Focus 54: A Republican Conference on Women

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RMC Remembers Senator Jim Jeffords (VT)

Senator James L Jeffords, the gentleman from Vermont who rocked the political world on May 24, 2001 when he announced that he was leaving the Republican Party to be an Independent, passed away yesterday at the age of 80 at a military retirement home in Washington, DC.

With a political career that spanned more than 30 years, Jeffords was long considered an effective leader who worked hard to bridge the partisan gap and put solutions before politics. Jeffords served seven terms in the House of Representatives and three terms in the US Senate.  

During his career Jeffords championed public education, the environment, aid for the disabled, gay rights and family planning rights. He was a strong supporter of the work of the Republican Majority for Choice and in turn was supported by its Federal PAC. A true believer in personal responsibility and individual freedom, Senator Jeffords supported Title X funding, and consistently opposed medically unnecessary restrictions on reproductive health clinics. As the Wall Street Journal wrote, Jeffords was ahead of his time. “He was what we used to call a Rockefeller Republican, socially and culturally liberal and concerned about funding for education and the arts, environmental protection and programs for the poor. He believed government had a role to play in improving the lives of Americans but he was also fiscally responsible and favored balanced budgets…” 

The funeral for Senator Jeffords will take place on Friday, August 22nd at the Grace Congregational United Church of Christ in Rutland, Vermont. 

Hot News Stories (8/19/14)

The Hill (Washington, DC)
Nearly 7 out of 10 registered voters oppose government restrictions on abortion, according to a new poll from NARAL Pro-Choice America, a prominent pro-abortion rights group.

Kansas City Star (Kansas City, KS)
The Lawrence, Kansas school district will use national sexuality education standards rather than state standards this year, saying the national standards are more comprehensive than state standards approved by the State Board of Education in 2006.

RH Reality Check (USA)
Starting next year, at least two universities in California will deny faculty, staff, and administrators seeking abortions coverage of the procedure, unless California state officials decide that the move violates state law.

Hot News Stories (8/18/14)

The Hill (Washington, DC)
Republicans want to beat Democrats at their own game this November by proposing a new way to widen access to birth control. GOP candidates around the country are saying they want to make the pill available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription for the first time since it was approved in 1960.

Jackson Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS)
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report this month that shows the U.S. birth rate among unmarried women, including teen moms, “has declined steadily since its peak in 2007-2008,” leading to many questions about the causes of this change.

Bloomberg Business (New York, NY)
Fertility rates can be affected by lots of variables, including the effectiveness of contraception and women’s access to it, as well as the state of the economy and perceived opportunity. And then there’s MTV.

Hot News Stories (8/14/14)

The Hill (Washington, DC)
This week, U.S. experts from the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective will testify before the United Nations’ Committee to End Racial Discrimination in Geneva, sharing a report that describes the experiences of American women of color and immigrant women who pay with their health and even their lives for the race and gender discrimination that tirelessly persists in our health system.

New York Times (New York, NY)
Mississippi is asking a federal appeals court to uphold an anti-choice state law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to obtain privileges to admit patients to local hospitals. Such laws have targeted family planning clinics for closures. Only one remains open in the state.

Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME)
Anti-choice activists won their fight to have the city of Portland, Maine lift its 39-foot no-protest zone around a family planning clinic that provides abortions, but several who sued the city over the buffer say that is not enough and want a federal court to award them money in “damages.”

Austin News (Austin, TX)
Legal teams on both sides of the abortion issue made their closing arguments Wednesday in the latest legal battle over abortion. “There’s no purpose in enacting a requirement like this other than to eliminate safe and legal abortion services from Texas,” Stephanie Toti, an attorney representing the Center for Reproductive Rights, said.

Hot News Stories (8/13/14)

Washington Post (Washington, DC)
Colorado’s teen birth rate plummeted 40 percent between 2009 and 2013. The state attributes three-quarters of the overall decline in the Colorado teen birthrate to a program increasing access to contraceptives across the state and said its success had a ripple effect.

RH Reality Check (USA)
At an abortion clinic protester training at the Texas state capitol last week, anti-choice leaders told their trainees to write down the license plate numbers of abortion-providing doctors and abortion-seeking patients, so that they could track which doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals and which patients did or did not ultimately choose abortion.

Cincinnati News (Cincinnati, OH)
The decision to try to close an Ohio clinic that performs abortions was “unreasonable” and “politically motivated,” its attorneys argued in a Tuesday court document, so the clinic should be allowed to stay open.


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