A new Rasmussen poll released yesterday shows Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, holding a slim two point lead over Republican nominee State Senator Scott Brown. Massachusetts has not elected a Republican US Senator since 1972. Coakley and Brown will face off in a special election on January 19.
The poll show that 77 percent of Democrats support Coakley and 88 percent of Republicans support Brown. Among independent voters, Brown is leading 71 to 23 percent. Last week a separate Rasmussen poll showed Coakley leading by 9 points.
Coakley is currently the only woman elected to statewide office in Massachusetts and, if elected, would be the first woman to represent the state in the US Senate. Currently, there are 17 women US Senators. Coakley served as Middlesex District Attorney before being elected attorney general in 2006.
Coakley is endorsed by the Feminist Majority, NOW, Planned Parenthood Massachusetts, EMILY's List, and a host of other progressive organizations. She is a strong leader with a feminist track record on reproductive rights, LGBT equality, and economic fairness. In the Massachusetts race, she was the only candidate to stand up for reproductive rights during the ongoing national health reform debate. Coakley has also filed landmark litigation challenging the Defense of Marriage Act and is in support of same sex marriage. As a prosecutor, she was a pioneer in creating programs to protect survivors of domestic violence.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 1/7/10; Rasmussen 1/5/10, 1/12/10
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. . . .