NV Judge Rewrites Personhood Initiative to Include Possible Effects
District Judge James Wilson Jr. ruled that a fetal personhood ballot initiative in Nevada, which proposes to give constitutional rights to a fertilized egg, is misleading and fails to provide an explanation of its effects on voters, as required by Nevada law. Judge Wilson ruled that the Nevada Prolife Coalition, which filed the initiative, must indicate on the ballot initiative that it "will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to utilize some forms of birth control, including the 'pill'; and to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will affect embryonic stem cell research, which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, and others."
In order for the initiative to appear on the Nevada ballot next year, the Nevada Prolife Coalition must collect 72,352 signatures by June. Elisa Cafferata, president and CEO of Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates, stated, "Nevadans deserve to know that this initiative seeks to outlaw women's health services like abortion, the birth control pill and treatment for complicated pregnancies, just to name a few. Nearly 20 years ago Nevada voters affirmed the tenets of Roe vs. Wade and a women's right to privacy. Nevadans do not support interfering in women's personal and private decision making."
In November, Mississippi voters defeated the Personhood Amendment by a vote of 58% to 42% with 96 percent of precincts reporting. Anti-abortion and anti-birth control extremists have indicated that they intend to put a similar measure on six state ballots in 2012. So far, reproductive rights supporters have defeated anti-choice state ballot measures in South Dakota, Colorado, and California in 2006 and 2008; in Colorado in 2010, and now Mississippi in 2011.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 12/20/11; Las Vegas Sun 12/19/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/9/11
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. . . .