When I stumbled into the world of politics and policy after law school I was surprised to see the dearth of women. In particular, there was lack of African American and multiracial women in elected office or even working on the issues that affected women and minorities the most.
When I came to the labor movement it wasn’t just because I had an opportunity to try something different. The appeal was in working with a bottom-up union that allowed me the connectivity to the kind of people I knew best.
I was disheartened by President Obama’s reasoning for why Congress should do great things for women: “We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence.”
If state judicial elections continue to be a big-money game, reproductive health and social justice could lose big.
With the greatest number of women ever in Congress, there is still mathematical reason to debate 2012 as a “Year of the Woman.” The elections have come and gone and men still hold 80 out of 100 (80 percent) seats in the Senate, and 355 of 433 (82 percent) filled seats in the House.
In 2012, political women everywhere “suited up,” joined the game, stepped-up to bat, and hit the ball out of the park. We are now in the major political leagues. (Say, running for U.S. Senate and House seats.) We are in the political rooms. We are at the table in those rooms. Now, the question is: how to run that table?
The use of a government issued ID to suppress the rights of “undesirable” communities is not just limited to voting rights, but is also a barrier for access to over-the-counter emergency contraception.
We can all agree that forcing women to undergo abortions or sterilizations is wrong — but so is forcing women to gestate and give birth to children they don’t want. It’s time we considered both sides of reproductive coercion.
In granting review of Shelby Co. v. Holder the Roberts Court sent signals the Voting Rights Act is in real trouble.
Even with recent gains and electoral wins, there is a concentrated effort to limit women’s access to a full range of reproductive health services, including medical abortion.