Federal Court's Block on KS Anti- Abortion Law Challenged
On Monday, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists filed an appeal on US District Court Judge Carlos Murguia's decision to block the enforcement of a new Kansas anti-abortion law until the pending lawsuit is decided. The new restrictive legislation governing abortion clinics was signed into law by anti-abortion zealot Governor Sam Brownback (R). The law gives authority to the Department of Health and Environment to stipulate stringent and unnecessary building regulations that can result in closing the clinic if they are not met.
Bonnie Scott Jones, deputy of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), representing the abortion providers in the case, remarked that she "felt confident" the judge's ruling will not be appealed successfully. CRR also questions whether the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists have standing to appeal the ruling since it was not a party in the case. CRR will oppose the group's efforts to intervene in the case.
The new regulations were sent out in mid-June by Brownback's administration to abortion providers, which were then required to comply by July 1. The list of requirements is approximately 36 pages and stipulates hundreds of details including the minimum square footage of janitors' closets and the temperature range for procedure and recovery rooms (68 to 73 degrees and 70 to 75 degrees, respectively).
Media Resources: AP 8/2/11; National Partnership for Women and Families 8/4/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/1/11
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. . . .