Following the Senate confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court by a vote of 58-42, Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal issued the following statement:
The confirmation of Samuel Alito to the seat of Sandra Day O’Connor must be a wake-up call for American women. After the confirmation of Clarence Thomas, several Senators lost their seats, and the number of Democratic women in the Senate quadrupled from one (Barbara Mikulski) to five (with the addition of Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Carol Moseley Braun, and Patty Murray) – a true breakthrough.
With the confirmation of Samuel Alito, women’s rights, especially our right to access contraception and abortion, affirmative action, and sex and race anti-discrimination law, are in grave jeopardy. The consequences of the Republican stacking of the Supreme Court with reactionary judges will tragically remind Americans again and again of these bleak days for social justice.
Fifty-eight Senators turned their backs on progress for women and civil rights for all people. People, especially women, concerned with progress for human rights must be a significant force to change the current balance of the Senate. Women cannot take a backseat but must be in the leadership of this change.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .