Court Dismisses Appeal on Mandated Reporting of Underage Sex
A federal appeals court ended former Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline�s quest to require health care providers and counselors to report all adolescent sexual activity, even kissing. Healthcare and counseling professionals, led by the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenged the constitutionality of the policy, and in 2006 a US district judge blocked its enforcement, ruling that it violated teens� right to privacy. Undeterred, Kline appealed. But the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed the appeal this week on the grounds that the state�s new sexual abuse reporting law instituted in January made the case moot because it does not require reporting all adolescent sexual contact. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
The "kiss and tell" policy was "part of a trend by the anti-choice movement to use child-abuse reporting laws to scare adolescents away from reproductive health care," according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. In 2003, as part of his crusade against abortion, Kline issued an interpretation of the state�s child abuse reporting law, claiming that it required abortion clinics to report teen pregnancies as evidence of criminal sexual abuse. He then extended the �kiss and tell� policy to require other health care professionals, teachers, and others to report any evidence of underage sexual activity, the Wichita Eagle reports. During his time as Attorney General, Kline became notorious for bringing charges against Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, which the Kansas Supreme Court dismissed.
"This is a great result for teenagers in Kansas, and for all those who care about protecting teen�s health and well-being," said Bonnie Scott Jones, the lead trial attorney in the case. "Reporting suspected child abuse is one thing. But reporting all intimate conduct between adolescents simply drives a wedge between those young people and the professionals who are there to help them."
Media Resources: The Wichita Eagle 9/19/07, 6/19/03; Center for Reproductive Rights Press Release 9/18/07; Feminist Daily News Wire 2/15/07
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .