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The Supreme Court's decision eliminating the constitutional right to abortion is causing anxiety for people in same-sex marriages, particularly those with children. The decision last week overturning Roe v. Wade didn't directly affect the 2015 ruling that paved the way for gay marriage. But lawyers say now they're getting questions from same-sex couples worried about the legal status of their marriages and keeping their children. Alabama lawyer Sydney Duncan has received dozens of emails and calls in just a few days. Justice Clarence Thomas has called on colleagues to reconsider cases that allowed same-sex marriage, gay sex and contraception.

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R. Kelly’s musical accomplishments have been accompanied by a long history of allegations that he sexually abused women and children. Now the R&B singer has been sentenced to spend the next three decades behind bars. A jury found Kelly guilty in September of sex trafficking and racketeering charges. Kelly has vehemently denied the allegations, but his accusers testified in detail that he subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage. Kelly still faces a trial in Chicago on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice.

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The FBI has opened a widening investigation into sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans, looking specifically at whether priests took children across state lines to molest them. That's according to law enforcement officials and others familiar with the inquiry who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.  More than a dozen alleged abuse victims have so far been interviewed as part of the probe that comes as the Archdiocese of New Orleans reels from a bankruptcy brought on by a flood of sex abuse lawsuits and allegations church leaders turned a blind eye to generations of predator priests.

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The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn national protections for abortion has set off a contest between Democratic and Republican lawmakers over whose policies would do more to help vulnerable mothers and children. It's a key issue going into the midterm elections. Republicans such as Florida Sen. Rick Scott say that GOP lawmakers have the responsibility to “do everything in our power to meet the needs of struggling women and their families so they can choose life.” Democrats suggest their rivals are hypocrites who would offer half-measures at best and that voters should judge them accordingly.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. Friday's ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. In anticipation of the decision, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access. The decision also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted.

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As many victims of campus sexual assault see it, guidelines put in place to protect them at colleges have a long way to go to fulfill the promise of Title IX. A polarizing Trump-era policy means that students who report abuse face a live hearing in which they could be cross-examined by a person of their accuser’s choosing. President Joe Biden is expected to announce new rules as soon as this month. Meanwhile, many students have opted out entirely, never reporting the abuse. Or they’ve chosen to go an informal route, in which the accused might be asked not to take classes with the accuser, or to switch schools.

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The New Hampshire attorney general’s office has released preliminary proposals for calculating payments to those who were physically and sexually abused as children at the state-run Youth Development Center. Nearly 450 former residents of what is now called the Sununu Youth Services Center have sued the state based on allegations involving more than 150 staffers over six decades. Hoping to avoid lengthy litigation, lawmakers approved a $100 million settlement fund, with individual payments capped at $1.5 million for sexual abuse victims. After lawyers for the victims provide feedback, the draft proposals will be updated and submitted to the Legislature’s fiscal committee for approval.

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Britain has announced a new round of sanctions against Russia. Those targeted include Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who Britain said “repeatedly abused his position to justify” Russia's war on Ukraine. Britain also sanctioned Russia’s children’s rights commissioner, who is accused of overseeing the forced transfer of 2,000 Ukrainian children and facilitating their forced adoption in Russia. Others on Thursday’s list include four colonels from a brigade known to have killed, raped and tortured civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also said Britain is “taking all steps we can” regarding two British citizens sentenced to death for fighting Russian forces in Ukraine.

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Two officials said the Iranian-backed rebels, known as Houthis, recruited several hundred children including as young as 10 over the past two months. Four aid workers say they observed intensified efforts by Houthi officials in recent weeks to recruit children, despite a nationwide truce. The Houthis’ ranks have been thinned because of battlefield losses. One Yemeni father said he was told his family would not receive food aid if he didn't send his children to a training camp.

AP
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FILE - Kahlan, a 12-year-old former child soldier, demonstrates how to use a weapon, at a camp for displaced persons where he took shelter with his family, in Marib, Yemen, July 27, 2018. emen’s Houthi rebels continue to recruit children into their military ranks to fight in the country’s civil war, despite an agreement with the U.N. in April 2022, to halt the practice. Two Houthi officials acknowledged to the Associated Press that the rebels have recruited several hundred children, some as young as 10, in the past two months. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)