred probation, a $400 fine, and counseling. By taking this plea deal, the original charge of four counts of sexual assault will be lessened and met with no prison time.

What is so completely horrifying about this case—second only to the violent crime committed against a woman—is that Anderson’s future was protected and he was able to walk away without jail time and without the requirement to register as a sex offender. It is hard to deny that his being a white male at a Christian university had everything to do with the outcome. Or the fact that the presiding judge, Ralph Strother, has a history of lenient sentencing for sexual assault defendants.

“Jacob Anderson and all rapists who get away with their crimes will never be cured, never change. If anything they will be emboldened by their power over women and their ability to escape justice and punishment. They will think they are invincible and most definitely increase their violent pathological and predatory behavior,” said the survivor in her official statement.

“Jacob Walter Anderson. It must be horrible to be you. To know what you did to me. To know you are a rapist. To know that you almost killed me. To know that you ruined my life, stole my virginity and stole many other things from me.”

Each time our justice system devastatingly sides with affluent white men over victims of their crimes, it reinforces a culture of entitlement, violence, and zero accountability. It is sickening that we have to watch people like Jacob Anderson, Brock Turner, and countless others walk away to resume their lives, while those that they hurt have years taken away from them in legal fees, physical and mental health treatment, lost sleep, lost life experiences, lost relationships, and lost income.

Supreme Court Sides With Planned Parenthood Over Funding Battle

This week, the Supreme Court avoided a controversial battle that involved Planned Parenthood by refusing to take up a case proposed by states (Kansas and Louisiana) to pull funding for the health organization. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined liberal SCOTUS justices in denying the petition. However, Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen said in an interview with The Hill that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Supreme Court will support women’s healthcare rights in the future, and that she remains “deeply concerned” about Kavanaugh.

“I’m deeply concerned—I am a scientist and a doctor—I have to look at the evidence and we know the evidence about what Justice Kavanaugh has done before and we are facing a situation—a very real situation—where in the next year, we could have Roe v. Wade be overturned or further eroded,” she said.

Funding for organizations such as Planned Parenthood are allocated for well-visits, preventative screenings, STI treatment, maternal care, and more, and do not cover abortion procedures. Funding for and access to Planned Parenthood continues to be a hotly contested issue and at odds with a Supreme Court that has become significantly more conservative, thanks to Trump appointees Justices Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. We can chalk this week up as a win, but there are signs on the horizon that this battle for healthcare access will continue well into 2019 and beyond.

Featured image via CNN

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

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