Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) vetoed on Monday a measure that would have required doctors to submit information about abortion patients to the state. Late-term abortions are only legal under Kansas law to save the life of a woman or when her health is severely threatened. Some lawmakers want doctors to explain why they perform each late-term procedure, information that would be included in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's annual report. Sebelius, an abortion rights advocate, said that the provision would have violated women's privacy. According to the Kansas City Star, her veto message said, "The questions required by this proviso are open-ended and request detailed information on a patient's medical condition." The Senate was eight votes short of the 27 votes necessary to overturn the veto.
In Oklahoma, Governor Brad Henry (D) allowed a bill to become law yesterday that will limit the abortions that can be performed in public facilities. The law allows abortions to be performed with state money only in cases of rape, incest, or when a woman's health is endangered. It does not permit abortions in cases when the fetus is viable. The Oklahoma State Medical Association, some doctors, and some lawmakers oppose the measure because it will hinder a woman's ability to obtain an abortion if she relies on state-funded health care. It could also interfere with a hospital's ability to teach obstetrics and gynecology, according to the Associated Press. The Senate approved the measure 34-14 and the House supported it by a vote of 77-19. Henry vetoed a similar but more stringent measure last month.
Finally, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (R) yesterday signed the Full Disclosure Ultrasound Act, mandating that all abortion providers offer their patients ultrasounds before performing abortion procedures. Anti-abortion advocates are promoting such bills in many states in hopes that a woman will decide not to have an abortion after viewing the ultrasound. Georgia has been adding restrictions and impediments to abortion access for several years; in 2005, the state passed the Woman's Right to Know Act, which delays an abortion for 24 hours after a woman first requests the procedure.
Media Resources: Pryor Daily Times 5/24/07; Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy 5/23/07; Atlanta Journal-Constitution 5/23/07; Kansas City Star 5/21/07; Associated Press 5/24/07
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .