Los Angeles -- More than 70 national and state women’s and civil rights
organizations joined an array of prominent women in business, law, medicine,
labor, education, sports and entertainment to launch the “Women Won’t Go
Back” Campaign to defeat the so-called California Civil Rights Initiative.
Campaign Co-Chairs Lorraine Sheinberg, Peg Yorkin, Chair of the Feminist
Majority, and Prema Mathai-Davis, National Executive Director of the YWCA of
the USA, announced today the formation of a statewide and national campaign
to save affirmative action, and expose an extreme and hidden section of the
CCRI which will expressly permit discrimination against women and girls.
“We are sounding the alarm today; the CCRI will not only gut affirmative
action for women and minorities in California, but will also destroy the very
foundation of California women’s rights law,” declared Eleanor Smeal,
president of the Feminist Majority: “This Campaign is significant not only
to California, but to the nation. The architects of the CCRI have introduced
similar language in 14 states and Congress. We must stop the CCRI in
California before it sweeps the nation.”
“The California Civil Rights Initiative means second class citizenship for
women and girls,” declared Prema Mathai-Davis, National Executive Director of
the YWCA of the USA. “For the first time in its 138 year history, the YWCA,
whose mission is to eliminate racism and sexism, has taken a position on a
ballot initiative because this is an emergency to save women’s rights and
civil rights. The YWCA urges California voters not to sign the CCRI
Leading constitutional law scholars Erwin Chmerinsky, USC School of Law,
and Laurie Levinson, Loyola Law School, discussed the impact of CCRI: “CCRI
will have a devastating impact on programs to remedy discrimination against
women and minorities. Gains of the past few years will be erased and
additional progress will be unlikely,” explained Professor Erwin Chemerinsky.
“I call ‘clause (c)’ the ‘No Women Need Apply’ clause. CCRI expressly
allows discrimination against women and girls in areas where it has never
been legally permitted. It will eviscerate the California constitution’s
current protection against gender discrimination, making it more difficult
for women to obtain legal protection,” added Professor Laurie Levenson.
“Working women everywhere in California will be hurt if CCRI passes,” said
Dolores Huerta, First Vice President of United Farm Workers, and spokesperson
for the Coalition of Labor Union Women. “California voters must understand
that women’s jobs and paychecks are on the line in this election.”
General Contractor Martha Diaz Aszkenazy observed, “With Wilson’s
roll-back of affirmative action, women construction owners are already seeing
cut-backs in bidding opportunities. If CCRI passes, the 6% of contracts that
women businesses currently get, will shrink to nothing. That’s why like many
other Republican women, not only will I be voting against CCRI, but I will be
working against CCRI.”
“This Campaign adds the voice of women to the campaigns already mobilized
in the African-American, Asian-Pacific American, and Latino communities,”
explained Connie Rice, Western Regional Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense
and Educational Fund. “Together, we will stop the roll back of women’s
rights and civil rights.”
Andrea Van de Kamp, joined by young girls carrying signs reading “Give
Girls a Chance” and “Girls are Strong Too,” warned California voters, “Don’t
close the doors of opportunity on our daughters’ futures. We’ve come too
far. We won’t go back.”
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. . . .