Election 2010: Pro-Choice Sustains Big Losses; Abortion Not Deciding Factor
Unquestionably, the biggest loss is the replacement of pro-choice, feminist Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and the pro-choice Democratic leadership team of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), and Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). With a virulently anti-reproductive rights leadership team of John Boehner (R-OH), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Mike Pence (R-IN), and Pete Sessions (R-TX).
With the 60 plus vote Republican win in the House (four seats are still undecided), the pro-reproductive rights forces suffered big losses...43 votes in the House and 7 in the Senate. Worse yet, some extreme right-wing candidates on women's issues have won, including Tea Party endorsed Rand Paul (R-KY), who opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest; Pat Toomey (R-PA), who was the head of Newt Gingrich's Club for Growth and is virulently opposed to abortion; and Tea Party endorsed Ron Johnson (R-WI), who defeated pro-choice Russ Feingold (D-WI).
In the House, 7 new anti-abortion rights Republican women were elected and 8 pro-choice Democratic women were defeated. All of the Democrats but one were defeated by anti-reproductive rights Republicans. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), who is anti-choice and was a co-sponsor of the Stupak/Pitts Amendment, was also defeated by an anti-choice Republican.
But when you analyze the 43 losses in the House, abortion was not the deciding factor. Thirteen of those losses were anti-choice Democrats defeated by anti-choice Republicans. Perhaps more telling, 24 House Democrats who lost had voted yes on the Stupak/ Pitts Amendment.
On the plus side for abortion rights, three powerful Democrat House Chairs who were solid anti-choice supporters will not be returning: Ike Skelton (D-MO), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee who lost; David Obey, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee who retired; and James Oberstar, Chair of the Committee of Transportation and Infrastructure, who lost. Obey insisted on inserting in the House appropriations bills funding for abstinence-only programs comparable to comprehensive family planning programs. Skelton had fought the ERA extension in the late 1970s. These committee chairs, together with the late John Murtha, who was the House Defense Appropriations Chair, had been formidable opponents of women's right to choose.
Statement of Eleanor Smeal 11/4/10
Media Resources: Statement of Eleanor Smeal 11/4/10
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .