Title IX Commission to Recommend Changes to Landmark Legislation
The Commission for Opportunity in Athletics, appointed by the Bush Administration to examine Title IX, appears ready to recommend sweeping changes to Title IX of the Education Act of 1972 as it applies to athletics at its January 8 meeting in Washington, DC, USA Today reported. Title IX, which prohibits education institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of gender, has dramatically increased opportunities in athletics for women and girls. In 1972, fewer than 300,000 girls played high school sports. Now, 2.7 million girls participate in such teams, according to the Department of Education.
Feminist groups across the country are calling for the Commission, largely composed of Title IX opponents, to leave Title IX untouched. “It is shocking to see this commission throw out 30 years of progress in such a casual way,” Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, told USA Today.
“Title IX must be kept intact and enforcement must be stepped up,” agreed Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Title IX is the reason women and girls have made dramatic advances in athletics, but we are not at equality yet. President Bush must not turn back the clock on women’s rights by weakening Title IX.”
Members of the Commission appear to believe that women are inherently less interested in sports than men and that women deserve fewer resources than men. The history of Title IX, however, shows that the more opportunities women get, the more they will play. “It is lack of opportunity, not interest that keeps the number of women athletes down,” Smeal said.
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. . . .