The acclaimed writer, poet, feminist, and peace activist Grace Paley died on Wednesday in her home in Vermont at the age of 84 after a long struggle with breast cancer. As a writer, Paley is best known for her short stories examining the ordinary lives of women. Her Collected Stories, published in 1994, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and in 1993, she received the Rea Award, referred to as the Pulitzer Prize for short story writers, according to the Los Angeles Times. Paley also published several volumes of poems, and served as a poet laureate of Vermont and the first official New York State Writer. Paley�s most recent work is a collection of her and her husband Robert Nichols� poems and short stories, published by the Feminist Press this year.
However, Paley was known as much for her political activism on behalf of peace and women�s rights as her literary accomplishments. Paley was jailed several times for her opposition to the Vietnam War, and traveled to Hanoi on a peace mission to negotiate for the release of American prisoners in 1969. She helped found the Women�s Pentagon Action and the Greenwich Village Peace Center. She was one of the �White House Eleven� arrested in 1978 for placing an anti-nuclear banner on the White House lawn. Most recently, she actively opposed the war in Iraq. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
In 2003, she contributed an essay called �Why Peace is (More Than Ever) a Feminist Issue� to the anthology Sisterhood Is Forever, which was excerpted in Ms. magazine. Paley was also one of the original 53 signers of the 1972 petition in Ms. magazine of American women who had undergone abortions before the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure. She again lent her name to the �We Had Abortions� petition published in the fall of 2006, to draw attention to the increasing restrictions being placed on the right to a safe, legal abortion, including the abortion ban that was eventually defeated in South Dakota.
Media Resources: Ms. magazine; Los Angeles Times 8/24/07; Democracy Now 8/24/07; New York Times 8/23/07
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .