Women's Right Advocates Victorious in Defeating Mississippi Personhood Amendment
In an exciting and important victory for women's rights advocates, Mississippi voters defeated the Personhood Amendment. While the state went Republican and voted for many candidates who supported Initiative 26, a state constitutional personhood amendment that would have given full rights to fertilized eggs, women's rights supporters successfully defeated this dangerous initiative 58% to 42% with 96 percent of precincts reporting.
The Feminist Majority Foundation Campus Choices organizers were on the ground in Mississippi working with hundreds of Mississippians on college campuses, the statewide coalition against Initiative 26, Mississippians for Healthy Families, and the only remaining clinic providing abortion services, the Jackson Women's Health Organization. The Feminist Majority Foundation had a national campus organizing team, on-the-ground student organizers and scores of volunteers who organized thousands of students on the major campuses. Its signs and stickers, which read "Vote NO on 26, Save Women's Lives" were also featured in major news outlets, including the New York Times and the Mississippi Clarion Ledger
A tremendous number of young people, in particular young women, as well as African Americans and even Republicans, went to the polls to defeat the dangerous initiative. Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal stated, "Although starting from behind, as soon as the public learned of harmful impact, we soared in the polls probably picking up more than 40% of the vote in the last two weeks."
If passed, Initiative 26, which proposed to give constitutional rights to a fertilized egg, would have banned emergency contraception, birth control pills, and IUDs as well as all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman or girl. The Personhood Amendment would have even gone so far as to eliminate medical choices for women, including some cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization, and could allow the state to investigate and even prosecute a woman for a miscarriage.
Anti-abortion and anti-birth control extremists have indicated that they intend to put a similar measure on
six state ballots in 2012. So far, reproductive rights supporters have defeated anti-choice state ballot measures in South Dakota, Colorado, and California in 2006 and 2008; in Colorado in 2010, and now Mississippi in 2011.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .