Feminist Majority Foundation Interns Hold March for Choice Briefing at Senate
Over 150 people attended a Capitol Hill briefing yesterday about the Save Women's Lives: March for Freedom of Choice planned for April 25, 2004. "If we want to keep our rights, we need to speak up for them," said Feminist Majority Foundation intern Erika Sabbath, addressing the many young women in the audience. Organized by the FMF interns, the March for Choice briefing featured four feminist leaders: Eleanor Smeal, president of FMF, Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, Kate Michelman, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Jatrice Martel Gaiter, president & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington.
Each leader underscored the importance of marching, and the necessity of youth involvement. Reflecting on the abortion rights marches of 1989 and 1992, Gandy said, "Even more is at stake now than was at stake in 1992. Not just the Supreme Court, but all three branches of government...and the right to make private decisions privately." Michelman spoke about the timeliness of the march. "We are at a point in history that if we do not do this, and if we don't do it historically, because nothing short of that will stop this country from re-electing a president who would turn back women's rights a century - we won't lose the right to vote, but we'll lose everything else," she said. Gaiter talked about the struggles her DC-area clinics face daily. "Why can't I provide contraception, EC and tests for STI's in peace?...You should see the faces of the people who just want the dignity of equal health care," she said.
Smeal closed by reflecting on the personal value of marching. "You know for sure on that day you're not in the minority. You know for sure on that day how many people care as much as you," she said. Brainstorming sessions about organizing, fundraising and travel followed the presentations, and attendees were given packets of information about organizing for the march.
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. . . .