Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement Sunday announcing he is severing all ties with the Southern Baptist Church due to their treatment of women. A devout Southern Baptist for more than sixty years, Carter left the church in 2000 because of ideologically differences where the religion justifies the subordination of women. His announcement comes after the Elders, a group of world leaders with which Carter is affiliated, released a statement on the issue of discrimination against women and girls by religion. In his statement, Carter calls "on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women."
Carter sees women's inferior position within religion as a problem among many faiths. He wrote that , "the male interpretations of religious texts and the way they interact with, and reinforce, traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive, persistent, flagrant and damaging examples of human rights abuses." He also says that religion justifies male superiority and promotes "the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime...[and] also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities."
Carter says that it is time to challenge the Southern Baptist Church's views on women because "the evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for everyone in society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school."
Media Resources: Sunday Observer UK 7/12/09; The Elders 7/2/09
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. . . .