Women's Organizations Speak Out Against Privatization of Social Security
The National Council of Women's Organizations (NCWO) urged President Bush to listen to women's concerns about privatizing social security in a press conference held yesterday. The NCWO, representing over 200 women’s organizations with over 10 million members, including the Feminist Majority, opposes the privatization of Social Security and is concerned that Social Security’s features such as survivors’ and disability benefits are being ignored in the current debate.
Women’s groups argue that privatization will put many of Social Security’s most women-friendly features at risk. “Because women rely on Social Security more and benefit from its special protections for women, women have more at risk from Social Security privatization,” said Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and co-chair of the NCWO Task Force on Social Security.
"President Bush’s support for individual accounts carved out of Social Security jeopardizes the guarantee of lifetime, inflation-adjusted benefits that Social Security now provides," said Martha Burk, Ph.D., Chair of NCWO. "The American public does not want benefit cuts and massive deficits in exchange for private accounts that may not yield higher returns in retirement."
Kim Gandy, National Organization for Women president, said, “If you’re a woman, you’re being asked to take your money out of a system that offers guaranteed retirement, disability and survivor benefits, and move it into a privatized system that will discriminate against you in the amount it pays out because you are female.. Women weren’t born Democrat, Republican or yesterday.”
“All workers will face cuts in guaranteed benefits and most will not have that income made up by an individual account,” added Hartmann. “Social Security provides women with life insurance, disability income, and spousal benefits and all of these will be at risk if privatizers have their way.”
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .