Oprah Winfrey, the reigning queen of daytime talk, announced yesterday that she will retire her #1 talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, in 2006. In the meantime, she will continue to host one of the only talk shows on television urging women’s self-empowerment. The Oprah Winfrey Show has consistently taken on hard-hitting women’s issues, such as gender apartheid in Afghanistan and female genital mutilation. Winfrey, herself, has been a forerunner in women’s issues having appeared on ABC’s Ellen for the “coming out” episode and performed in Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. Winfrey has also distinguished herself through her philanthropy and through her work on behalf of children. In 1991, Winfrey testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of the National Child Protection Act that established a national registry of convicted child abusers.
Winfrey began her career in broadcasting at TV affiliates in Nashville, TN and Baltimore, MD before moving to Chicago to host the morning talk show AM Chicago, the precursor to The Oprah Winfrey Show. Winfrey has hosted the show since 1985 and is considered to be one of the most powerful media icons in the United States.
Media Resources: CNN.com, 3/12/02; Oprah.com; Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .