Charlie Crist, the former Florida Republican governor, announced his support for President Barack Obama in an editorial in the Tampa Bay Times Sunday on the eve of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Crist, who is now registered independent, applauded President Obama's actions as president, citing his efforts to improve the economy, infrastructure, education, and healthcare. He remarked "President Obama has a strong record of doing what is best for America and Florida, and he built it by spending more time worrying about what his decisions would mean for the people than for his political fortunes."
Crist also addressed his former party, stating that some Republicans "[have] pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they've proven incapable of governing for the people. Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims." Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) stirred up controversy by claiming that victims of "legitimate rape" do not get pregnant when discussing abortion exceptions for rape. The draft Republican platform expected to be adopted at this week's convention once again includes a "human life amendment" to the Constitution. The proposed amendment would ban all abortion with no exceptions as well as some forms of contraception.
Crist will speak at the Democratic National Convention, according to ABC news.
As governor of Florida, Crist vetoed a house bill that would have required women to view an ultrasound and listen to a description of the fetus before having an abortion. The bill also stripped funding for elective abortions. The bill was later signed into law by Crist's successor, current Florida Governor Rick Scott.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 8/27/12; ABC News 8/27/12; Tampa Bay Times 8/26/12; Feminist Newswire 8/24/12; Feminist Newswire 8/21/12; Tampa Bay Times 6/12/10
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .