Eleanor Smeal Vows to Keep Fighting Anti-Abortion Violence
WASHINGTON, DC – Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, promised to continue to defend women’s reproductive health care clinics, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in NOW v. Scheidler. Smeal initiated the case as president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1986.
“Before this lawsuit,” Smeal said, “we protected the clinics with our bodies. We will do what it takes — stand in front of clinics as we did before, use the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and every other legal option — to make sure women can exercise the right to safe, legal abortion.”
The Supreme Court’s decision today rules that forcible blockades of clinics orchestrated by Joseph Scheidler, the Pro-Life Action Network, and Operation Rescue did not meet the definition of extortion under the Hobbs Act because the defendants did not walk away with tangible property.
“It is tragic that the Supreme Court has decided that physical property has more rights than women’s freedom of choice and lives,” Smeal said.
“Religious fundamentalists should not be excused from extortion simply because they did not walk away with money in their pocket,” added Smeal. “If this is the law, then anyone with an ideological disagreement with a business can use force or violence to close down that business and the business will have no means to defend itself. Today it is rights of women, tomorrow it could be the rights of a synagogue or a church.”
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. . . .
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms.
The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .