C DeLores Tucker, a lifetime champion of civil rights and women's rights, died yesterday at the age of 78. Dr. Tucker was the first African American and the first woman to hold the position of Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1971, the first African-American woman to be vice chair of Pennsylvania’s Democratic Party, and the first woman vice president of the Pennsylvania NAACP. In 1984, Dr. Tucker founded the National Political Congress of Black Women (now the National Congress of Black Women) in order to encourage more African-American woman to run for office.
“I fought alongside C. DeLores on civil rights and women’s rights for over 30 years,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and a longtime friend and ally of Dr. Tucker’s. “In every campaign she took on, she tirelessly and steadfastly fought for women and African Americans. Her determination, commitment, and sheer force of will kept causes alive and moving forward that most would have thought hopeless. We picketed in the rain to clean up the music industry, we marched for women’s rights, and we took on the Democratic Party to increase representation of women and minorities. Right to the end, she mustered her energy to ensure Sojourner Truth would be added to the suffragist statue in the Capitol.”
At the recent annual breakfast of the National Congress of Black Women, Tucker was saluted by many African-American women members of Congress, including Shelia Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Diane Watson (D-CA), as well as Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun and Dorothy Height, president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women. The Congresswomen asked Dr. Tucker’s husband, Bill, to take the message back to Dr. Tucker, who was too ill to attend, that the necessary steps would be taken by Congress to include Sojourner Truth in the statue.
Tucker is survived by her husband, Bill, of 60 years, who has steadfastly supported her in all of her struggles to further the rights of African Americans and women.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundaion; Philadelphia Inquirer 10/12/05
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. . . .