Stephanie Herseth last night won a special election to fill South Dakota's vacant US House of Representatives seat, bringing the total number of women in the House up to 63. Herseth, a Democrat, was running to temporarily fill the seat of former Rep. Bill Janklow (R), who resigned his seat before going to jail for manslaughter for killing a motorcyclist in a car accident.
Herseth won 51 percent of the vote to Republican Larry Diedrich’s 49 percent, even though Vice President Dick Cheney campaigned for Diedrich in South Dakota in March. Both parties poured money into the small rural state for television ads and sent crowds of volunteers to mobilize voters, according to the Associated Press.
Herseth and Diedrich will face each other again in November in an election for the full two-year term in Congress. Herseth, a Georgetown-educated lawyer, unsuccessfully ran for this seat in 2002.
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/2/04, 5/26/04; Keloland TV 6/2/04
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. . . .