Eleanor Smeal Honored for Work on Behalf of Women’s Rights
Women’s Enews honored Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal in 2001 for her “extraordinary contributions to durable change on behalf of women.” Featured as one of the 21 leaders for the 21st century, Smeal was acknowledged by Women’s Enews staff and readers primarily for her work to end gender apartheid in Afghanistan and restore Afghan women’s rights. The Feminist Majority has led its campaign for Afghan women since 1997, and since the U.S. led war on terrorism, has worked successfully to increase humanitarian aid to the region and to have women included in the reconstruction process. Smeal was also honored for her work in the United States to protect abortion access, to uncover the violent network of anti-abortion extremists, to bring mifepristone (also known as RU 486 and the early abortion pill) to American women, and to empower women politically.
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. . . .