PPFA and ACLU File Lawsuit Against SD Anti-Abortion Law
Attorneys from Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Sioux Falls against a new South Dakota law requiring that women undergo a 72 hour waiting period and mandatory counseling from a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) before obtaining an abortion. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) signed the bill into law in March, and it is scheduled to go into effect July 1.
Planned Parenthood attorney Mimi Liu stated, "The Act has both the purpose and the effect of severely restricting access to health care, and violates patients' and physicians' First Amendment rights against compelled speech and patients' right to privacy in their personal and medical information."
South Dakota is the first state in the country to mandate a 72 hour waiting period, although 25 states currently require a 24 hour waiting period. After the law takes effect, women seeking abortions could have to make multiple trips to South Dakota's only abortion provider in Sioux Falls.
Currently, there are an estimated 3,500 CPCs nationwide, most of which are affiliated with one or more national umbrella organizations. CPCs often pose as comprehensive health centers and offer "free" pregnancy tests. Some CPCs coerce and intimidate women out of considering abortion as an option, and do not offer women neutral or comprehensive medical advice. Often CPCs are run by anti-abortion zealots who are not licensed medical professionals.
Media Resources: Statement of Planned Parenthood Federation of America 5/27/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/24/11
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. . . .