Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, won big in her primary last night with over 80% of the vote. She beat back a challenge that had the backing of some Wall Street interests. Maloney is a champion of women's rights legislation including truth in advertising to curb misleading claims by so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers, the Debbie Smith Act to reform DNA evidence collection in rape cases, the Equal Rights Amendment, and global women's rights. She was endorsed by the Feminist Majority PAC, NOW PAC, Emily's List, and a host of feminist leaders including Gloria Steinem. Maloney's primary win in this solid Democratic seat is tantamount to re-election.
Since Maloney is also a champion for consumers' rights, she had been targeted by the financial interests. Wall Street behavior was curbed by Maloney's Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights, which she authored and championed. It went into effect this February and protects consumers from deceptive credit card practices resulting in astronomical interest payments.
Progressive feminist Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) won in the second district of the New Hampshire Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District against blue dog Katrina Swett. Kuster, a strong pro-choice candidate and supporter of women's rights legislation won by more than 2 to 1 (71%-29%) over anti-abortion rights candidate Swett. Both women have political legacies. Kuster, an attorney specializing in education and health law, is the daughter of the late state representative Susan McLane, a founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America, while Swett is the far more conservative daughter of the late U.S. Representative Tom Lantos from California, who was a human rights champion during his long tenure in Congress.
Also winning in Congressional primaries last night were the following pro-choice women incumbents who did not have strong challenges: Donna Edwards (D-MD), Congressional District 4; Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD); Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), Congressional District 1; Nikki Tsongas (MA-D), Congressional District 5; Gwen Moore, (D-WI), Congressional District 4; and Tammy Baldwin (WI-D), Congressional District 2.
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. . . .