On Tuesday, November 7th 2012 the United States of America reelected President Barack Obama, while the Democrats and Republics held on to their control of the Senate and the House, respectively. Historic victories and milestones in this year's election results include:
-President Barack Obama won re-election with 55% of women's votes and 45% of men's votes for a decisive and historic 10% gender gap, according to CNN exit polls.
-The 113th Congress will have 20 women Senators, the most in US History.
-Same sex marriage was legalized in Maine, Maryland and Washington via ballot measures -- marking the first time marriage equality has been won through the ballot.
-Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman -- marking the first time voters have rejected such a constitutional amendment.
-Tammy Baldwin was elected to the US Senate -- she is both the first woman elected to the US Senate from Wisconsin and the first openly lesbian/LGBT US Senator ever elected.
-Elizabeth Warren became the first woman ever elected to the US Senate from the state of Massachusetts.
-Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. In Colorado, residents who are 21 or older can now use and possess an ounce of marijuana, and the state can regulate retail sales of the drug. In Washington, the state will now sell of small amounts of marijuana to people 21 and older, with sales tax.
-Maryland passed a state version of the DREAM Act -- the first act of its kind passed.
-New Hampshire elected the first-ever all-women congressional delegation.
-Mazie Hirono is the first Asian-American woman elected to the US Senate.
-Tulsi Gabbard is the first Hindu ever elected to the US House.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 11/07/2012; Feminist News Wire 11/07/2012
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. . . .