Equal Rights Amendment Press Conference Held Today
Today, as the U.S. Constitution is being read aloud on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Senator Robert Menendez, chief sponsors of the Equal Rights Amendment, called a press conference together with Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Co-Chair of the House Women's Caucus and women's rights leaders to draw attention to the absence of the Equal Rights Amendment. Congresswoman Maloney pointed out that the press conference was even more important because Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently commented that the U.S. Constitution does not protect women from sex discrimination.
Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority President, Terry O'Neill, NOW President, Susan Scanlon, Chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, Karen J. See, President, Coalition of Labor Union Women and Lulu Flores, President of the National Women's Political Caucus also spoke at the conference.
Every speaker cited the recent interview of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the California Lawyer in which Scalia stated that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees equal justice under the law for all persons does not prohibit sex discrimination under the laws of the United States or its states.
Smeal added that Scalia is frequently viewed as the intellectual light of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court which can all too often gain a majority vote of the Justices. "All modern Constitutions adopted since WWII have explicitly included provisions guaranteeing women equal rights. The U.S. is lagging behind in explicitly guaranteeing equal rights for women and prohibition of sex discrimination," Smeal pointed out.
"We are way past due for a constitutional amendment explicitly acknowledging women's rights in the United States, said Terry O'Neill. "Nothing less will do, as long as sexists like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia feel completely justified interpreting women's rights as unprotected in the U.S. Constitution."
Media Resources: Feminist Majority 1/6/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/4/11; Statement of Carolyn Maloney 1/6/11; Statement of NOW 1/6/11
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. . . .