Connie Saltonstall, a Charlevoix County, Michigan, Commissioner announced yesterday that she will challenge Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) in the Democratic primary. Stupak's restrictive anti-abortion amendment to the Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 2962) has played a key roll in stalling healthcare reform.
According to the Examiner, Saltonstall has voted for Stupak since 1992, but is running against him because his positions on abortion in the healthcare bill "crossed the line." She told the Detroit Free Press, "I believe that he has a right to his personal, religious views, but to deprive his constituents of needed health care reform because of those views is reprehensible."
The restrictive anti-abortion Stupak/Pitts amendment to the Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962) passed by a 240-194 vote of the House of Representatives in December 2009. The amendment, co-sponsored by Bart Stupak (D-MI), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), bans abortion coverage for women in both the public option and private insurance. Under the guise of no federal funding for abortion in so-called keeping with Hyde Amendment restrictions, the Stupak/Pitts Amendment goes way beyond Hyde. This amendment bans abortion coverage even if women pay for it with their own money in the public option or private plans in the insurance exchange.
Media Resources: Detroit Free Press 3/9/10; Examiner 3/9/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/2/09
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. . . .