Despite adamant protests from women’s rights groups such as the Feminist Majority, the New York State Legislature has approved a redistricting map that eliminates Representative Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) seat in the US Congress. The new districting plan comes after New York lost two seats in the House of Representatives due to population changes. Slaughter, who has long been a champion for women’s rights, will likely face fellow Democratic incumbent Rep. John LaFalce in order to stay in Congress. All sides are preparing for a court battle.
The new map combines the districts of both Slaughter and LaFalce, including the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, into a single Congressional district. "In my judgment, this map is a grave disservice to the people of these two very different communities. Court cases are now being filed to challenge this proposal," Slaughter wrote in an email to her supporters. "If it stands, however, I fully intend to run for re-election in the new district."
During her tenure as a House member, Slaughter has fought tirelessly for women, including introducing legislation to provide women with public education about emergency contraception, taking the lead on bills to reduce global sex trafficking, and making efforts to increase the availability and affordability of childcare. She is also the vice-chairwoman of the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues and sits on the Rules Committee, that often decides how and when a bill is heard in the House.
Media Resources: Media Sources: Washington Times 6/4/02; Email from Louise Slaughter to National Council of Women’s Organizations, 06/06/02
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .