Anti-Abortion Activist Hired for NC Health Policy Position
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently hired an anti-abortion activist as a senior policy advisor. The hiring comes at a time when the agency is rewriting state rules regarding access to abortion.
Margaret "Mardy" Peal, who has been away from the health policy field for more than a decade, previously served on the board of the anti-abortion Carolina Pregnancy Center, which emphasizes Christian scripture and abstinence. She was an early organizer for the conservative Eastern North Carolina Tea Party, and she contributed over $1,000 to current Republican Governor Pat McCrory's 2012 campaign. In the past, she has been highly critical of government spending on Medicaid, which is one of the programs that she will oversee.
This hire is the latest in a string of politically charged hiring decisions at the agency, reports the News Observer. Earlier this year, DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos hired a woman to be director of North Carolina's pre-kindergarten and child-care subsidy programs although she had previously led an organization that opposed formal pre-K programs. The woman eventually withdrew after public outcry.
On Wednesday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory gave his full support to Wos and suggested that he would not intervene in the decision to hire Peal. "I'm not going to get distracted into the detailed operations which my secretaries are responsible for making those hires."
Media Resources: News Observer 9/18/2013; San Francisco Chronicle 9/18/2013
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally.
Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .