Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, defeated former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum by eight votes in the Iowa caucus, which had low voter turnout. Representative Ron Paul finished third.
Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal stated, "This shows the extreme and unrepresentative nature of the Iowa Republican caucus. Santorum is opposed not only to abortion but wants to repeal Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and allow states to ban birth control access. He indicated this as recently as Monday on ABC news. Santorum wants to ensure that there is no right to privacy at all and no right to access birth control."
During his campaign for governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney indicated his support for numerous pro-choice laws; however, once elected, he proved hostile to women's reproductive rights and vetoed a bill that would grant rape survivors improved access to contraceptive services. Romney also recently endorsed a Mississippi "personhood" ballot measure, which states that life begins at conception and proposes to give constitutional rights to a fertilized egg. The initiative was defeated by voters in November.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said in her statement, "Former Gov. Romney may have won first place in Iowa, but his anti-choice views are out of touch with our nation's values and priorities. Romney has pledged to support policies that would undermine women's freedom and privacy at every turn...We will make sure that Romney's extreme views - and his flip flops on this issue - are a liability."
After finishing sixth, Bachmann announced that she is ending her campaign for the Republican nomination. Until the end, she claimed that the reason she ran was to repeal "Obamacare" and that it provides taxpayer funding for abortion, which is simply not true. Bachmann said that 2012 is the last chance to repeal "Obamacare."
Media Resources: NARAL Statement 1/4/12; Washington Post 1/4/12
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. . . .