Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), the ultraconservative politician famous for his 30-year assault on women’s rights, announced his retirement today, effective at the end of his 2003 term. Throughout his tenure, Helms orchestrated several major rollbacks against women’s rights, including the 1973 ban on U.S funds to international organizations offering abortions. His most recent attacks have included attempts to defund colleges and universities offering emergency contraception to students and attempts to strip US aid to the U.N. Population Fund.
Through his position as the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Helms has single-handedly held up floor consideration for several years of the U.N. treaty on gender discrimination, the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). He is also spearheading efforts to scuttle U.S. ratification of an International Criminal Court, which would deal with crimes against humanity, such as genocide, rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced sterilization, forced pregnancy, and other forms of sexual violence.
Media Resources: Washington Post 8/21/01; Feminist News Archives
5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .