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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....

8/27/2015 - Los Angeles Mayor Announces Model Gender Equity Directive
On Women's Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities....

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....

8/25/2015 - Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage
Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms. The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action....

8/24/2015 - Ohio Bill Would Ban Abortion Due to Down Syndrome Diagnosis
In the latest attempt to restrict abortion access, legislators in Ohio are proposing a bill that would prohibit doctors from performing an abortion because of a fetal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. The measure, HB 135, would make it a felony to perform or induce an abortion for a pregnant person who is seeking an abortion because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome in the fetus. Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich has supported various anti-abortion legislation since his election in 2010....

8/24/2015 - Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Overtime, Minimum Wage for Home-Care Workers
A federal appeals court decision on Friday could mean big things for caretakers, workers' rights groups, and labor unions across the country.` The appeals court ruled on Friday to reinstate Obama administration regulations that ensure overtime and minimum wage protections for home care workers who aid the elderly and disabled persons in the United States....

8/21/2015 - Two Women Graduate from Army Ranger School, Making History
Two women are making military history this week as the first women to graduate from Army Ranger School. Capt....

8/20/2015 - Research Shows the Cost of Unsafe Abortions in Developing Countries
New research shows that inadequate access to safe and legal abortion worldwide causes up to 7 million women in developing countries to be treated for complications from unsafe abortions. The Guttmacher Institute data was collected by Susheela Singh and Isaac Maddow-Zimet and shows that an estimated 6.9 million women in developing regions worldwide were treated for medical complications resulting from unsafe abortions in 2012....

8/19/2015 - Threat to Kansas Abortion Clinic Quickly Resolved
A bomb squad was summoned to the South Wind Women's Center in Wichita, Kansas, yesterday after a man attempted to bring an improvised explosive device into the clinic. The 20-year-old Moises Trevizo was at the South Wind clinic for an interview for a job with the clinic when security searched his backpack, finding several knives and a bottle filled with gun powder and a fuse....

8/18/2015 - White House Hires First Openly Transgender Official
Raffi Freedman-Gurspan has made history as the first openly transgender person to serve as an official in the White House. President Barack Obama appointed Freedman-Gurspan as the outreach and recruitment director for the White House Office of Presidential Personnel this morning, thrilling LGBT advocates across the country. Freedman-Gurspan previously served in trans advocacy as policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) on their Racial and Economic Justice Initiative, and has been noted for her leadership and commitment to trans activism. "President Obama has long said he wants his administration to look like the American people....

8/18/2015 - The Feminist Majority Foundation Remembers Julian Bond
The Feminist Majority Foundation and activists across the country are mourning the loss of Julian Bond....

8/17/2015 - Four States Have Now Defunded Planned Parenthood
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) has moved to remove state funding from Planned Parenthood, bringing the number of states to cut funding from the family planning and women's health center to four. Alabama and Louisiana ended their contracts with Planned Parenthood earlier this month, and Utah cut funding on Friday in response to accusations that the organization illegally profits from selling fetal tissue....

8/17/2015 - Amnesty Votes on Policy to Decriminalize Sex Work, Sparks Feminist Debate
Amnesty International adopted a resolution last week at an International Council Meeting allowing for the development of a policy supporting the decriminalization of sex work....

8/14/2015 - Texas Woman Files Complaint After Officer Forcibly Searches her Vagina
An African American woman in Texas says an officer sexually assaulted her when the officer searched her vagina for marijuana outside a Texaco gas station after a traffic stop last month. 21-year-old Charnesia Corley was pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign on June 21st, whereupon the Harris County deputy said he smelled marijuana....

8/13/2015 - US Government Warns Southern States Against Defunding Planned Parenthood
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a US federal agency, warned of the negative impact of defunding Planned Parenthood this month, a spokesperson for parent agency the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports. The Center purportedly spoke with officials from Alabama and Louisiana, two states moving to take away funding from Planned Parenthood clinics, warning the officials that doing so "may illegally restrict beneficiary access to services." State Medicaid programs are federally mandated to cover family planning services for anyone of child-bearing age....

8/12/2015 - Obama Takes Step for Paid Sick Leave
President Obama's Administration drafted an executive order to expand paid sick leave for all federal contractors and their subcontractors last week. The order would also allow for federally contracted employees to take up to seven days of time off per year in paid sick days or to care for sick relatives, potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers. In January President Obama announced his intention to move in such a direction, promising to sign a memorandum, "directing agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for parents with a new child," and to grant up to seven paid sick days to federal workers....

8/11/2015 - Oklahoma Court Blocks Medication Abortion Restriction
An Oklahoma law restricting access to medication abortions was blocked by a County District Judge, who ruled the state law unconstitutional yesterday. HB 2684 was signed into law by Republican Governor Mary Fallin last year, prohibiting off-label use of the drug mifipristone....

8/10/2015 - Target to Stop Gender-Based Toy Signage
Target announced on Friday that it will be discontinuing the practice of dividing toy sections into "boys" and "girls" toys, instead calling these sections "kids." Target will also stop separating other children's items, such as bedding, into gendered categories. The push for this move has largely come from frustrated customers who want to see the store represent the many varying interests of their children....

8/10/2015 - NYC Police Officers Win Big in Pregnancy Discrimination Case
Pregnant police officers in New York City will now face one less barrier to career advancement after a new policy announcement by the city's Department of Citywide Administrative Services. The change was made in response to a case brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by Legal Momentum on behalf of NYC Officer Akema Thompson who was denied the opportunity to take a promotional examination....

8/7/2015 - Sandra Bland's Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Sandra Bland's mother filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday claiming that Bland should never have been arrested and blaming Texas officials for her death. Bland is the 28-year-old African American woman who died in police custody last month....

8/6/2015 - Federal Judge Extends Restraining Order Against Anti-Abortion Extremists
A federal judge in California has extended a temporary restraining order against an anti-abortion group calling itself the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) as well as Biomax Procurement Services LLC, CMP leader David Daleiden, and Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and CMP board member. The restraining order, issued at the request of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) prohibits these groups and individuals from releasing any videos, documents, or other confidential information obtained from NAF Annual Meetings, including the dates and locations of future meetings. District Judge William H....

8/6/2015 - Federal Court Blocks Strict Texas Voter ID Law
In a victory for Texas voters the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling blocking a restrictive Texas voter ID law as a violation of the Voting Rights Act. In October 2014, US District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos issued a 143-page order striking down the Texas voter ID law, which was the strictest in the country and required voters to present one of only six state-approved photo IDs before being able to vote....

8/5/2015 - Netflix Employees Now Have Access to One Year of Paid Maternity or Paternity Leave
Netflix announced yesterday that it will now be offering all employees a year of paid maternity or paternity leave. The online movie and television show streaming platform says that all employees will continue to receive their regular pay for up to a year after the birth or adoption of a child....

8/5/2015 - This Year's Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice is Centered Around Its Intersection with Economic Justice
This week is the 6th annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice, hosted by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health....

8/4/2015 - Senate Democrats Protect Funding for Planned Parenthood
Yesterday, Senate Democrats blocked legislation introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) that would have stripped all federal funding from Planned Parenthood. Senate Bill 1881 would have slashed $528 million in federal funds from Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides sexual and reproductive health care to millions of women and men each year. To advance, the bill required 60 votes in its favor....