The act of civil disobedience was organized to demand immigration reform that takes the priorities of women and children into account. According to America's Voice, "Currently, 51% of undocumented immigrants are women, but less than one-third of employment visas are issued to immigrant women each year. Seventy percent of immigrant women therefore enter the US through the family visa system, which is so backlogged that women and children can wait decades to be reunited with their families." Protesters demanded an immigration reform bill that includes a roadmap to citizenship for women and children, keeps families together, protects victims of violence and workplace abuse, protects the health of women and children, and does not focus on enforcement. The bill currently in question has a path to citizenship, but it focuses heavily on increasing enforcement and militarization.
The co-chair of We Belong Together: Women for Common Sense Immigration Reform, Pramila Jayapal, said, "Each one of us here today understands what incredibly high stakes we are talking about--immigration reform is not just a piece of legislation but the ability for us to take care of our families. Women contribute every day to our families, our economy and our country. Immigration reform is about being able to live, breathe free, and remember the values that brought us all here in the first place: democracy, freedom, and justice."
Media Resources: America's Voice 9/12/2013; National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Press Releases 9/12/2013; Feministing 9/12/2013
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. . . .