27 October 2011

Fighting Anti-Choice Legislation In Mississippi

This year, women across the nation have experienced a record number of attacks on their health. In the first six months alone, states enacted 162 new pieces of legislation related to reproductive health and rights, 49% of which specifically restrict access to abortion.

One of the most frightening tactics is the so-called “personhood” constitutional amendment, which grants a fertilized egg all the rights of a person. Unsuccessful in their attempts to ban abortion using this strategy in other states, anti-choice zealots have honed in on Mississippi, where the amendment will be put before voters on Nov. 8.

Not only would this extreme legislation ban abortions –without exceptions for rape, incest or the life or health of the mother – but it also would have broad medical and legal consequences. An article in today’s New York Times asked, “Could a woman taking a morning-after pill be charged with murder?” In fact, Initiative 26 (as it’s called in Mississippi) could ban access to common forms of birth control, as well as in-vitro fertilization, creating a murky legal scenario for women.

Mississippians for Healthy Families, a Ms. Foundation partner, has spearheaded the opposition to this dangerous attack on women’s health. With campaign offices in Oxford, Jackson, Hattiesburg and Gulfport, they’re mobilizing pro-women volunteers across the state in a strategic grassroots effort to defeat this legislation.

You can help, too! Visit http://www.votenoon26.org/get-involved to find out how you can donate, volunteer or join the social media movement against Initiative 26.

13 October 2011

Anika Rahman honored by the South Asian community

We are so pleased to announce that this week Ms. Foundation President and CEO Anika Rahman will be honored by two different organizations representing New York's South Asian community.

Tonight Anika will be honored at the fifth annual South Asian Bar Association of New York's Leadership Gala (SABANY), where she will receive the Legal Trailblazer Award. SABANY is an organization dedicated to representing the legal rights of New York's South Asian community, while also offering mentorship, leadership and training opportunities for South Asian individuals in the legal professions.

Anika will be honored alongside some fantastic professionals -- including Gitanjali Gutierrez, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights, Indrani Franchini Chief Compliance Counsel, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Global Pharmaceuticals Pfizer Inc., and Jayant W. Tambe, Partner and Practice Leader Financial Institutions Litigation and Regulation, Jones Day -- who have taken their skills and knowledge of the law into diverse and exciting fields.

Tomorrow night Anika will honored by South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) -- a social justice organization committed to helping South Asian youth realize their fullest potential -- at their annual gala "Celebrating 15 Years of Transforming Lives." Here again she will stand beside two amazing honorees, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan His Excellency Shaukat Aziz, and President of the Cooper Union Dr. Jamshed Bharucha.

Anika's South Asian cultural heritage and background has uniquely informed her life, career and beliefs. The understanding that inequities don't just face women in the global world but are viscerally present for many women right here in the United States, has led Anika to the Ms. Foundation for Women and redoubled her commitment "to advancing the solutions of women in the United States – especially those from the most marginalized communities – to problems that they – and our country – face."

Anika is so pleased to be recognized by both SABANY and SAYA and is happy to accept these gracious tributes on behalf of women across the U.S. of South Asian descent; on behalf of immigrant women, women of color and low-income women across the nation; and on behalf of all women throughout the world struggling to live lives free from inequity and discrimination.