Tag Archives: Women’s Rights
Global Gag Rule Protest

Lifting the “Global Gag Rule” Once and For All

Earlier this month, the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced an effort to repeal the “global gag rule,” which blocks all U.S. foreign aid to international family planning agencies that provide abortions or even mention abortion as an option for clients seeking health care. Formally known as the Mexico City Policy, the global gag rule has vast, harmful effects on women around the world who rely on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for these services. Read more…

Equal Work Deserves Equal Pay

Wage Discrimination Continues to Cast a Shadow

Even in 2015, equal pay for equal work for women is not a reality in the United States and it’s no different for female professional soccer players. The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) only pays its players between $6,000 and $30,000 per year, while Major League Soccer (MLS) players earn a minimum salary of $50,000 per year. These low salaries act as a serious deterrent to players starting the game. Jazmine Reeves, 2014 Rookie of the Year for the NWSL’s Boston Breakers, had to leave the world of professional soccer because she was unable to get by on her $11,000 salary (that’s less than annual earnings on the U.S. minimum wage!).
Read more…

Keep Abortion Safe and Legal

Update on the State(s) of Abortion Access

Over the past year, I’ve followed a slew of state-level abortion laws, which are advancing and passing at alarming rates. In the first half of 2015, states enacted 51 new abortion restrictions, bringing the total number of restrictions passed to 282 in the past five years.

Though legislative activity is generally quiet in the states in July, with most state legislatures having completed their session for the year, it’s still an important time for state-level abortion policy. In many states, the new fiscal year begins July 1, meaning that any new abortion laws—or anti-abortion laws, in most cases—passed in the most recent legislative session were set to take effect earlier this month. Read more…

Employee denied pregnancy accommodations

Continuing the Call for Pregnant Workers’ Rights

In June, we applauded the reintroduction of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, or PWFA (S. 1512/H.R. 2654), which gained bipartisan support for the first time since it was originally introduced in 2012. When the bill was reintroduced in June, only the Senate version of the bill was bipartisan—but now, the House bill is bipartisan as well!

Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO-06) joined the House bill as its first Republican co-sponsor. In the Senate, Senators Ayotte (R-NH) and Heller (R-NV) joined Senators Casey (D-PA) and Shaheen (D-NH) as lead sponsors, helping to lead the way in support of pregnant workers. This bicameral, bipartisan co-sponsorship is significant progress, meaning PWFA has a much stronger chance of moving forward in this Congress. Read more…

Seneca Falls Convention

167 Years Later, Celebrating the Seneca Falls Convention

Today marks a major anniversary for women’s rights: on July 19-20, 1848, advocates for equality for women gathered in Seneca Falls, NY., Event leaders advertised the first women’s rights convention, organized by women, as “a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of Woman.” Today, we celebrate the Seneca Falls Convention as a major milestone for women’s equality, both in its time and as the beginning of the women’s movement, sparking the monumental change that has occurred in the 167 years since. Read more…

pro-choice is pro-life

Her Body, Her Choice: The Fight Continues

By Elise Sugarman

On June 11, Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 1553). This bill places a federal ban on abortions 20 weeks post-fertilization and was passed in the House in May by a vote of 242-184. In the Senate, Senator Graham’s bill currently has 45 co-sponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. With his support, it is possible this bill could be put on the legislative calendar.  Although the composition and rules of the Senate make it unlikely, even if the bill does pass the second chamber, it faces the threat of a veto from President Obama. Read more…

Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Stop Cuts to Family Planning

The past few weeks have brought mixed news in the realm of sexuality education. At the end of June, we wrote about a House sub-committee vote to eliminate programs proven to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy, reduce abortion and save tax dollars in Fiscal Year 2016.

Since then, a Senate sub-committee voted to advance similar cuts, proposing a budget that would significantly cut funding for the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and for Title X family planning centers, while increasing funding for abstinence-only until marriage programs by 300 percent. By gutting funding to family planning services for low-income individuals and undermining evidence-based programs like TPPP, these appropriations bills would leave millions of Americans without information and services to keep themselves safe and healthy. Read more…

Daughters of Zelophehad

Advocacy 101 from the Daughters of Zelophehad

This Shabbat in parashat Pinchas, we read the story of the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1–11). After Zelophehad died, leaving no sons, his five daughters, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah, went before Moses, Eleazer the priest and the Jewish people and advocated for their rights to inherit the land their father left behind. Based on the logic of their argument, and the need for self-subsistence, God instructed Moses to grant the daughters their land, and set the precedence that hence, women ought to inherit their father’s property if there was no other direct kin. Within the patriarchal structures of Biblical-era society, this is an enormous moment for Jewish women’s empowerment, and this story is applicable today. Read more…