The feminist movement is gearing up in preparation for the Supreme Court confirmation hearings on John Roberts for Chief Justice. The hearings were rescheduled to begin September 12 at noon, and will continue throughout the week beginning at 9:30 am each day.
“As Chief Justice, Roberts would be in the nation’s top judicial leadership position to roll backwards the gains made by women and people of color over the past 40 years,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. His record indicates he would greatly weaken anti-discrimination statutes in employment and education; ignore wage discrimination; refuse to give constitutional protection against sex discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause; gut Title IX; water down voting rights; cut back affirmative action; eliminate the right to privacy (which he has mocked); and reverse Roe v. Wade.
Though the nation’s attention is rightly focused on the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, women’s and civil rights groups are working to ensure that Senators are aware of the massive opposition to Roberts. The Feminist Majority and the National Organization for Women are planning daily visibility actions make it clear that women do not want to go backwards.
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. . . .