A record number of women ran for office in yesterday’s 2002 midterm election. Of the 10 women who ran for governor, four won – making six the new total of women governors, four Democrats and two Republicans. That’s just one more than the five women governors who served this past term. Michigan’s Jennifer Granholm (D) and Arizona’s Janet Napolitano (D) both soundly defeated their opponents by a 3-point lead while Kansas’ Kathleen Sebelius (D) pulled even farther ahead with 8 points on her opponent. Meanwhile, in the first-ever woman versus woman race in Hawaii, Linda Lingle (R) defeated Mazie Hirono (D) by five points.
A total of 124 women ran for seats in the US House of Representatives, just over the previous record for women candidates – 120 in 1996. Of the 124 women candidates (including US Rep Patsy Mink (D-HI) who died just before the election but her name remained on the ballot), 59 will be part of the 108th Congress. This number is the same as the 107th Congress – with a total of seven new women entering the House, five Republicans and two Democrats.
Eleven women ran for US Senate seats with a total of two declared victories and two still vying for one seat – Louisiana’s Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu will face her Republican challenger Suzanne Haik Terrell in a December 7 runoff election. Louisiana was one of two states where women opposed other women for Senate seats; in Maine, incumbent Susan Collins (R) defeated her Democratic challenger Chellie Pingree by 16 points. In another race, Elizabeth Dole (R) sailed to victory in North Carolina, defeating her Democratic opponent by nine points. A total of 13 women (including either Landrieu or Terrell from Louisiana) will serve in the Senate next term, equaling women’s presence in the last session.
Media Resources: Center for American Women and Politics Election Watch 11/6/02; CNN.com 11/6/02
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. . . .