The DA Global Women’s Caucus mobilized for reproductive justice and freedom on October 2nd
along with thousands of women worldwide.
Don’t let the Supreme Court overturn Roe. We must fight for our rights!!
The October 2nd Reproductive Freedom marches were a huge success.
These are two great articles from Ms Magazine with pictures from the Marches (to which we have added our own UK WC pictures)
And read about the powerful Congressional testimony here:
GWC WHPA Week
The dual assault from the Texas State legislature and the Supreme Court on women’s rights, our physical and mental health, and bodily autonomy cannot go unanswered. We must contest SB 8 which prohibites abortion after 6 weeks, before most women know they are pregnant. The Supreme Court’s refusal to block this law signals that we can no longer depend on the Supreme Court or any courts to protect our rights.
The only way to protect our reproductive rights is to ensure that the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) of 2021 is enacted as law. It comes up for a vote in the House on September 20th. We must put pressure on our Congressional representatives to vote YES on WHPA! Therefore, the GWC is kicking off WHPA Week campaign today!
Calls to Action
We are asking Democrats Abroad to do two things:
- Call and/or email your reps the week of September 13th-20th
- Participate in a Tweet storm on September 20th at 9am EST/2pm BST
- Call Script: I am an American residing abroad and a voting constituent from [your state]. I am calling on [NAME OF MEMBER] to vote in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. This Act is vital as it will protect women and their reproductive health. It will legalize, on a Federal level, abortion as essential to women’s healthcare. Passing WHPA will effectively overrule all of the heinous anti-choice State laws and any negative SCOTUS ruling on Roe v Wade. Because we have a majority of Supreme Court justices who reportedly do not support a women’s right to have an abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, it important to act now. Without that essential protection we will continue to see a stripping of access to abortion and reproductive health care in Republican-controlled states. [NAME OF MEMBER] has the power to continue to create progress in our country for ALL. Be on the right side of history.
(If your Representative has cosponsored WHPA, you can also thank the office for their support of this legislation.)
- Twitter Message: Please tweet storm in solidarity with the GWC on September 20th at 9am EST/2pm BST using the following messages, hashtags and graphics. Tag your representatives to get their attention.
- Our civil liberties and reproductive rights continue to be threatened every day. Get your #BansOffOurBodies. Pass the #WHPA now. #ActForAbortionAccess, vote yes and protect #RoevWade! #defendabortion
- Each day that the #WomensHealthProtectionAct is not passed, people seeking abortion care are losing their constitutional rights as established by Roe v Wade all over the U.S. We must urge our Congress to take action now and pass #WHPA. #BansOffOurBodies
- Dear [@Senator or Representative’s Social Media Handle], listen to your voters and pass the #WomensHealthProtectionAct!
Follow the Global Women’s Caucus for more WHPA Week content:
Salli Swartz published SCOPE AND CONTENT OF THE TEXAS ANTI ABORTION LAW in Reproductive Justice 2021-09-09 07:06:17 -0400
What can we do to stop the anti-choice legislation which is getting worse and worse?
We can assure that the Women’s Health Protection Act is enacted.
Nancy Pelosi is bringing it to a vote on Sept 20th in the House and we need your help to call your reps in the House to assure its passage.
Here is the link to the House Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
For more information see https://actforwomen.org/the-womens-health-protection-act/
And here is a webinar for more detailed analysis:
Why WHPA? Why Now?
Tuesday, Sept. 14
Join us for a deeper dive into what is the Women's Health Protection Act and how it will help us safeguard the right to abortion by preventing heinous bills like Texas's SB-8 from becoming law. Note: There will be information shared about Texas's SB-8
We need all the help we can get and now is the time to ACT
Does this mean some hope? Will it change anything in Texas? Unlikely. But the Women’s Health Protection Act could reverse all of his nasty State legislation.
Call your reps to urge them to vote yes on September 20th when Pelosi is bringing it to a vote in the House.
Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Regarding Texas SB8
The U.S. Department of Justice today issued the following statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland regarding Texas SB8:
“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act, 18 U.S.C. § 248.
“The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services. It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services. The department has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now.
“The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities.
“We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act.”
Salli Swartz published Fight Reproductive Justice Disinformation in Reproductive Justice 2021-07-13 03:06:48 -0400
Anti-choice advocates are notorious for spreading disinformation designed to stigmatize and restrict access to abortion. In general, audiences should be wary of anti-choice activists using anecdotal, rather than scientific, evidence to support their claims. It’s also important to take their so-called scientific arguments with a grain of salt. If an argument sounds counterintuitive or wildly exaggerated, it’s probably not true. Read more to find out how to fight reproductive justice disinformation.
Salli Swartz published REPRESSION OF VOTING RIGHTS LINKED TO ANTI CHOICERS in Reproductive Justice 2021-07-11 08:19:17 -0400
REPRESSION OF VOTING RIGHTS LINKED TO ANTI CHOICERS
Article in Ms Magazine
In the first four months of 2021, Republican lawmakers introduced over 360 bills to restrict voting rights and 536 bills to restrict abortion rights. (READ MORE).
Salli Swartz published Medical Abortions: We need FDA Approval in Reproductive Justice 2021-06-24 18:57:11 -0400
From Ms Magazine
Last month, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would undertake a review of longstanding restrictions on the medication mifepristone used for miscarriage and abortion care. The announcement followed an FDA decision in April to lift in-person dispensing requirements on mifepristone for the duration of the pandemic.
While many advocates celebrated these long-awaited and hard-fought-for achievements, others cautioned that lifting the FDA restrictions would not guarantee telemedicine abortion access for people in many states.
The reason is that 19 states require the clinician providing a medication abortion to be physically present when the medication is administered, thereby prohibiting the use of telemedicine to prescribe medication for abortion remotely. Even if the FDA restrictions were to be lifted, these state-level bans would still block telemedicine access to medication abortion in these states.
However, lifting federal restrictions on mifepristone is a key step toward challenging state telemedicine abortion bans. The FDA approved mifepristone for use in the U.S. in 2000, but due to intense anti-abortion pressure, the agency tightly restricted the medication under a drug safety program now called the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy or REMS.
Help support our struggle for legalizing abortion across the USA
Join us at a special webinar to discuss the status of abortion in the United States with NARAL on July 9 at 11 am EST/17h CET. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88433625688
And join the Reproductive Justice Action Team: send Salli Swartz an email at [email protected]
Salli Swartz published Support Women's Health Protection Act in Reproductive Justice 2021-06-22 05:19:36 -0400
ATTENTION ALL WOMEN: YOU CAN SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE BY SUPPORTING THE WOMEN’S HEALTH PROTECTION ACT-
READ BELOW AND SIGN ON!!
The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) has been introduced in the Senate (as Bill S.1975) and the House (as Bill H.R. 3755). The WHPA’s purpose is to promote access to abortion and to permit health care professionals to provide abortion services without restrictions that single out abortion as compared to other medical procedures that are similar in terms of risk and complexity. Specifically, the WHPA protects the right to an abortion before fetal viability for any reason, and the right to an abortion after fetal viability if continuing the pregnancy would pose a risk to the patient’s life or health (as judged by the treating health care provider). The WHPA also prohibits a number of requirements and limitations that interfere with the provision of abortion services, such as:
- a requirement to perform medically unnecessary tests or procedures, or provide medically inaccurate information
- a limitation on prescribing or dispensing drugs (other than limitations generally applicable to the medical profession)
- a requirement about the infrastructure, equipment, or staffing of a facility providing abortion services that is not imposed on facilities providing medically comparable services
- a requirement for medically unnecessary in-person visits before the abortion
- a requirement that the patient disclose why she is seeking the abortion
- other requirements that single out abortion services – or the health care professionals who provide them – and impede access to those services.
The Findings and Purpose section of the WHPA explains how access to reproductive health care “has always been deficient in the United States for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color,” and also how “abortion-specific restrictions are a tool of gender oppression.”
In 2021 we have seen states introduce huge numbers of anti-choice bills, many containing exactly the type of restrictions listed above. With this surge of anti-choice state legislation, as well as the upcoming Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it is more important than ever to have the right to abortion protected in a federal statute
Supporting the WHPA is consistent with this portion of the Democrats Abroad 2020 Platform: “Democrats Abroad is committed to protecting and advancing sexual and reproductive-health rights and justice in the United States. We believe unequivocally that every human being living in the United States should have access to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including…safe and legal abortions…”
Bill status (as of June 20, 2021):
Senate: The bill has 47 cosponsors and is currently in committee (Committee on the Judiciary)
House: The bill has 182 cosponsors and is currently in committee (Committee on Energy and Commerce)
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP
Contact your senators and representative:
I am writing to urge you to support [if to Senator: Bill S. 1975] [if to Representative: Bill H.R. 3755], the Women’s Health Protection Act. Our right to abortion services, and the ability of health care professionals to provide these vital services, is under attack from all angles. The Act would ensure that states cannot ban pre-viability abortions or impose medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion services.
I believe that every person should have access to reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. I agree wholeheartedly with the Act’s remark that access to abortion, which is essential health care, is “central to people’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States.” It is crucial that we have a federal law protecting this right against anti-choice efforts at the state level.
Thank you for your attention to this important health care issue.
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Help Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus fight for our democracy in 2021 and beyond.
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Salli Swartz published Anti Choice Tsunami Continues... in Reproductive Justice 2021-06-06 02:34:27 -0400
to help lobby against Anti Abortion legislation
The time is now, and all it takes is one click on the NARAL Newsletter below
No need to give any money
No need to write anything
JOIN US AND NARAL in fighting against the Tsunami of legislation against women and our rights!
+ Pennsylvania House representatives introduce three anti-abortion bills, but Governor Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) is expected to veto any anti-abortion legislation. One piece of legislation called the “fetal remains bill” made waves on Twitter, because the bill requires pregnant individuals to provide funeral services for a miscarriage or an abortion. State Rep. Dan Frankel (D) criticized the bill in a statement:
+ On Wednesday June 3 , abortion rights advocates filed a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’s near total abortion ban. The new law would take place on July 28 and bans all abortions except to save the life of the mother. “Arkansas’ anti-abortion politicians know that Roe v. Wade and Casey is still the law of the land, but they passed this abortion ban anyway, which triggers a direct challenge to Roe,” said Meagan Burrows, staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.
+ A federal court of appeals on Wednesday June 3 heard arguments in Tennessee anti-abortion case. The bill in question would require pregnant individuals to make two trips to the abortion clinic—one for counseling and the other for the abortion 48 hours later. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Bernard Freidman found the two-day waiting period could create logistical problems for abortion clinics and might force a woman to delay her abortion for weeks. Amber Katz, a Tennessee attorney, also made the argument that a large portion of women seeking abortions are low-income and two trips might become burdensome.
+ Texas joins the growing list of states that have expanded Medicaid postpartum coverage. The bill extends Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 6 months. But health experts suggest that is not enough time to address all the health-related complications that may arise in postpartum women. In April, Illinois became the first state to extend postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months.
Join us to fight the good fight [email protected]
Click the link below for an informative article in The New Yorker explaining why the Supreme Court accepted to hear the case on the Mississippi anti abortion law.Please join us to fight this fight: [email protected]
On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced the Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act to direct the State Department to permanently include reviews on the status of sexual and reproductive rights in its annual human rights reports. The act has 144 co-sponsors.See this great article just published in Ms Magazine which describes the Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act. See also a short description of the Abortion is Healthcare Everywhere Act.Yes, we are fighting back!! Join the Global Women’s Caucus Reproductive Justice Action Team: [email protected]
UPDATE ON ROE vs WADE
This is the case that may slay Roe vs Wade
Court to weigh in on Mississippi abortion ban intended to challenge Roe v. Wade
The Supreme Court on Monday set the stage for a major ruling next year on abortion – one that could upend the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the court ruled that the Constitution protects the right to have an abortion before a fetus becomes viable. The court granted review in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that (with limited exceptions) bars abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
The decision to review the Mississippi law comes nearly a year after the court struck down a Louisiana law that required doctors who perform abortions to have the right to admit patients at a nearby hospital. In that case, five justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, relied on Casey in ruling that the Louisiana law imposed an undue burden on the right to obtain a pre-viability abortion. But the make-up of the Supreme Court has changed since the ruling in the Louisiana case last June: One of the justices in the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a staunch supporter of abortion rights, died in September and was replaced by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, whose personal opposition to abortion drew criticism from Democrats at her confirmation hearing.
When the Mississippi legislature passed the law at the heart of the case in 2018, Jackson Women’s Health Organization – the only licensed abortion provider in the state – went to court to challenge the law’s constitutionality and block the state from enforcing it. A federal district court agreed with the clinic, reasoning that the Supreme Court’s cases do not allow states to ban abortions before a fetus becomes viable, which occurs at around 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld that decision, rejecting Mississippi’s argument that the Supreme Court’s cases required the district court to determine instead whether the law creates a “substantial obstacle” for a person seeking an abortion before the fetus becomes viable. There is no substantial obstacle, the state suggested, because a patient could decide to have an abortion before reaching the 15th week. But the Mississippi law is not merely a restriction on the availability of pre-viability abortions, the court of appeals stressed; it is a ban on pre-viability abortions. The law prohibits all abortions after 15 weeks except in cases of health emergencies or fetal abnormalities.
The state went to the Supreme Court last summer, asking the justices to rule on whether all bans on pre-viability abortions are unconstitutional. The state also asked the justices to weigh in on two related questions: whether courts should consider a state’s interests – such as protecting the health of a mother – when reviewing the constitutionality of laws that restrict pre-viability abortions, and whether abortion providers have a legal right to challenge laws that ban or restrict abortions on behalf of their patients.
The clinic urged the Supreme Court to stay out of the dispute, stressing that the Supreme Court has long held that the Constitution protects the right to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus becomes viable. The court should deny review of the question whether abortion providers have a right to sue, the clinic added, because Mississippi “waived this challenge — it was not raised below and the State, in fact, conceded jurisdiction and does so again in its petition.”
The justices repeatedly rescheduled the case – that is, put off considering it at their private conference – before finally considering the state’s petition for review for the first time at their Jan. 8, 2021, conference. The justices then considered the petition 12 more times before announcing on Monday that they would take up the first question presented in the state’s petition: whether all pre-viability bans on elective abortions violate the Constitution.
The case will be heard in the fall, after the justices return from their summer recess. It joins New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett, another high-profile case already on the court’s docket for next term, involving gun rights. Before they leave for their summer recess, the court could add a third hot-button issue to its plate for the 2021-22 term: They are likely to decide at one of their conferences in late June whether to review a challenge to Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy.
ANTI ABORTION ALERT ANTI ABORTION ALERT
The following is an edited excerpt from the Hill.
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up a dispute over a Mississippi law that bans virtually all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, potentially setting the 6-3 conservative majority court on a collision course with the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
The move was announced in an unsigned order, with the justices indicating the dispute would be limited to the major issue of the constitutionality of pre-viability restrictions on elective abortions.
The case was brought on appeal by Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R) after a federal appeals court sided with challengers to the state’s restriction.
The Supreme Court has undergone a dramatic conservative shift since last year when Mississippi first asked the justices to take up its appeal.
At least four justices must agree to hear a case for an appeal to be granted.
Abortion rights advocates expressed concern over Monday’s development.
“Alarm bells are ringing loudly about the threat to reproductive rights,” Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “The Supreme Court just agreed to review an abortion ban that unquestionably violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent and is a test case to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
The Mississippi law is among hundreds of abortion restrictions that have been introduced recently in state legislatures across the country. In 2021 alone, more than 500 abortion restrictions, including nearly 150 abortion bans, were introduced in 46 states, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Of those, just over 60 measures have been enacted.
The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) hailed the Supreme Court’s move on Monday as a chance to give states more latitude.
“This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions,” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.
Mississippi’s appeal comes after losing two rounds in the lower courts. In 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit held that the state’s restriction placed an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy before viability.
“In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion cases have established (and affirmed, and re-affirmed) a woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability,” reads the opinion of a three-judge panel. “States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not impose an undue burden on the woman’s right, but they may not ban abortions.”
PLEASE JOIN OUR ACTION TEAM TO COMBAT THE EROSION AND ATTACK ON OUR RIGHTS
Send an email to [email protected]
Salli Swartz published Women Beware Our Rights Are Gone We Need to Fight in Reproductive Justice 2021-05-03 04:12:36 -0400
OUR RIGHTS ARE GONE
WE NEED TO FIGHT
JOIN THE GWC REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE ACTION TEAM
On April 26,2021 Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt signed three anti-abortion bills into law, making abortion in Oklahoma nearly impossible to access.
HB 2441 is a “heartbeat” bill, which prohibits abortion once a “fetal heartbeat” has been detected. It only makes exceptions for cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Any provider who performs an abortion after a “fetal heartbeat” is detected would be charged with homicide. This measure essentially outlaws abortion after 6 weeks, often before the person is even aware of the pregnancy.
HB 1102 classifies the performance of an abortion as “unprofessional conduct” and revokes the medical license of any provider who performs an abortion for any reason other than to save the life of the pregnant person.
HB 1904 requires all abortion providers in the state to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. All three are set to take effect November 1of this year.
Together the three pieces of legislation make receiving an abortion in the state of Oklahoma almost impossible. The legislation will face legal challenges in court, most likely preventing it from taking effect in November.
Anti-abortion state legislators across the country have been ramping up the passage of similar bills in dozens of states. Anti-abortion advocates hope that the bills will form the basis of a legal challenge that will work its way to the now majority conservative Supreme Court and will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. According to a report from Planned Parenthood that was released in March, 516 abortion restrictions have been introduced this year versus 304 in 2019.
Salli Swartz published What Other Countries Are Doing for Women and Abortion in Reproductive Justice 2021-03-09 02:15:52 -0500
If it’s good for the UK it’s good for the United States!!
Make home abortion permanently legal, English doctors say as published by the Times in February, 2021.
English doctors are calling for home medical abortions to be made permanently legal as figures show that allowing women to take pills in private without visiting a clinic cuts waiting times.
Temporary legislation was introduced at the beginning of the pandemic to allow women easier access to medical termination in their homes via phone and video consultations.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is among many organizations calling on the government to make the law permanent after the largest study of UK abortion care found it to be safe and effective.
Researchers studied more than 50,000 early medical abortions in England, Scotland and Wales between January and June last year, before and after the telemedicine service began.
Like in some States in the United States, before the pandemic, women had to attend an appointment to get an ultrasound scan and take medication within the clinic. Under the new system, consultations take place by phone or video, and medication can be taken at home if the pregnancy is ten weeks or less. This is NOT the case in many U.S. States where the Supreme Court judged recently that women have to go personally to the pharmacy to pick up the abortion pill.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International) and the National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service said that 80% of the women in the study had said telemedicine was their preferred option.
Dr. Abigail Aiken, associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas and lead author, said: “We found that 98.8% of women were able to end their pregnancies without any further intervention and less than 0.05% experienced a serious complication. The outcomes for the traditional in-person model were almost exactly the same.”
Waiting times between consultation and treatment were cut from 10.7 days to 6.5 days and women received care much earlier in their pregnancy, according to the paper published in the BMJ.
There were no cases of significant infection requiring hospital admission or major surgery; no deaths occurred from early medical abortions at home.
Professor Dame Lesley Regan, chairwoman of the royal college’s abortion taskforce, said: “This study proves there is no medical reason not to make the current telemedicine service permanent.” She rejected arguments that changing abortion laws would lead to more women choosing to have one. She added: “Every day scores of desperate pregnant women put themselves in extreme danger by undergoing illegal and unsafe abortion.”
Join the Reproductive Justice Action Team of the DA Global Women’s Caucus.
American women have been trying for almost a century to assure that they are accorded the same rights as men by inscribing such equal rights in our Constitution. And for close to 100 years, we have failed due to the refusal and fear of American men to legalize equality for over half of the population. That this is occurring in the richest Democratic country in the world makes me ashamed to be an American. We must continue our fight to get our equality enshrined in our Constitution so we can all be proud of freedom and equality for ALL! Salli Swartz - Living in France, Voting in PA
Salli Swartz published Anti Choice Legislation: 2021 IS GOING TO BE A BATTLE YEAR in Reproductive Justice 2021-03-05 09:37:54 -0500
Anti Choice Legislation: 2021 IS GOING TO BE A BATTLE YEAR
This is based on a Ms Magazine article which itself is drawn from information on the the Guttmacher Institute website : https://www.guttmacher.org/)
State lawmakers are facing multiple challenges in 2021: COVID 19, economy, racism, gerrymandering, voting restrictions, and healthcare to name a few. But despite all of these challenges, legislators have also made time to focus on restricting abortion rights. In the first two months of the year, eight abortion restrictions and bans have been enacted:Read more
Former Co Chair, Global WomensCaucus , former Counsel, Democrats Abroad France, former Vice Chair, Democrats Abroad France, Voting Representative France, Global Women&amp;#39;s Caucus Steering Team, Chair Reproductive Rights Task Force
International business lawyer practicing in France since 1979 specialied in international transactions and arbitration. Pro bono work in East and West Africa advising Governments on the negotiation of long term natural resource contracts, women's rights a