Poll, Protests Worldwide Show Strong Opposition to Iraq War
Protests held in cities all over the world, including New York City, London, Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid, demonstrated broad and widespread opposition to the potential US war against Iraq. In addition, a recent Gallup poll shows a large gender gap in opposition to war in the US, with 31 percent of women versus 15 percent of men saying they do not want the US to send troops to Iraq at all. In addition, 37 percent of women believe troops should be sent with United Nations (UN) support, while 52 percent of men think troops should be sent even if the UN votes against military action in Iraq, according to Gallup.
Protest organizers estimate that attendance in New York this weekend was almost half a million, with over 10 million people participating in protests worldwide, though police estimates were lower. National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy, one of the speakers in New York, said in a press statement that “the real terrorism is the Bush administration’s disregard for international law and destruction of civil liberties at home. This has become an issue of one dictator versus another.”
Despite the massive protests, President Bush said yesterday that he will continue his push to force Iraq to disarm, by force if necessary. Bush is calling for a second United Nations resolution stating that Iraq has refused to disarm and now faces “serious consequences,” according to the New York Times. France’s president Jacques Chirac has already made it clear that France will oppose the resolution, which has also received criticism by Germany’s chancellor Gerhard Schroder, the Times reports. Britain’s prime minister Tony Blair has come under immense criticism for his pro-war stance. The antiwar rally in London was the largest political rally in Britain’s history, according to the Washington Post.
Events planned for International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 8, will draw antiwar activists to Washington, DC, in a “march to encircle the White House,” according to Code Pink, a women’s peace group. Code Pink, along with UnReasonable Women for the Earth and United for Peace, has also been coordinating the Women’s Peace Vigil, a constant presence in front of the White House that will end with the rally and march on International Women’s Day. Members of Code Pink traveled to Iraq on a peace mission in early February, joining other women’s groups from Europe, Australia, and Rwanda to protest US military action against Iraq.
The Feminist Majority joins the Code Pink, National Organization for Women, and other progressive groups in urging our elected officials to employ diplomacy to the fullest extent and oppose war with Iraq.
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. . . .