On Tuesday, Rep. Tammy Baldwin ( D-Wis) announced her bid for U.S. Senate which, if successful, would make her the first openly gay senator in U.S. history. Baldwin is a champion of the rights of the middle class, stating, "I've decided to run for the US Senate because I believe Wisconsin families need a senator who will work hard to deliver results for the middle class - a leader with the courage to do what's right, no matter how tough the odds or how powerful the special interests we have to fight." Other issues that Baldwin plans to address during her campaign include Wall Street reform and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The Senate seat is currently held by Democratic Senator Herb Kohl, who will be retiring.
Baldwin is currently the only openly gay Congresswoman. "The fact is, I've been honest about my sexual orientation my entire adult life. And integrity is important in public service...I know that, in this campaign, we'll be up against some powerful special interests. But I've beaten the odds before. All my life, the naysayers have told me that I can't win because I'm a progressive...because I'm a woman...even because I'm a lesbian. And I've proven them wrong," Baldwin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Baldwin is expected to gain strong support from LGBT and women's organizations, having already been endorsed by the Feminist Majority PAC, Emily's List, as well as the Human Rights Campaign. Joe Solmonese, president of HRC, released a statement, saying, "Tammy Baldwin's candidacy for the U.S. Senate is monumental for both the state of Wisconsin and the country's LGBT community. Tammy has proven herself as an effective legislator over the course of her 13 years in Congress and this campaign will be a top priority for the Human Rights Campaign."
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 9/6/11; Huffington Post 9/6/11; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 9/6/11
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .