Enforcement of an anti-choice Oklahoma law set to take effect on November 1st has been delayed by a temporary restraining order granted Monday. Oklahoma County District Court Judge Twyla Mason Gray's order delays enforcement of the law to December 4th so she can "look further into the case," according to Women's E-News.
The law in question will require doctors to report extensive information about each abortion performed in the state, which will then be published on government websites. The questionnaire will ultimately be posted on the Oklahoma State Department of Health website and includes information as detailed as a woman's reason for an abortion, her age, the date the abortion, and the total number of previous pregnancies.
Though supporters of the law argue that the omission of a woman's name and address preserves her right to privacy, opponents assert that it would be possible to identify a woman from a small town from the information to be published. The law is also the first in the nation to ban sex-selective abortion.
A lawsuit was filed earlier this month by Wanda Stapleton, a former Oklahoma state representative, and Lora Joyce Davis, a resident of Shawnee, Oklahoma. The suit, filed on the plaintiffs' behalf by the Center for Reproductive Rights, alleges that the new law violates the state constitution by covering more than one topic and that it will cause unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars. The Center for Reproductive Rights won a similar lawsuit in Oklahoma in August.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 10/7/09; Women's E-News 10/21/09; Davis v. W.A. Edmondson
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. . . .