This morning, a coalition of 51 national women's organizations under the banner of HERvotes held a press conference at the National Press Club to announce an unprecedented effort to mobilize women voters on Health and Economic Rights - HERvotes- in 2012. HERvotes groups, angered by the onslaught of attacks on access to contraception and 11 key gains of women in the 20th century, are determined to protect the gains women have made in the workplace, health care, education and basic individual rights and to continue moving forward an equality agenda.
Women's rights leaders - including Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal, National Organization for Women (NOW) President Terry O'Neill, National Women's Political Caucus President Linda Young, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Co-Founder and CEO, MomsRising.org, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Executive Director, National Council of Negro Women, Lisa Maatz, Director, Government Relations, American Association of University Women, and other representatives from HERvotes members - served as spokeswomen for the event.
"This is a day in and day out fight. Women are not going to be silenced," said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal. "Women are not a political wedge issue, and will not be stripped of their rights or dignity."
HERvotes outlined threats to the 12 top advances for women and what's at stake in the 2012 election, as well as announced the details of national campaigns to mobilize women voters - online and on the ground. Speakers emphasized the power of women voters as a force for change, as well as our collective outrage over the politicization of vital aspects of women's health care, such as birth control and breast cancer services.
National Council of Negro Women Executive Director Avis Jones-DeWeever highlighted economic perils for women and children. She emphasized that women will stand up for jobs, equal pay and equal opportunities: "Women will not be silent. We will not be bamboozled. We will not be complacent."
"Women are tired of the politicization of birth control, the politicization of breast cancer, and abortion bills that really are just about humiliating women...The more they attack women's ability to get along day by day...they are losing our votes," said Terry O'Neill, president of NOW, urging women to go to www.HERvotes.us to find out about the issues at stake. "People are waking up."
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation 3/1/12
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. . . .