Yesterday, thousands of people rallied in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC, in favor of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for those already living inside the United States.
The rally, called Citizenship for 11 Million, drew attendees from across the country to send a message to Congress and the White House that immigration reform must include a path to citizenship for 11 million people who are currently in the country illegally. Attendees held signs in English and Spanish saying "The Time is Now!" as well as shouted chants like "Si se puede!" Others held American flags and flags of their home countries or nationalities.
For many, the rally was personal - directly involving family members. One attendee who held a sign "I am a Deported Man's Wife" told ABC News, "When [my husband's] deportation happened in 2001, people were protesting, but not in the national dialogue the way it is now, so it is deeply emotional for me... I'm not putting any hopes on seeing the reform that I would like, but at least these people are engaged in the dialogue."
Meanwhile, the Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group of eight senators working on immigration, were originally supposed to introduce their legislation this week. However, they announced on Wednesday that the introduction would have to be delayed to make room for the gun control debate. But Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) took the time to speak at the rally. He addressed the crowd, "[Immigration reform] is in the nation's interest, in the economic interests of the United States and in the security interests of the United States."
Media Resources: ABC News 4/10/2013; Los Angeles Times 4/10/2013; Washington Post 4/10/2013
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. . . .