Report: Women Bear Brunt of Environmental Contamination
Findings in a new report by the Women's Foundation of California show that due to their biological makeup and roles in society women bear the brunt of contamination from environmental toxins. The report raises concerns that despite women's leadership in environmental health and justice, there is limited research being conducted on the health impacts of environmental toxins on women due to a lack of support.
According to the report, "low-income women and women of color tend to be disproportionately affected" and "women have traditionally borne the consequences of contamination, whether on their health or the health of loved ones." Some examples of the types of risks women face are abnormal fetal development, diminished fertility, and increased rates of cancers.
The Women's Foundation recommends that corporations and developers aspire to prevent and minimize harm to humans and the environment, that more research and data collection is done to assess the impact of toxins on women's health, that governments and businesses promote safer alternatives for low-income women, that organizations that advocate for safer policies are supported, and that governments and manufacturers assume leadership to create healthier solutions and clean up what has already been contaminated.
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. . . .