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.
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. . . .