In Maine, voters have the opportunity to ratify a gay and lesbian rights measure passed by the state legislature. Measure 6 would extend protection against discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation and credit to “all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation.” In 1997, after an intense right wing campaign, Maine voters vetoed an anti-discrimination law, but recent polls show Measure 6 has widespread voter support: 66 percent favor the measure, with 22 percent opposed and 12 percent undecided.
Colorado voters will face another anti-abortion ballot measure this year: Amendment 25, misleadingly dubbed the “Women’s Health Information Act.” The measure, supported by the far-right group Focus on the Family, would require a 24-hour waiting period for all abortions, would require the state to produce and provide to doctors specific information to be offered to women seeking abortions that outline “an abortion’s risks, what a fetus might feel, local adoption agencies, the father’s financial responsibilities, and much more.” Doctors would also be required to provide statistics on how many women watched or read these materials, and how many then decided to have an abortion; doctors who did not comply would be committing a felony.
A recent poll of likely voters in Colorado shows 49 percent opposing the restrictions and 48 percent in support – a change from a September poll that showed 56 percent of voters supported Amendment 25 and only 35 percent opposed it. This tight race mirrors the 1998 elections, when Colorado voters narrowly rejected a ban on late term abortions 52 percent to 48 percent. Colorado is the only state facing an anti-abortion ballot measure after successful pro-choice defeats of anti-abortion measures in Washington State and Oregon. Be sure to visit Women’s Election Central, an online election night watch at www.feminist.org. Women’s Election Central will track emerging results of women’s races around the country and provide analysis of the gender gap.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation – November 4, 1998; Portland Press Herald - October 7 and September 27, 2000; Denver Post – October 30, 2000; NARAL; Human Rights Campaign; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report – October 31, 2000
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. The court's decision denied their request to temporarily block the legislation pending a final ruling on its constitutionality, rubber stamping the efforts of Oklahoma politicians to force doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering a medication abortion using the drug mifepristone - one that the medical community and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected in favor of a new standard of care that calls for a significantly lower dosage. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .