The Baltimore City Council passed legislation this week, entitled the Limited-Service Pregnancy Centers Disclaimer Bill, that will require crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to disclose that they do not provide information or referrals for certain services. According to NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, the bill "requires Limited Service Pregnancy Centers, also known as Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), to post a sign clearly communicating that the facility does not provide or refer for abortion or birth control services." The vote was the first of three required for the bill to become law.
Today there are an estimated 2,593 CPCs nationwide. Most fake clinics are affiliated with one or more national umbrella organizations. Jenny Blasdell, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, wrote on RH Reality Check: "The measure does not ask CPCs to provide services they find objectionable. It only asks them to be honest and straightforward with the women, so that they know up front whether the facility will suit their needs. Having a more complete picture about the services that are and are not offered will also help provide a context for information they do receive."
This particular legislation only pertains to CPCs in Baltimore City and is the first in the country developed to create a standard requirement for information disclosure.
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 10/7/09; NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland; FeministCampus.org
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. . . .