Category Archives: Women’s Issues

Arizona Supreme Court Upholds 1864 Abortion Ban—But Voters Will Get ‘Ultimate Say’ in November

“Arizona is what happens when abortion policy is, as Donald Trump claims he wishes, left up to the states,” said one columnist.

By Julia Conley. Published 4-9-2024 by Common Dreams.

Pro-choice rally at the Supreme Court, 2019. Photo: jordanuhl7/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Reproductive justice campaigners in Arizona on Tuesday vowed to make sure voters “have the ultimate say” on abortion rights after the state Supreme Court upheld an 1864 ban that includes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

“This is a horrifying ruling that puts the lives and futures of countless Arizonans at risk,” said Leah Greenberg, co-founder of progressive advocacy group Indivisible. “It’s devastating and cruel—and we’re fighting back.”

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Rwandan genocide, 30 years on: Omitting women’s memories encourages incomplete understanding of violence

A father is searching for his missing child using ICRC assistance during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Photo: British Red Cross/flickr/CC

By Anneliese M. Schenk-Day, Ohio State University. Published 4-5-2024 by The Conversation

The eruption of violence that Rwanda experienced beginning on the evening of April 6, 1994, continues to haunt the central African nation 30 years on – it has also changed the country’s gender dynamics.

The genocide resulted in hundreds of thousands of men being killed, with many more fleeing the country or being incarcerated. It left a previously male-centered society with hundreds of thousands of female-headed households. Of course, women were also subjected to the violence itself, with many killed and between 250,000 and 500,000 raped in the three months of genocide.

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Conservative Texas District Court Won’t Implement Anti-Judge Shopping Policy

The chief judge of the Northern District of Texas indicated the court will not follow new guidance, while a lower court judge called out a pro-business group’s use of “judge shopping.”

By Julia Conley. Published 3-31-2024 by Common Dreams

Shopping for judges by right-wing crusaders undermines public trust.. Screenshot: CNN

Right-wing groups will still be able to pick and choose the judges who hear their cases in one of the most conservative federal court districts in the United States, following a decision by the Northern District of Texas on Friday that goes against new anti-“judge shopping” guidance.

Chief U.S. District Judge David Godbey of the Northern District wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that the court would not abide by new guidance from the Judicial Conference, which said earlier this month that the court system should randomly assign lawsuits to any judge throughout the district where they’re filed.

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Legislative inaction and dissatisfaction with one-party control lead to more issues going directly to voters in ballot initiatives, with 60% of them in six states

By Thom Reilly, Arizona State University. Published 3-21-2024 by The Conversation

Photo: Stewart Butterfield/flickr/CC

Recent polls show Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with their system of representative democracy, in which they choose candidates to represent their interests once in office.

When available, voters have bypassed their elected representatives and enacted laws by using direct democracy tools such as ballot initiatives and veto referendums. Ballot initiatives allow citizens or legislatures to propose policies for voter approval, while veto referendums permit challenges to legislative action.

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GOP Leaders Push Judiciary to Ignore Policy Designed to End ‘Judge Shopping’

“Look who just came out and said it: We’re against the fair and impartial administration of justice,” said one civil rights attorney.

BY Julia Conley. Published 3-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at CPAC in 2014. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Republican lawmakers on Thursday signaled they want to stop judges from following a new judicial policy unveiled this week that’s aimed at curbing what one journalist called “one of the most outrageous aspects of the American legal system.”

In a letter to the chief justices of U.S. district courts across the country on a new rule regarding the practice of “judge shopping,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joined Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in advising the judges that “Judicial Conference policy is not legislation.”

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Biden 2025 Budget Would Offer ‘Welcome Relief,’ But Not Enough

One expert said that enacting his reforms “will begin to reverse the 40-year one-way ratchet of falling taxes for the wealthy and corporations and instead invest in workers and families.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 3-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Photto: U.S. Secretary of Defense/flickr/CC

On the heels of delivering the latest State of the Union speech and signing a package of funding bills, U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday unveiled his budget blueprint for fiscal year 2025, a proposal praised by congressional Democrats and progressive advocates who want him to go even further.

The $7.3 trillion budget comes as the divided Congress is still sorting out funding for the current fiscal year. Given those divisions—and that the Republican House majority is already advancing its own budget resolution for the fiscal year that begins in October—the Democratic president’s plan is widely seen as a statement of priorities going into the November election.

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Senate GOP Blocks Effort to Federally Protect IVF Access

“Remember this the next time they claim to care about freedom and family,” said one Democratic lawmaker.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. (Official U.S. Senate photo by Karsyn Meyerson)

Democratic U.S. lawmakers and reproductive rights defenders on Wednesday blasted congressional Republicans and former U.S. President Donald Trump after a GOP senator blocked a bill to protect access to in vitro fertilization a week after Alabama’s right-wing Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) objected to a request to pass by unanimous consent a bill introduced by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to federally protect IVF access, claiming that the bill is “a vast overreach that is full of poison pills that go way too far.”

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Tracking of Planned Parenthood Visits ‘Should Terrify Every Single American’

Sen. Ron Wyden warns that “if a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists” send ads to clinic visitors, “a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Planned Parenthood- Manitowoc, WI. Photo: Michael Steeber/flickr/CC

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and privacy rights advocates this week are sounding the alarm about an anti-abortion group using cellphone location data to send misinformation to people who visited hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

“If a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists target misinformation to people at hundreds of Planned Parenthood locations across the United States, a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail,” Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement Tuesday.

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Yes, Republican states are now starting to emulate the Civil War-era south

The Texas governor rejecting federal immigration laws has echoes of the Confederate states

By Chrissy Stroop. Published 2-1-2024 by openDemocracy

A “border security” rally in Eagle Pass, Texas on February 3, 2024. Screenshot: KENS5

We’re not even a full month into a crucial election year in the United States, and it already feels like the country is coming apart at the seams.

In a standoff that has dragged on for weeks now, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a right-wing Catholic, has refused to allow federal Border Patrol agents to enter a public park along the Rio Grande where refugees and asylum seekers are known to cross. As summarised by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, reporting for CBS: “Federal law requires Border Patrol to process migrants who enter the US illegally to determine whether they should be deported, transferred to another federal agency, sent to a long-term immigration detention centre or released pending a review of their asylum claims.”

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Oregon Supreme Court Bans From Ballot GOP State Lawmakers Who Staged Walkout

“Oregonians deserve legislators who will show up and do their jobs—and when they don’t, there must be consequences,” said one advocacy group.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2–1-2024 by Common Dreams

This photo shows the empty floor of the Oregon State Senate. (Photo: Cacophony/Wikimedia Commons)

Oregon’s Supreme Court on Thursday disqualified 10 state senators from reelection for participating in last year’s Republican-led walkout that paralyzed the Legislature for six weeks, delaying key Democratic bills on abortion, healthcare, and gun control.

The ruling upholds last year’s decision by Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade, a Democrat, barring the 10 lawmakers—nine Republicans and 1 Independent—from the 2024 ballot because they had accumulated more than 10 unexcused absences in violation of Measure 113, a state constitutional amendment approved by 68% of voters in 2022 following a series of Republican walkouts.

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