Among other findings, the report shows "that the media has skillfully crafted affirmative action messages that imply these programs are no longer useful", "that media pieces consistently fail to acknowledge the consequences and negative effects a ban on affirmative action would have on people of color", and that "current media framing makes a ban on affirmative action seem not only inconsequential, but inevitable." Public opinion as measured by various sources indicates that though many Americans are ambivalent about affirmative action, very few believe such programs should be discontinued at this point.
In the November elections, statutes that would effectively ban affirmative action programs to affirmatively counter discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and ethnicity will be on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, and Nebraska. Anti-affirmative action measures were proposed but will not be on the ballot in Oklahoma and Missouri. The recommendations of the report aim to "create a big enough groundswell of opposition to defeat the initiatives" by showing that "discrimination still exists", "affirmative action policies are not divisive", and that "policies that take account of race are still necessary." Unfortunately, the report focuses mostly on issues of race. If passed, these state bans will also impact women negatively, particularly in relation to public education, public employment, and public contracting.
Media Resources: The Opportunity Agenda E-Mail 8/15/08; Affirmative Action in the Public Discourse: Media Content and Opinion Analysis; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/30/08; AZ Secretary of State; CO Secretary of State; NE Secretary of State
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. . . .