In a milestone for women's health, Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Jim Greenwood (R-PA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Nancy Johnson (R-CT) introduced today the "Putting Prevention First Act of 2004." This legislation seeks to guarantee women greater control over their lives and bodies by expanding access to preventive health services and education programs that reduce unintended pregnancy, infection with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the need for abortion.
Across the country, thousands of immigrant students graduating from high school this year face deportation instead of college. No matter how hard they work, no matter what their academic achievements, for these students, the American Dream ends at graduation. There is a ray of hope – federal legislation known as the DREAM Act will allow immigrant students to attend college or serve in the military as a pathway to citizenship.
A bill creating a costly tax credit for private school tuition vouchers has passed the state Senate and is soon expected to go before the Iowa House of Representatives. Senate File 2295 will allow individual tax credits for donations to non-profit organizations, which would then be responsible for directing the funds. There is no cap on the amount of money that can be diverted away from state coffers to subsidize private schools.
On March 29, Massachusetts lawmakers gave preliminary approval to a state constitutional amendment that would ban marriage but allow civil unions that give same-sex couples the same rights under state law as married couples. In order to be ratified, the constitutional amendment would have to be approved by the legislature again next year and then go before the voters for final approval.
The United States Senate’s passage of the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” (H.R. 1997) erodes the foundation of Roe v. Wade and threatens a woman’s constitutionally protected privacy rights. The legislation is a backdoor attempt by anti-choice members of Congress to roll back reproductive choice by creating a separate criminal offense for causing the death or injury of a zygote, embryo or fetus in any state of development. The legislation is now headed straight to President Bush’s desk, where his record and public comments indicate he will sign the bill, once again undermining women’s reproductive rights and advancing his personal anti-choice agenda.
U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige, speaking in Wisconsin last Friday, reaffirmed the Bush Administration’s belief that private schools receiving public dollars should not be held accountable to taxpayers. People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) President Ralph G. Neas termed the remarks “stunning.”