Sept. 10 Primaries End in Victories And A Few Losses for Women
With almost half of all open gubernatorial seats pursued by women candidates, the September 10 primaries closed with some clear gains for women’s rights across the country. In Maryland, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend won the Democratic primary. Endorsed by the Maryland chapter of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), she will face Republican opponent Rep. Robert Ehrlich. Two other Democratic, pro-choice candidates for governor, Myrth York of Rhode Island and Janet Napolitano of Arizona, also both won their primaries.
However, former Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno appears to have lost her bid for governor in Florida. The results have not been officially released, but her opponent, attorney Bill McBride, was in the lead, according to the Associated Press. The Florida vote suffered many difficulties, including complications arising from short-staffed polling sites, mechanical difficulties with the polling machines, and damage to ballots, among others. These problems occurred despite Florida’s $32 million initiative to revamp its voting procedures after the fiasco in the state during the 2000 presidential election. Reno is considering filing suit to contest the election results.
Other pro-choice female candidates who won their primaries include Jeanne Shaheen, currently governor of New Hampshire, who will face off against Rep. John Sununu for one of the state’s seats in the US Senate. In addition, Carol Roberts in Florida and Martha Fuller Clark in New Hampshire won their Democratic primaries for US House seats.
In North Carolina, Republican Elizabeth Dole, who has been endorsed by the North Carolina Right to Life political action committee that has said Dole will “oppose publicly funded abortions, support parental consent laws and oppose so-called ‘partial-birth’ abortions,” won the Republican primary. Dole will face off against former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, a pro-choice businessman, in a battle for the seat of retiring right-wing Sen. Jesse Helms.
Media Resources: Associated Press 9/12/02; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health report 9/11/02; EMILY’s List 9/11/02; Feminist Daily News Wire 9/11/02
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .