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  • ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

    Filed at 6:15 pm under by dcobranchi

    It’s been a good 24 hours for women:

    President Barack Obama issued an executive order today that repealed the Global Gag Rule.

    This executive order will have a monumental impact by saving the life, health, and suffering of literally millions of women worldwide yearly. In part because of restricted access to reproductive health services caused by the Global Gag Rule, more than 70,000 women annually die from unsafe abortions worldwide and the incidence of HIV/AIDS is skyrocketing.

    The Global Gag Rule prohibited family planning programs in other nations that receive US aid from using non-US monies for abortion counseling, advocacy, and referrals. The rule was instituted by President Reagan in 1984, was repealed by President Clinton, and was reinstituted by President George W. Bush.

    The Global Gag Rule inhibited women worldwide from access to gynecological exams, AIDS prevention and treatment, and contraceptive options. It also halted shipment of condoms and contraceptives to more than 20 countries.

    The Feminist Majority has been working with the Obama/Biden transition team on women’s policy changes and is overjoyed with this victory for our sisters worldwide.

    For Women’s Lives,

    Eleanor Smeal
    President

    And this:

    Tonight the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by a bipartisan vote of 61 to 36, vindicating Lilly Ledbetter’s long search for redress after 19 years of pay discrimination.

    “This is an important first step in our efforts to undo years of backsliding on the right to be paid a fair and equitable wage,” said National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy. “The Ledbetter bill will allow redress for workers with the energy and willpower to seek redress in the courts, but we have a long way to go before we have fair pay for women, and laws with real teeth.”

    While it is too late for her to receive the compensation she deserved from Goodyear and was denied by the Supreme Court, Lilly’s determined quest for equal rights for women in the workplace led to today’s Senate passage of the legislation introduced in her name. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation next week after an expected concurrence from the House.

    The Ledbetter Act, which was blocked in the Republican-led Senate last year, will essentially reverse the 2007 Supreme Court decision that required workers to file charges on a pay discrimination claim within six months after receiving their first discriminatory paycheck. The Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber, which reversed the jury’s compensation award to Ledbetter, essentially gave employers the go-ahead to discriminate in pay, as long as they weren’t caught in the first six months after the onset of their illegal actions.

    Earlier this month the House passed the Ledbetter Act with a companion bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes that allow employers to pay men and women discriminatorily and provides consequences for that discrimination. The Senate today acted only on the Ledbetter Act, so work on passage of the companion bill begins tomorrow.

    But tonight NOW salutes Lilly Ledbetter and promises to continue working for passage of fair pay legislation with real teeth, so that her long journey through the courts and the halls of Congress will not have been in vain, and all workers will be able enjoy a fair, safe and equitable workplace where they can do their jobs and support their families.

    That bipartisan vote was just barely. Every Democrat (save the ailing Ted Kennedy) voted in favor. All of the GOP men voted against. All 5 of the Republican women voted “aye.” Hmmm.

    3 Responses to “ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES”


    Comment by
    Anonymous
    January 23rd, 2009
    at 6:36 pm

    “(Side note: One of the things the Rude Pundit’s been loving about these first few days of the Obama presidency is how the President is saying, “F*** you” to everyone who talked about how hard it would be to do the things that he’s doing, how, if he saw what the Bush people saw, he’d change his mind. Nope. Full speed ahead.)”

    That’s from the Rude Pundit today — rudepu...t.com/. My *s, not his. He is rude, after all. 🙂

    But it just captures the whole feeling of the joy that comes from seeing someone actually do the right things. Sooner rather than later.

    And I heard a snippet of a quote that came out of the meeting today that Obama had with Congressmen about the financial rescue plan. The bit I heard was: “Because we won.”

    Majority Whip Clyburn explained that Obama listened to other ideas about taxes, acknowledged they had some good points but then said the people voted for his plan.

    How lovely.

    Nance


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    January 23rd, 2009
    at 6:38 pm

    I don’t know why I showed up as Anon. That was me. 🙂

    Nance


    Comment by
    Jane
    January 26th, 2009
    at 2:09 pm

    Arlen Spector (Male, PA) also voted for the Ledbetter Act. Credit where due …