Federal Appeals Court Considers Incarcerated Women�s 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 women�s health or life were in danger. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
After the ACLU took on the woman�s 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 court�s 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. Missouri�s 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 women�s prison delivered babies at area hospitals.
While a ruling could take months, Talcott Camp, Deputy Director of the ALCU�s Reproductive Freedom Project said in a phone interview that "we are optimistic that the court will affirm incarcerated women�s rights."
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. . . .