Gay Rights, Affirmative Action Suffer in Election Ballot Measures; Women See Both Gains and Losses
Abortion, women's rights, affirmative action, and gay rights ballot measures were present voted on in this week's election.
Efforts to ban late term abortions were rejected by voters in both Colorado (52% to 48%) and Washington state (57% to 43%). In Washington, young voters were the strongest opponents of the abortion ban, with 64% of voters ages 18-29 voting against the ban.
An anti-affirmative action measure also appeared on Washington's ballot. The measure passed with a vote of 59% to 41%. A 15 point gender gap existed between voters on this issue. The majority of men voted against affirmative action, while women were split 50/50.
Basic women's rights measures slated to make men and women equal before the law were put to voters in the states of Florida and Iowa. Both amendments passed by large margins, (67% to 32% in Florida and 83% to 17% in Iowa).
In a disappointing loss for gay rights, measures opposing same-sex marriage were passed in Alaska and Hawaii.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority - November 2, 1998
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. . . .