South Dakota Attorney General Appeals Abortion Ruling
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley (R) is appealing a US District Court decision striking down two of three provisions of a 2005 state informed consent abortion law. In August US District Judge Karen Schreier upheld the law's requirement that physicians tell women abortion "terminates the life of a whole, separate unique living human being." However, she overturned the requirements that physicians inform women that they have a "legally protected relationship" with the fetus and that the procedure increases the risk of suicide, reports the National Partnership for Women and Families. Judge Schreier noted the lack of evidence supporting the idea that abortion increases suicide risk.
Attorney General Jackley seeks to have the two overturned provisions heard on appeal by the full court of appeals instead of a three-judge panel, reports the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Two crisis pregnancy centers in the state, the Alpha Center in Sioux Falls and the Black Hills Crisis Pregnancy Center in Rapid City, are also appealing the overturned provisions, according to the Associated Press.
After the informed consent law was passed in 2005, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota filed suit against it and Judge Schreier issued a temporary injunction to block enforcement of the law, ruling that "the informed-consent provisions of the statute are unconstitutional compelled speech rather than reasonable regulations of the medical profession." The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled this decision in 2008.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 9/22/09; Sioux Falls Argus Leader 9/17/09; Associated Press 9/18/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/21/09
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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. . . .