Constituents Protest Mark Kirk's Vote on Paycheck Fairness Act
A group of Congressman Mark Kirk's (R-IL) constituents are protesting his July 31 vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act. They brought a letter signed by 120 constituents to Rep. Kirk’s office that decried his opposition to the bill, according to Progress Illinois.
The letter concludes by asking, "So why, Representative Kirk, did you turn your back on the hundreds of thousands of women in your district by voting against our civil rights? While we may not yet have equality at the workplace, we do have equality in the ballot box and will be exercising that right come November."
The entire Illinois GOP congressional delegation, including Kirk voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. The legislation strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by introducing non-retaliation requirements and increasing penalties on employers, among other provisions. Though the bill allows women to sue for punitive and compensatory damages under the Equal Pay Act, it does not lift caps on sexual discrimination cases that women face under Title VII. The legislation passed the House of Representatives, 247-178.
Media Resources: Progress Illinois, 8/7/08; Open Congress, 8/11/08; House of Representatives, 7/31/08; Feminist Newswire, 8/1/08
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. . . .