TN House to Consider Publishing Names of Abortion Providers
The Defense of Life Act, which would require the Tennessee Department of Health to publish the names of doctors who perform abortions and demographic information about women who have the procedure online, is scheduled to be introduced in the Tennessee House Health and Human Resources Committee this week. The bill would also require that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
Opponents of the bill are concerned that, if passed, the bill will disclose the identities of some of the women who have abortions in small, rural communities and intimidate women seeking abortions and the doctors who perform them. Jeff Teague, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, sharply criticized the bill: "In an environment where doctors are victims of violence - and we've had physicians who provide abortion care murdered in the past few years - I think this is an attempt to intimidate and allow for providers to be terrorized."
Representative Gary Odom (D-Nashville) stated, "I think publicizing this information will do nothing but cause serious consequences. This is dangerous. This is a dangerous piece of legislation."
Media Resources: Tennessean.com 3/19/12; Think Progress 3/19/12
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. . . .