On November 16, 2009, the Baltimore City Council took a giant step forward for women’s rights when they passed legislation on a 12-3 decision to stop Crisis Pregnancy Centers from misleading women into their services. The law, which still must be signed by the mayor of Baltimore, “would affect four centers in the city, requires counseling centers to post signs in English and Spanish stating that they do not “provide or make referrals for abortion or birth-control services.” (LA Times) [Read more...]
I’m taking a break from my usual legislative updates to discuss something that has been urking me for almost a week now. I simply can’t talk about issues relating to women without at least bringing this up once, so here it goes:
No doubt we’ve all been excited with the recent news coming out of the Shriver Report regarding the male to female ratio statistics in the American work force. I agree that it is a very exciting and historical time for women to now make up, not just half, but almost a majority of the labor force in a country that has historically refused to acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of women. However, in reading and analyzing the Shriver Report, and the information contained in it, I came to a disturbing and familiar realization….
Not a lot has really changed. [Read more...]
In 1913, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns founded what would come to be called the “National Women’s Party”. The seal pictured was the official flag of the party, there were 36 stars to represent the 36 states needed to ratify the 19th Amendment which allowed women access to the right to vote. Now, i’m pretty sure you’re wondering what this flag, or the NWP have to do with the new Oklahoma law that was passed a few weeks ago. At first glance, not a whole lot, but in examining the way that the brave women of Oklahoma are fighting back against HB 1595, i have to ask…
What would Alice do? [Read more...]
As if women didn’t have enough threats to their right to choose in this country, Oklahoma is doing its part to make sure women slowly but surely are demonized and criminalized for their right to choose to have an abortion.
If you live in Oklahoma, I officially extend my condolences.
H.B 1595 is a new provision on Oklahoma abortion laws that now requires, among other restrictions and requirements, an official record and reporting system of all abortions occurring within the state. This report will be available for anyone in the world to view, as it will be made public on a website as of March 1st. The Dept of Health, who among others has supported these new provisions, has declared that since the name and “personal information” will not be reported, there is no cause for concern or protest in regards to privacy issues. However, in reviewing the actual text of the law, the first 8 questions that will be asked and reported could easily be used to identify any member of a smaller community. [Read more...]
Almost three decades after the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced and defeated, and eighty six years after it was originally drafted by women’s rights leader, Alice Paul, the E.R.A has made its way back to Congress. This time, in hopes of FINALLY getting the votes its been needing since 1982.
Its not a difficult concept to grasp, Equal Rights. Yet, every year since 1982, the E.R.A has been re-introduced into Congress and repeatedly shot down for one reason or another. At this point in time, it has been ratified by 35 of the required 38 states needed for a Constitutional Amendment. And yet, here we are, almost thirty years since, and it seems as if we’ve all forgotten to care.
The current bill in this session of congress was introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) under House Joint Resolution 61. The text of this legislation is exact to the very same E.R.A bill that was submitted to Congress in 1972 under President Richard Nixon. The only difference is that this bill, if passed through both houses, would not contain the original 7 year time limit for ratification that the original bill did. In 1979, we were still three states short of the 38 needed, and an additional bill was drafted to extend the deadline another 4 years to 1982. It was at this juncture that, under President Ronald Reagan, the E.R.A is said to have “died”. To this day, Ronald Reagan was the first and only president to actively oppose a Constitutional amendment to give equal rights to women (Chronology of the Equal Rights Amendment) [Read more...]
It has been a long, slow 13 years since the Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 under the Clinton administration. Fortunatly, there is some hope in sight for the millions of Americans being ostracized and left behind on the equal rights bandwagon. First off, we should probably discuss what this bill has been doing for over a decade…The bill, most notably eliminates the ‘Full Faith and Credit’ clause from the issue of gay marriages and even, to an extent, civil unions. The text of the bill’s major platform states:
“No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship”
In 1996, this meant that even if any state proposed the idea of civil unions, it still wouldn’t have to be recognized because at that time, it was “treated as a marriage”. The bill further actively defines marriage and a spousal relationship as between a man and a woman, which is where, among other things, a major problem arises. For the last several years, this clause has denied the spousal partners of federal employees from receiving health and insurance benefits if they did not fall under the “man/wife” definition of marriage. [Read more...]