Harvey Karman, whose invention led to safer, less painful abortions, died this month of a stroke in Santa Barbara, California. He was 84 years old. In the 1970's, Karman developed the soft, flexible cannula, still widely used in early abortions, that made the procedure faster, safer, and more accessible for women.
Karmen also performed abortions before the procedure was legalized, serving two and a half years in prison as a result, reports UPI.
"Harvey Karman did more for safe abortion around the world than practically any other person in the world. Karman's name is not known, yet his ingenuity and to some extent his courage has made safe abortion available to literally millions of women around the world," said Dr. Malcolm Potts, who accompanied Karman on a humanitarian mission to Bangladesh 35 years ago to aid rape victims, according to the LA Times.
Karman is survived by his four children and six grandchildren.
Media Resources: LA Times 5/18/08; UPI 5/18/08; Indian Express 5/19/08
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. . . .