UPDATE: Phyllis Schlafly Endorses Todd Akin in Missouri Race
Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) has passed the deadline for withdrawing his campaign for the United States Senate, meaning he will officially be on the ballot in November challenging incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Many had urged Akin to drop out of the race before today's deadline after his infamous statements on "legitimate rape."
"For the about 100th time or so, I am in this race," Akin commented to reporters at a fundraiser Monday night. Akin plans to use the deadline to increase donations to his campaign, starting with a statewide bus tour.
In an interview aired on August 19th, Akin claimed that "legitimate rape" does not usually lead to pregnancy. "First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare," Akin said to KTVI-TV. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child." [Emphasis added]
Since the interview, many Republicans, including Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), and four former Missouri Senators, have urged Akin to step down from the race.
UPDATE: Right wing, staunch women's rights opponent Phyllis Shlafly stood to the right of Todd Akin at his press conference announcing he was staying in the Senate race [VIDEO]. Schlafly and Newt Gingrich have endorsed Akin, and on Tuesday Schlafly helped Akin launch a "Common Sense" tour across the state. Scflafly, together with big business interests (especially insurance companies), is one of the most active opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment. She is also active against abortion, birth control access, equal pay, paid family medical leave, and LGBT rights.
Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor 9/26/12; Huffington Post 9/26/12; Kansas City Star 9/25/12; KSDK 9/25/12; Feminist Newswire 8/24/12
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. . . .