Proposed Cut Could Eliminate Family Planning Funding
Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced a list of 70 spending cuts to be included in the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution bill, including a $327 million cut in family planning funds. In 2010, $317 million in federal funding was allocated to family planning programs. Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, explained that the Continuing Resolution would eliminate the Title X family planning program, which gives millions of women access to primary and preventive health care, including cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment.
Richards stated, "Under the guise of cutting the budget, the House leadership is launching an all-out assault on women's health. The simple fact is, family planning programs like Title X save money. For every public dollar invested in family planning, taxpayers save nearly $4."
The total amount of the spending cuts in the bill will exceed $74 billion. The bill also includes a proposed $210 million cut in maternal and child health block grants.
Media Resources: Statement of the Committee on Appropriations 2/9/11; Statement of Cecile Richards 2/9/11
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. . . .