The women's vote was key in Democratic victories on Tuesday. Nowhere was its impact more apparent than in the Virginia Jim Webb/George Allen Senate race. Fifty-five percent of women voted for Jim Webb (D), while 55 percent of men voted for George Allen (R), for a ten-point gender gap, according to exit polls. The gender gap was also decisive in the Montana Jon Tester/Conrad Burns Senate race, where 52 percent of women voted for Democratic challenger Tester and 50 percent of men voted for incumbent Republican Burns for another decisive gender gap. In Missouriís Senate race, 51 percent of women voted for Claire McCaskill (D), while 51 percent of men voted for Jim Talent (R). It can be said that if only men voted, Republicans would still be in control of the Senate.
In the House, again, womenís votes made a difference in the electionís outcome. The exit polls were largely not broken up by House district, but overall, women voted five percentage points more (56 percent) for Democrats than men (51 percent). According to past gender gap analysis and overall Senate and House exit polls, women played an integral role in the House going Democratic Ė especially in close races.
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. . . .