Ashcroft Appoints VAWA Opponent to Violence Against Women Committee
Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed Nancy Pfotenhauer, president and CEO of the notoriously conservative International Women’s Forum (IWF), to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. IWF board member Margot Hill was also invited to join the committee, which advises the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services on implementation and enforcement of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
“The appointments of Pfotenhauer and Hill to the Committee on Violence Against Women send a clear message that the administration has no intention of taking the fight against domestic violence seriously,” said Margaret Moore, director of the National Center for Women and Policing, a division of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Ironically, the IWF has vehemently protested VAWA since its passage in the 1994. In 2000, the Clinton administration said that VAWA – which provides funds for law enforcement, expands shelters for battered women and helps women on college campuses - was responsible for a 21 percent drop in violence against women. Ashcroft, in his confirmation hearings, promised to fully utilize VAWA to fight violence against women.
Pfotenhauer told the Washington Post, “I’d hope we’ve been asked to participate in this because we have a different view but one that’s constructive.” However, IWF’s record on women’s issues can only be characterized as destructive. In addition to opposing VAWA, the IWF opposes Title IX (which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs), comparable pay efforts, affirmative action programs, and gay and lesbian marriage and parenting.
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. . . .