Women’s Leaders Set Record Straight on Bush Commission’s Stealth Attack on Title IX
Women’s rights leaders today led a press conference to set the record straight about the serious threats to Title IX, the landmark 1972 law that mandates gender equity in federally funded education, including athletic programs in public high schools and colleges. The Commission for Educational Opportunities – appointed by President Bush to “review” Title IX – voted yesterday to allow interest surveys to be used as a tool in enforcing Title IX and to redefine proportionality to allow more discrimination. Both measures significantly weaken the enforcement of Title IX.
“The Bush administration is conducting a stealth attack on Title IX, and women and girls cannot and must not let them get away with it,” said Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority president. She was joined by Martha Burk, president of the National Council of Women’s Organizations; Jacqueline Woods, executive director of the American Association of University Women; Marcia Greenberger, president of the National Women’s Law Center; Terry O’Neill, vice-president of the National Organization for Women; and April Osajima, public policy director for Girls’ Inc.
“The purpose of this commission’s actions is to reduce girls’ opportunities – let there be no mistake about it,” Smeal said. “Today, it’s athletics; tomorrow, it’s the whole Title IX.” Smeal suggested that the Bush Commission’s attack on girls and women in sports may be the opening salvo in a broader attack on Title IX and the opening of opportunities for women in law, medicine, and other traditionally male-dominated professions.
The Commission for Educational Opportunities will present its final report on Title IX to Education Secretary Roderick Paige on February 28. With a commission largely made up of opponents to Title IX, the report is expected to recommend a weakening of the law.
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. . . .