Federal Appeals Court Considers Incarcerated Womenís Right to Abortion
The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit heard arguments Monday on the whether the state of Missouri can deny incarcerated women access to a timely and safe abortion. The Reproductive Freedom Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is arguing the class-action case, which began when Missouri prison officials denied a woman prisoner abortion care in 2005. Prior to that, the Missouri Department of Corrections had provided transportation for women seeking an abortion. They amended their policy to do so if a womenís health or life were in danger.
After the ACLU took on the womanís case, a district court judge ordered the state to transport her to an abortion clinic. The state appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which affirmed the lower courtís ruling. In 2006 the district court ruled that women prisoners maintain their constitutional right to abortion and that prison officials must provide access to the procedure. Missouriís attorney general appealed this decision, resulting in the case coming before the appeals court.
"Missouri has long provided women prisoners with all other pregnancy-related health care," said Brenda Jones, the executive director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri. "A woman does not give up her right to have an abortion any more than she gives up her right to have a child just because she is incarcerated."
According to the Associated Press, Missouri has transported three women inmates to obtain an abortion in the last year. Between July 2006 and July 2007, 52 female prisoners from just one womenís prison delivered babies at area hospitals.
While a ruling could take months, Talcott Camp, Deputy Director of the ALCUís Reproductive Freedom Project said in a phone interview that "we are optimistic that the court will affirm incarcerated womenís rights."
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .