In celebration of Women’s Equality Day, Ellen Goodman announced the "Equal Rites Awards" in her national column – a satirical spoof meant to honor those who have "set back the cause of women." Among Goodman’s honorees are President Bush for the "Mixed Message Award"—Goodman describes Bush as "the world leader who bragged about liberating women of the world [who] now hedges, hems and haws about supporting the United Nations treaty for women’s equality (CEDAW)." Others include the "Blind Justice Award" to the Pakistani tribal council that sentenced a young woman to gang rape, the "International Ayatollah Award" to the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Saudi Arabia—who wouldn’t let 15 girls out of a burning school because their hair wasn’t covered, and the "Our Make War, Not Love" prize for the 200 US soldiers who used their government credit cards at strip clubs to pay for lap dances.
In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) introduced the bill that established August 26 as "Women's Equality Day." The day is designed to commemorate the day in 1920 when the 19th amendment was ratified and afforded women the right to vote. While women have come a long way in the 82 years since suffrage won, there is still a long way to go to equality – women still earn 73 cents to the dollar and have no paid family leave, women make up more than 50 percent of the US population but there are only 13 women Senators in Congress and the Equal Rights Amendment has yet to be ratified as part of our Constitution – to name a few of the battles for women in this country alone.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .