OH House Launches Attack on Women's Reproductive Rights
Yesterday, the Ohio Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved three extreme anti-abortion bills in what women's reproductive rights advocates are calling "anti-women's day" in Ohio.
The Ohio House voted 54 to 43 along party lines to pass the heartbeat bill, which would ban abortions after the fetal heartbeat is detected, which may be as early as 6 weeks gestation when many women do not even know they are pregnant yet. Representative Connie Pillich (D-OH) stated, "This bill gives the government the ultimate power, the ultimate power to intrude upon the most personal and intimate decisions of our lives, of women's lives, frankly."
According to Reuters, Ohio Right to Life has voiced its concerns about the constitutionality of the bill, which challenges the US Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade giving women the right to obtain an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is typically around 24 weeks. The bill will now go to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is expected to pass, and be signed into law by Republican Governor John Kasich.
The House also voted 64 to 32 on an anti-abortion bill, backed by Ohio Right to Life, that would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless a doctor determines the fetus is not viable. In addition, the House voted 59 to 39 to exclude coverage in private insurance policies for abortion services in the to-be-set-up insurance exchange for the Affordable Care Act, even when people pay for it with their own money. These bills will go to the state Senate, where they are expected to pass.
Media Resources: Reuters 6/28/11; Columbus Dispatch 6/28/11
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. . . .