Anti-Affirmative Action Ballot Measure Petition Circulating in Missouri
A petition to amend the Missouri consitution to ban affirmative action was approved for circulation by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan last week. The ban, proposed by the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative would affect "action programs designed to eliminate discrimination against, and improve opportunities for, women and minorities in public contracting, employment and education" in the state. It would also affect affirmative action standards relating to federal funding and qualifications based on sex.
In Missouri, a similar petition drive was unsuccessful in placing an affirmative action ban on the 2008 ballot because it failed to collect enough signatures. In the 2008 election cycle, similar measures were proposed, but were not on the ballot in Arizona and Okahoma, were defeated in Colorado, and were passed in Nebraska.
According to the News-Leader, the petitioners must gather signatures of registered voters totaling eight percent of the votes cast in the 2008 gubernatorial election by May 2, 2010.
Media Resources: Missouri Secretary of State; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/30/08; Chicago Tribune 5/5/08; News-Leader 12/11/08
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. . . .