Mississippi Personhood Amendment to Appear on Fall 2011 Ballot
On Tuesday, Hinds County Judge Malcolm Harrison ruled against the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in a case that sought to remove a "Personhood Amendment," an anti-abortion initiative, from ballots next year in Mississippi. The measure "would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word 'person' or 'persons', as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution, to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof."
If the initiative passes, it would not only put a woman's right to an abortion in danger, but also threaten oral and emergency contraception, IUDs, in vitro fertilization clinics, and stem cell research.
According to the Clarion Ledger, 106,325 signatures on the petition supporting the measure were verified by the Secretary of State's office, well beyond the approximately 90,000 signatures required to place the measure on the ballot. However, some Mississippi residents expressed concerns about the initiative appearing on the ballot, claiming that if abortions become illegal, education rates will be negatively impacted. Shelby Raines told News Channel 12 that "there's uneducated people because they didn't have the chance to go to college because they had to be a mother...Others didn't get to finish high school because they had to raise a child."
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .