Yesterday Governor Bobby Jindal (R) signed a law requiring that clinics providing abortion services post signs indicating that a woman cannot be forced to obtain an abortion and that her partner is legally obligated to pay child support. The signs must also state that services are available to help women during and following their pregnancies and that adoptive parents may be able to offer financial assistance with the pregnancy, regardless of whether or not that statement is true.
Planned Parenthood indicated that it opposes language that "urges (a woman) to consult an independent physician about the risks of abortion to [her] physical and psychological well-being." Planned Parenthood, which does not operate in Louisiana, vocally opposed the law stating that it patronizes women and compromises the doctor-patient relationship.
The law also requires that abortion providers notify women about a biased state Department of Health and Hospitals "abortion alternatives" website that includes information about adoption services, so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which do not offer women neutral or comprehensive medical advice. The website also includes statements about so-called fetal pain, which has been discredited by medical experts
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 7/7/11; New Orleans Times-Picayune 7/6/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/22/11
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. . . .