With the steadfast leadership of Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), the committee’s current chair, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the committee’s sole female member, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning passed the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), also known as the Women’s Treaty, by a vote of 12-7. "I am optimistic that when CEDAW reaches the Senate floor before the elections, it will be ratified," said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal. This historic vote marks the first time in 22 years that the treaty has made it out of committee in time for a vote by the full Senate. Supporters packed the room during the committee vote, with virtually no opposition visible. Supporters present included the Feminist Majority and its president, Eleanor Smeal; the National Council of Women’s Organizations and its president, Martha Burk; the Business and Professional Women/USA and its CEO, Jane Smith; and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote Thursday on the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, funding for reconstruction, and humanitarian aid. Take Action on ISAF
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. . . .
10/30/2014 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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .