Tens of thousands of people marched on Washington over the weekend in the largest demonstration on climate change in the history of the United States.
More than 50,000 people marched through the streets and demonstrated on the National Mall as part of the "Forward on Climate Change" rally organized by the Sierra Club and 350.org. While protesters chanted and held signs denouncing fracking and calling for other environmental reforms, the majority of the protest focused on the transcontinental Keystone XL Pipeline, which seeks to create a 1,700 mile long pipeline taking tar-sand from Alberta, Canada, and pumping it to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Keystone XL is a dirty and dangerous pipeline. It's literally going to cut our country in half, carrying a very dangerous fuel, and it will cause runaway climate change," Maura Cowley of the Energy Action Coalition said to demonstrators. "Young people across the country are the same generation that elected Barack Obama twice now, and we really want to see him reject the Keystone XL pipeline."
Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club shared similar sentiments. "President Obama holds in his hand a pen and the power to deliver on his promise of hope for our children. Today, we are asking him to use that pen to [sic] reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and ensure that this dirty, dangerous, export pipeline will never be built," he said. Brune was arrested last week in a protest in front of the White House against the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Media Resources: CNN 2/17/2013; Huffington Post 2/17/2013; Toronto Star 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. . . .