Shannon O’Brien Becomes Massachusetts’ First Woman To Win Major Party Primary In Gubernatorial Race
Shannon O’Brien yesterday became the first woman to win a major party primary in the Massachusetts governor’s race. Jane Swift, a Republican, who is currently serving as governor after being elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998, became governor in April 2001 when then Governor Paul Cellucci resigned to become the US Ambassador to Canada.
O’Brien, who is currently serving as the state Treasurer, had 33 percent of the vote with close to 75 percent of the votes counted – beating out Robert Reich, the labor secretary during the Clinton administration, state Senate President Thomas Birmingham and former state Senator Warren Tolman. O’Brien will now face Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who will run with Kerry Healey, a woman who won yesterday’s Republican primary election for the lieutenant governor spot.
With 36 governor spots open this year, 14 women are making a bid for the position that has typically trailed far behind US Congress in terms of women elected. Currently, there are five woman governors and that number could more than double this year. O'Brien became the eighth woman to win a Democratic gubernatorial nomination so far this year – she is joined by Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer in Alaska, state Attorney General Janet Napolitano in Arizona, state Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher in Arkansas, state Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius in Kansas, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in Maryland, state Attorney General Jennifer Granholm in Michigan and former state Sen. Myrth York in Rhode Island.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 9/18/02; Washington Post 9/18/02; Boston Globe 9/18/02; Cox Newspapers 9/16/02; Feminist Daily News 8/6/02
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. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .