Leading Grassroots Organizations Oppose John Roberts
Leading organizations, including the Feminist Majority, held a press conference today on the grassroots efforts to defeat John Roberts, President Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Plans ranged from demonstrations outside the Roberts’ hearings and in key states across the country to poetry slams, petition-signing, and rallies on college campuses. "Roberts could roll back women's rights for a generation," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. "Young women, with the most at stake, are leading the fight to block Roberts' confirmation to the Supreme Court."
Groups also outlined their reasons for opposition to Roberts. "In a country where as a young woman, I saw affirmative action open doors that one were closed, and succeeded because of it, John Roberts wrote that affirmative action programs were bound to fail because they required 'recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates.' The nerve," said Sharon Lettman, director of national programs for People for the American Way. "Roberts' attitudes aren't conservative, they're simply backward," said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW). "And women can't afford to go that direction."
Other organizations involved included National Council of Women’s Organizations, Legal Momentum, Human Rights Campaign, ADA Watch/National Coalition for Disability Rights, National Council of Jewish Women, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, League of United Latin American Citizens, Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Rainbow PUSH/Coalition, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
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. . . .