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Sexual Health Rankings™ presents Sex Stories, a weekly roundup of sexual health news from the around the country.

Abortions in Minnesota Drop 3%

The Minnesota Department of Health reported this week that the number of abortions in state dropped from  11,071 in 2011 to 10,701 in 2012, a decrease of 3%. Abortion opponents credit anti-abortion laws; pro-choice advocates attribute it to access to birth control and information.

Religious Groups Demand Exemptions from Contraception Coverage Mandate

Both houses of worship and religious nonprofits now are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate requiring insurance plans provided through employers to cover female contraception at no cost. Nevertheless, religious groups are pushing to make for-profit businesses exempt as well.

Pentagon Officials Defend Sexual Assault Response, Pledge To Eliminate Problem

An interview with current and former directors of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office talk about the challenges to addressing sexual assault in the military, the need for better tools and education from the “muddy-boots level” up, their commitment to making change, and how to best handle both cases and prevention.

STD Rates Rise in Sacramento Suburbs, Statewide

The number of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases rose in several counties in California between 2011 and 2012, according to new data from the California Department of Public Health.  Sacramento has among the highest rate in the state while its suburbs saw increases of 20-90%. Statewide, chlamydia cases rose by 3%, and gonorrhea, by 23%.