Women’s Rights Leaders Mark The Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
On the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, women’s right leaders celebrated reproductive choice, but expressed grave concern over the fate of abortion access in the U.S. The Core Choice Coalition, including the Feminist Majority, Planned Parenthood, National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, National Women’s Law Center, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, National Organization for Women, National Abortion Federation, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Women’s Health Project, and more, highlighted the impending threat to Roe in the federal Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Roe is more endangered today than it ever has been in its 29-year history,” said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal. “The fate of abortion rights for the next 25 years hinges not only on the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominated by President Bush, but also on his appointees to the federal Courts of Appeals. With Justices expected to step down in the near future, we insist that the U.S. Senate filibuster any federal judicial nominations that stand opposed to abortion rights.”
Abortion rights currently hang by a razor thin 5-4 split in the U.S. Supreme Court. The federal Courts of Appeals are not much better. Eight out of twelve Circuit Courts have anti-choice majorities. “If we should lose the majority on all of the federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court is almost a moot point,” said Smeal. Disagreement between the Circuit Courts is often the reason for a case to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
President Bush is an ardent anti-choice supporter. During his term as President, he has reinstated the global gag rule, held up international family planning funds to the UNFPA, and facing the anniversary of Roe, declared Sunday “National Sanctity of Life Day.” Though the President asked the nation to "reflect upon the sanctity of human life,” and "the notion that some lives are less worthy of protection than others," he possibly failed to reflect on the more than 80,000 women who die annually from botched, illegal abortion worldwide.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Reports, 1/22/02
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .