By Miriam Stiefel, ACLU of Virginia Reproductive Freedom Project Intern What role did concerns over access to abortion have in our recent election? That’s a question generating a lot of discussion around the Commonwealth. We think the answer is clear – politicians who place themselves between a woman and her doctor are out of touch. Our legislators would be wise to notice.
by Joseph Montano, Immigrants’ Rights Coordinator They watched their city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, their family, and their close friends fade away in the rear view mirror of their car; they could only hope that perhaps one day they would be reunited. They boarded a bus bound to Mexico, from which the most difficult part of the journey would take place. Having packed lightly, given the arduous trek between the Mexican-US borders, they took with them only what they could carry.
For months, conservative strategists and pundits have publicly ruminated on the need to turn their focus away from "divisive" social issues — things like the war on women's health that dominated statehouses in 2011 and 2012, when states passed an astounding 135 restrictions on abortion. But if this is the national strategy, word has apparently not yet filtered down to the states just yet. Here's just some of the anti-women's health bills that have been proposed and passed in statehouses over the past week as the war on women continues unabated:
The same week that both President Obama and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators released proposals for comprehensive federal immigration reform, pro-immigrant policies continued to gain traction in the states on issues including tuition equity and driver's licenses for DREAMers. Nearly three years after Arizona passed SB 1070, anti-immigrant forces are clearly finding themselves increasingly isolated at both the state and federal level in 2013:
Virginia's Senate leadership chose the occasion of Martin Luther King Day on Monday to push through a partisan redistricting bill, taking advantage of the absence of a legislator attending President Obama's inauguration. A separate effort in Virginia to change the way the state awards electoral votes in presidential elections ran into bipartisan opposition, even as lawmakers in other states were considering doing the same:
In the furor surrounding the Obama Administration’s decision this month that contraceptive coverage be provided to women by their employer or insurer, the leadership provided by states in the debate about women’s health has often been overlooked. States have been on the forefront of the fight to ensure that women have access to contraceptives, with 28 states having laws on the books requiring access.