First Woman President of Chile Committed to Women's Rights
Michelle Bachelet was elected the first woman president of Chile this Sunday, beating out right-wing opponent Sebastian Pinera by a handy 7 percent. The vote was a runoff between Bachelet and Pinera after Bachelet won only 46 percent in the multiple-candidate December 11 election, failing to get the 50 percent necessary for victory.
Bachelet, an agnostic and a single mother, gained popularity as minister of health in 2000, when she revamped Chile’s moribund public health system. She instituted 24-hour health care to cut waiting times that had previously been as long as three months. In 2002, she was appointed Chile’s Defense Minister, the first woman in Latin America to hold the post.
A charismatic speaker, Bachelet campaigned on a leftist platform and spoke out for women’s rights. “It is unjust that [women] have less access to education and that, in some cases, our social legislation doesn’t address even our basic necessities,” she said, to explosive applause. “Women have been tossed aside for many years in this country—and it’s time for that to change.” As president, Bachelet plans to focus on improving public education, health services, and labor laws. She began on Monday to build her Cabinet – half of which, she promises, will consist of women.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .