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
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. . . .