US Mission to the UN Concerned About Abortion in Beijing Platform
At the 48th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the US mission stated that it might not "reaffirm" the Beijing Platform because of the Bush Administration's concern about "abortion" language in the platform. Instead, the US mission will most likely state that the US "recalls and reiterates" the Beijing Platform.
Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, who leads the U. delegation to the CSW, stated that she is "excited about the rights that women are getting in [Iraq and Afghanistan]" and that women's political participation "is a burning issue" for her. Although Sauerbrey stated that "the United States heavily invests in bringing women into the political equation in post-conflict areas, where their voices and vision are critical", the US-backed 25-member Iraqi Governing Council includes only three women.
In response to a Canadian NGO representative who said about women in North America, "if we impose [equal participation] on the oppressed, we should impose it on ourselves," Sauerbrey said that the US tradition "is equality of opportunity." She described her philosophy as "women need to be equally educated on how to run for office"
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. . . .