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
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .