Faced with overwhelming support for Title IX, the Bush administration announced Friday that there will be no changes to the landmark 1972 law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education. The Feminist Majority, together with other leading women's rights organizations has been working to block any changes to the law. "One year, one stacked commission, and the outrage of women's groups all over the country, and finally the Bush administration recognizes the vast support for Title IX," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, who helped lead the fight to reinstate Title IX in the 1980s. "Too bad it made us lose vital time and money that could better be spent enforcing Title IX."
Gerald Reynolds, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights for the Department of Education, sent a letter to educational institutions across the country announcing that mechanisms currently in place to measure compliance with the law for athletic programs will remain as they are. "[The Office for Civil Rights] recognizes that the question of how to comply with Title IX and to provide equal athletic opportunities for all students is a challenge for many academic institutions," Reynolds wrote. "But OCR believes that the three-prong test has provided, and will continue to provide, schools with the flexibility to provide greater athletic opportunities for students of both sexes."
In response to claims from men's secondary athletic programs such as wrestling and swimming that Title IX compliance forced their programs to be cut, the Bush administration appointed a 15-member Commission on Opportunity in Athletics stacked with Title IX opponents to review the law - which has enabled the increase of women's participation in sports by more than 400 percent at the college level and more than 800 percent at the high school level over the past 30 years. In February, the commission released a report that recommended gutting Title IX - two commissioners, Donna DeVarona and Julie Foudy also released a minority report defending the law. In the end the Bush administration had to ignore the majority's recommendations and recognize the power of women's votes.
While Title IX has enabled major advances in sports for women and girls, participation opportunities, operating budgets, recruitment and scholarship funds are still vastly lower than men's. In his letter, Reynolds committed OCR resources to an educational campaign on Title IX compliance and aggressive enforcement of Title IX standards.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .