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
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. . . .