The Bush administration’s Commission on Opportunity in Athletics held its first hearing on Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education, in Atlanta yesterday. The hearings opened with three panels of appointed speakers including Title IX author the Honorable Birch Bayh, a former US Senator from Indiana. “Title IX is the most significant contribution to women’s equality since the ratification of the 19th amendment,” Bayh said. In the last 30 years, Title IX has increased women’s participation in sports by more than 800 percent at the high school level and approximately 400 percent at the collegiate level. Title IX has also made possible the integration of medical schools and law schools.
The commission was created by Bush allegedly to ensure that Title IX allows fairness for both sexes, however, the Feminist Majority and other leading women’s groups are calling the commission the newest attempt to weaken a landmark federal law that eliminated gender discrimination in education. While co-chaired by former WNBA star Cynthia Cooper, the commission is stacked with representatives from NCAA Division I schools - many of which are still not in compliance with Title IX after 30 years.
Despite Title IX’s enormous gains for women and girls, opponents attacked the law during the public comment session following yesterday’s panel discussion. Wrestlers and male gymnasts made numerous false allegations about Title IX, erroneously claiming that Title IX diminishes athletic opportunities for men and boys and state that women and girls do not want to participate in athletics. Aimee Boone, senior campus organizer at the Feminist Majority Foundation, also testified at the commission’s hearings, citing her 18 years of participation in athletics as further proof of women and girls’ desire to play sports. “I can't imagine what my life would be without sports,” Boone said as reported in USA Today. “We are not at equality yet. We have come very far, but we still have much further to go.”
The commission has scheduled five hearings around the country on Title IX – four of which are open to the public. The next hearing will be held in Chicago on September 17-18 with another to follow in Colorado Springs on October 22-23.
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. . . .