Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed on Monday the second anti-abortion bill that was brought before him this month. The bill, passed in the legislature 76-47, would require a doctor to be present during a medication abortion. Under a current program in the state, patients are able to take the medication necessary to induce an abortion with a nurse in the room while a doctor video-conferences.
Governor Dayton said he vetoed the program because it provided an unnecessary regulatory burden. In his veto letter, the governor wrote, "While patient safety should always be our top priority and can be addressed through state-level policy making, a veto is warranted on legislation driven by a specific political ideology rather than a broad-based concern for protecting all patients."
Last week, Governor Dayton vetoed the first of the two abortion bills passed by the legislature. Under that bill, any clinic that performs at least ten abortions a month would have to purchase a license for an annual fee of $3,712. Clinics would also be inspected semiannually by health inspectors. Governor Dayton said he vetoed that bill because "the legislation targets only facilities which provide abortions. If regulation of clinics were the concern, the bill should have required licensure of all clinics, not just a select few."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 4/30/12; Star Tribune 4/30/12; Twin Cities- Pioneer Press 4/30/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/27/12
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. . . .