There will be at least 85 voting women members of the Congress in January 2011: at least 70 members of the House plus three nonvoting delegates and at least 15 senators. Four House races with women candidates are still too close to call as are two Senate races with women candidates (Senator Patty Murray and Senator Lisa Murkowski). If women win all the remaining races, there will be neither a gain nor a loss in the percentage of women members in Congress. If they lose, there will be a one and a half percent loss.
Eight Republican women newcomers won in the House -- one is a woman of color. They include Martha Roby (AL-2); Sandy Adams (FL-24); Vicky Hartzler (MO-4); Nan Hayworth (NY-19); Renee Ellmers (NC-2); Christy Noem (SD-AL); Diane Black (TN-6); Jaime Herrera (WA-3). No Republican incumbents lost in the House.
Four Democratic women newcomers won in the House -- all four were women of color. In total, nine Democratic women House Members lost: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1); Betsy Markey (CO-4); Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24); Debbie Halvorson (IL-11); Dina Titus (NV-3); Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1); Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-1); Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3); Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD At Large). All but Dahlkemper were strong supporters of reproductive rights.
Five new women of color won their House races: Terri Sewell (D-AL) winning Davis' seat, who ran for governor; Karen Bass (D-CA) winning retiring Diane Watson's seat; Colleen Hanabusa winning Neil Abercrombie's seat, who won his race for governor; Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who won the seat of Kendrick Meek, who lost his bid for the Senate; and Jaime Herrera (R-WA), who won an open seat of a retiring Democrat.
In the Senate, the only woman incumbent to lose thus far was Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), endorsed by Sarah Palin and a strong opponent of reproductive choice, will be the only woman newcomer in the Senate.
Media Resources: Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 10/25/10; Statement of Eleanor Smeal 11/4/10
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .