Ayotte Doesn’t Want More Laws | Nel’s New Day

Ayotte Doesn’t Want More Laws | Nel’s New Day.

In the past, feminists have had discussions about whether it is against feminism to oppose women who are against feminist policy. There are some out there who think that a feminist approach is to support any woman in leadership—let’s say Sarah Palin—no matter how much they want to destroy the rights of women.

I’m one of those feminists who think that support should go to those who want to create equality between males and females. That means that I don’t support Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). The country has been in a buzz after she was the first senator north of Virginia to vote against background checks. But that’s not my gripe today although I haven’t forgiven her vote on that issue either.

With women making 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, some Congressional lawmakers support the an equal pay act that would try to rectify this inequality. But not Kelly Ayotte. During one of her town hall meetings during this week’s recess, she flatly stated that Congress had done enough for equal pay for the two genders. As everyone who dodges voting yes on laws, she used the tired excuse that government just needs to enforce existing laws.

A member of the audience asked Ayotte the following:

“My grandmother, who was an extremely intelligent woman, trained many, many men who then became her boss, and so on and so forth. [She] never received a pension, never, um, was really paid what she was worth. And I was disappointed that you voted against the Equal Pay Act, but maybe there was something in the bill that you thought would be detrimental to the economy or whatever. But I was curious if you could explain your philosophy about equal pay and how, maybe, you could suggest something that we could all agree upon so that women would stop making 75 cents for every dollar a man makes …”

Ayotte answered:

“We have existing laws — Title VII, um, Lilly Ledbetter, all those existing protections in place — that, I believe, enforce and provide that people doing equal jobs are, certainly in this country, should receive equal pay. So, uh, that bill, in my view, didn’t add — in fact I think it created a lot of additional burdens that would have been hard, um, to make it more difficult for job creators to create jobs… The reason that I voted against that specific bill is that, I looked at it, and there were already existing laws that need to be enforced and can be enforced and I didn’t feel like adding that layer was going to help us better get at the equal pay issue.”

Ayotte ignored the fact that the pay gap exists because lawmakers are trying to close it. It is true that the pay gap narrowed after the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but progress on the pay gap stalled in the 1990s. It’s been almost flat since then.

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The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was necessary because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that removed earlier protections in connection with pay inequity. It’s different from the Paycheck Fairness Act. Ayotte didn’t address the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would definitely not “make it more difficult for job creators to create jobs,” as she suggests.

Because employers can avoid liability under the Equal Pay Act, there is a need to ensure that employers’ pay decisions have legitimate reasons to pay one employee more than another, such as “education, training, or experience,” instead of arbitrary justification. The Act also forbids employers from retaliation against employees who try to find out how their pay compares to wages that their colleagues get.

Ayotte supported employers’ rights to not have rational reasons for paying female workers less. She gave employers the right to retaliate against employees who try to find out if they are being fairly treated.

Ayotte is still struggling with justifying her vote against a background check for people buying guns. The Manchin-Toomey background check proposal would not have created a national firearms registry. It actually would have strengthened current law barring the creation of any such registry and stiffened penalties against any official who violated or tried to violate the prohibition. But Ayotte seems to know as little about the bill she voted against as she does about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This is the reason that she gave for voting against background checks:

“I will tell you in terms of a universal background check, as it’s been framed, I have a lot of concerns about that leading to a registry that will lead to a privacy situation for lawful firearms owners.”

New Hampshire voters are not happy with Ayotte. When a man in a town hall meeting asked her why she voted against background checks, several of the 250 people in the audience applauded.

In Arizona, Sen. Jeff Flake (R) is still struggling with the response to his voting against the background check. First, he said the polls went down after his vote because of the polls were wrong, and then the next day he said that he just looked like “pond scum.” Yesterday on an interview on KJZZ radio, he switched back to blaming the polls for making him look unpopular:

“There was a famous PPP poll just a couple of days ago that — the five Republicans who voted against this, you know, supposedly our poll number have dropped dramatically. And I’ve no doubt they have because of the way the poll is structured. It said, I believe, ‘Do you believe that Jeff Flake voted against background checks?’ Now somebody who got that poll could just as easily assume that I voted to repeal current background checks. And so background checks are popular, but I believe that people recognize that universal background checks, that’s a little more difficult thing to define.”

He tried the optimistic approach when he said, “I think in the end, people understand that you’re there, you read the legislation, you try to make the situation better.”

For the record, the PPP poll asked, “Does Jeff Flake’s vote against requiring background checks make you more or less likely to support him for re-election, or does it not make a difference?” Nineteen percent of respondents answered “more likely,” 52 percent said “less likely” and 24 percent said “no difference.”

So Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) think that we don’t need to make any laws about guns because criminals won’t respect them, and Ayotte thinks that we already have enough laws to protect people in guns and fair pay. They should give their salary (equal between the males and females) back to the government and go back to their home states. They should let people who want to legislate laws stay in Washington to do that.

http://nelsnewday.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/ayotte-doesnt-want-more-laws/

Obama Administration Plan B Appeal Draws Criticism From Reproductive Rights Groups

Obama Administration Plan B Appeal Draws Criticism From Reproductive Rights Groups.

MEXICO CITY — President Barack Obama said Thursday he was comfortable with his administration’s decision to allow over-the-counter purchases of a morning-after pill for anyone 15 and older.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday had lowered the age at which people can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription to 15 – younger than the current limit of 17. The FDA decided that the pill could be sold on drugstore shelves near condoms, instead of locked behind pharmacy counters.

Obama, speaking at a news conference while in Mexico, said the FDA’s decision was based on “solid scientific evidence.”

What’s still unclear is whether the administration will prevail on its appeal of a court order that would lift all age limits on purchasers of the pill.

That decision to appeal set off a storm of criticism from reproductive rights groups, who denounced it as politically motivated and a step backward for women’s health.

“We are profoundly disappointed. This appeal takes away the promise of all women having timely access to emergency contraception,” Susannah Baruch, Interim President & CEO of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, said in a statement late Wednesday.

“It is especially troubling in light of the Food and Drug Administration’s move yesterday to continue age restrictions and ID requirements, despite a court order to make emergency contraception accessible for women of all ages. Both announcements, particularly in tandem, highlight the administration’s corner-cutting on women’s health,” Baruch said. “It’s a sad day for women’s health when politics prevails.”

After the appeal was announced late Wednesday, Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, said, “The prevention of unwanted pregnancy, particularly in adolescents, should not be obstructed by politicians.” She called it a “step backwards for women’s health.”

Last week, O’Neill noted, Obama was applauded when he addressed members of Planned Parenthood and spoke of the organization’s “core principle” that women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their health.

“President Obama should practice what he preaches,” O’Neill said.

In appealing the ruling Wednesday, the administration recommitted itself to a position Obama took during his re-election campaign that younger teens shouldn’t have unabated access to emergency contraceptives, despite the insistence by physicians groups and much of his Democratic base that the pill should be readily available.

The Justice Department’s appeal responded to an order by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in New York that would allow girls and women of any age to buy not only Plan B but its cheaper generic competition as easily as they can buy aspirin. Korman gave the FDA 30 days to comply, and the Monday deadline was approaching.

In its filing, the Justice Department said Korman exceeded his authority and that his decision should be suspended while that appeal is under way, meaning only Plan B One-Step would appear on drugstore shelves until the case is finally settled. If Korman’s order isn’t suspended during the appeals process, the result would be “substantial market confusion, harming FDA’s and the public’s interest” as drugstores receive conflicting orders about who’s allowed to buy what, the Justice Department concluded.

Reluctant to get drawn into a messy second-term spat over social issues, White House officials insisted Wednesday that both the FDA and the Justice Department were acting independently of the White House in deciding how to proceed. But the decision to appeal was certain to irk abortion-rights advocates who say they can’t understand why a Democratic president is siding with social conservatives in favor of limiting women’s reproductive choices.

Current and former White House aides said Obama’s approach to the issue has been heavily influenced by his experience as the father of two school-age daughters. Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have also questioned whether there’s enough data available to show the morning-after pill is safe and appropriate for younger girls, even though physicians groups insist that it is.

Rather than take matters into his own hands, the Justice Department argued to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Korman should have ordered the FDA to reconsider its options for regulating emergency contraception. The court cannot overturn the rules and processes that federal agencies must follow “by instead mandating a particular substantive outcome,” the appeal stated.

Social conservatives were outraged by the FDA’s move to lower the age limits for Plan B – as well as the possibility that Korman’s ruling might take effect and lift age restrictions altogether.

“This decision undermines the right of parents to make important health decisions for their young daughters,” said Anna Higgins of the Family Research Council.

If a woman already is pregnant, the morning-after pill has no effect. It prevents ovulation or fertilization of an egg. According to the medical definition, pregnancy doesn’t begin until a fertilized egg implants itself into the wall of the uterus. Still, some critics say Plan B is the equivalent of an abortion pill because it may also be able to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus, a contention that many scientists – and Korman, in his ruling – said has been discredited.

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Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard, Josh Lederman and Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/obama-plan-b_n_3199874.html?ir=Politics&utm_campaign=050213&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-politics&utm_content=FullStory

NOW to President Obama: Penny Pritzker Appointment is Good, But Still Not Good Enough; More Women Should be in the Cabinet

NOW to President Obama: Penny Pritzker Appointment is Good, But Still Not Good Enough; More Women Should be in the Cabinet.

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

May 2, 2013

With President Obama’s appointment of Penny Pritzker to be Secretary of Commerce, his second-term roster of cabinet secretaries is nearly complete. NOW has done the math, and the numbers are good, but not great. The Obama cabinet is only about one-third women. With women making up 51% of the American population, President Obama’s cabinet should accurately reflect this and be one-half women.

NOW is particularly concerned that the main group of advisors who have the president’s ear not just on occasion, but three, four, five times a day, is still overwhelmingly male. Without a critical mass of women in his inner circle, the president is less likely to hear dissenting voices on urgent questions that disproportionately impact women more than any other group — such as chained CPI, a so-called grand bargain on the federal budget.

Last November, President Obama ran for re-election pursuing the women’s vote, and women decisively helped deliver him the White House, with 55% of women voting for the president. We now call on the president to listen to the voices that re-elected him and allow more women to have increased influence in his administration.

http://www.now.org/press/05-13/05-02.html

NOW Congratulates Rhode Island for Embracing Marriage Equality

NOW Congratulates Rhode Island for Embracing Marriage Equality.

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

May 2, 2013

NOW congratulates Rhode Island on becoming the tenth state to embrace marriage equality. With Governor Chafee’s signature, all Rhode Islanders will have access to the same marriage rights.

Rhode Island NOW has been a longtime coalition partner and we are thrilled that their participation has resulted in one more step along the journey to full marriage equality in the U.S.

This month may well go down in history as a landmark period for marriage equality in the United States. Momentum continues to build in a number of states, including Delaware and Illinois. The Illinois House of Representatives is poised to pass the marriage equality bill it is currently considering. Delaware may, next week, become the eleventh state to pass a marriage equality bill. NOW urges the Illinois House of Representatives and the Delaware Senate to pass these bills.

In Colorado, a civil union law went into effect yesterday. While this is a step forward, civil unions do not offer the same legal protections as marriage. NOW leaders and activists will continue to work with our allies in Colorado to enact full marriage equality.

We know we will win this battle — state by state and, eventually, at the national level — for marriage equality. The tide is turning in our favor; a majority of Americans believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Change has occurred thanks to those activists — including NOW members — willing to knock on doors, sign petitions and vote their consciences. We will not stop until marriage equality is a reality throughout the United States.

http://now.org/press/05-13/05-02c.html