Over Six Million Women’s Voices Blast Ashcroft and Thompson Nominations
WASHINGTON, DC – A strong coalition of 120 women’s rights groups unite in opposition to John Aschcroft’s and Tommy Thompson’s nominations. “Women’s organizations are justifiably outraged over Bush’s appointment of right-wing, anti-women’s rights extremists,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Based on their records, Ashcroft puts ideology over law and Thompson puts ideology over health policy,” added Smeal. “In both cases, women lose big.”
Many cast Ashcroft as extreme, while many cast Thompson as more moderate. “Let there be no mistake about it, both Ashcoft and Thompson want to criminalize abortion and make it a felony,” said Smeal. “Let us not forget that Thompson passed and signed into law a measure so punitive and extreme that it mandated a lifetime prison sentence for physicians who performed an abortion procedure that he deemed late-term abortion,” added Smeal. However, the statute, ultimately declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, was written so vaguely it could have reached all abortions.
Both Ashcroft and Thompson are supported and connected to extreme right-wing figures such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Phyllis Schlafly, Ralph Reed, Bob Jones and Jesse Helms. Both Ashcroft and Thompson are connected to big tobacco. “When it comes to tobacco and guns, both Thompson and Ashcroft argue for the right to choose, but when it comes to a woman’s right to choose, they argue for criminal penalties,” proclaimed Smeal.
Both Ashcroft and Thompson have anti-women’s rights records outside the abortion issue. Ashcroft fought the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and is fighting the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Ashcroft also has an abysmal record of appointing women. He appointed not a single woman to his initial Governor’s cabinet, ranking dead last among all 50 governors. Thompson has harshly penalized poor single mothers with his so-called welfare reform which in actuality is nothing more than welfare elimination.
Both Ashcroft and Thompson have gutted and fought handgun control laws, going so far as supporting laws that allow guns to be carried in public. “Both are in the pocket of the NRA and not at all sympathetic to the Million Mom March,” said Smeal.
“President-Elect Bush has nominated anti-women extremists to the very cabinet positions that can hurt women’s rights and women’s lives the most,” said Smeal.
New Online Features of the Feminist Majority:
AppointmentWatch at www.feminist.org/appointmentwatch and TransitionWatch at www.transitionwatch.org for the latest news on Bush Cabinet appointments and take action to oppose anti-woman, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-affirmative action nominees.
Roe v. Wade Day at www.RoevWadeDay.com to celebrate, on January 22nd, the 28th anniversary of this landmark decision and take action online and in your community to make sure abortion rights are protected during this critical time.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .