Karen Bass Elected First Black Woman Speaker of California Assembly
The California State Assembly unanimously elected Karen Bass as the new Assembly Speaker last week. Bass is the first African American and the first women to hold the position. She has served in the California state legislature since 2004 and was the Assembly Majority leader before winning the Speaker position.
"As a physician assistant (PA), Bass will bring a unique perspective to health care policy...[She] is a shining light in the California Assembly," said the AAPA in a statement (PDF).
"I look forward to our caucus uniting in the effort to address the current fiscal crisis and the other challenges and opportunities that we will face together and we will solve together in California," said Bass, according to the Santa Monica Mirror.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority; AAPA Statement 2/29/08; Santa Monica Mirror Vol 9 Issue 39
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. . . .