Effective December 14th, young women who are seeking legal permanent resident status in the United States will no longer be required to be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). According to the Federal Register, "while HPV may be an age appropriate vaccine for an immigrant applicant, HPV neither causes outbreaks nor is it associated with outbreaks...Further, HPV has not been eliminated, nor is in the process of elimination, in the United States. Therefore, because HPV does not meet the adopted criteria, it will not be a required vaccine for immigrant and adjustment of status to permanent residence applicants."
The requirement was originally implemented in July 2008 and was mandated by the Federal Immigration Authorities. It applied to immigrant women ages 11 to 26 who were seeking permanent resident status. Women's and immigrant rights groups argued that the requirement, which is gender-specific and costly, is discriminatory.
After the announcement Friday, Rocio Cordoba, Executive Director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, said in a statement, "We commend the CDC for recognizing that all women and girls--regardless of their immigration status--must be treated with dignity in the context of any medical procedure, including the HPV vaccine. As reproductive justice advocates, we strive to ensure that women and communities have valuable information, coupled with the resources and power to make well-informed and uncoerced decisions about their bodies."
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice worked in coalition with the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health to work against the requirement. Additionally, more than 140 related organizations signed on to a letter against the requirement sent to Center for Disease Control Director Thomas Friedan, MD.
Media Resources: Federal Register 11/13/09; NAPAWF, NLIRH, and CLRJ Statement 11/13/09; Letter to CDC 8/10/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/1/08
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. . . .