Schwarzenegger Hires Private Firm to Investigate Groping Allegations
Against the protests of women's rights advocates, Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger recently hired a private investigation firm to look into allegations that he groped at least 16 women in the past three decades. Women's groups and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D), a Schwarzenegger supporter, have called for an independent investigation. "If someone came to me and said I am working for Arnold Schwarzenegger and I want to investigate what you said about him, I wouldn't feel very secure," Helen Greico, executive director of the California National Organization for Women, told the Los Angeles Times. "An independent investigation would be the right call."
The inquiry into the allegations is meant to fulfill a campaign promise by Schwarzenegger, that he would address the charges that surfaced in the last days of the recall election by the LA Times. Schwarzenegger is reportedly upset with Lockyer for supposedly violating "attorney-client privilege," although this claim has been repeatedly dismissed by legal experts, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Lockyer has been accused of trivializing Schwarznegger's actions by calling it "frat boy behavior," according to the Times. Though he tried to clarify his remarks by explaining that in his mind, "frat-boy behavior runs from rowdy drunkenness to rape," women's rights groups are not convinced, the Times reports. "[Lockyer] should not be see-sawing back and forth. He should take a stand with women, not with Arnold," Greico told the Chronicle.
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. . . .