Mississippi finally officially ratified the 13th Amendment to the United State Constitution, which banned slavery in 1865.
The state legislature unanimously voted on a resolution to ratify the amendment in 1995 and was the last state to do so. However, the resolution was never filed with the US Archivist in the Office of the Federal Register and therefore was never officially recorded.
The error came to light after University of Mississippi professor Dr. Ranjan Batra researched the 13th Amendment after seeing the film Lincoln. When he realized that Mississippi never officially ratified the amendment, he reached out to fellow Mississippi resident, Ken Sullivan, who was able to connect him to the Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. Hosemann filed the necessary paperwork, and the ratification of the 13th Amendment by Mississippi became official on February 7.
While Mississippi was the last state to formally ratify the 13th Amendment, Mississippi was also the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1984, which granted women the right to vote.
Media Resources: CBS News 2/18/2013; Huffington Post 2/18/2013; Jackson Clarion-Ledger 2/17/2013
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. . . .
8/26/2015 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. . . .