A fire that occurred late last week at a New Orleans women's clinic appears to be arson. The fire, at Women with a Vision, occurred shortly after the FBI announced it was investigating arson attacks against clinics in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Women with a Vision's executive director, Deon Haywood, told the Times Picayune that several small fires appeared to have been set in four different places in the office, but the damage mostly occurred in one room. She also said that the fire occurred shortly before midnight and no one was injured.
Haywood told reporters, "I feel a great sense of pain and hurt. I feel violated. Our clients are not just numbers. They are family. We take care of one another." In a statement, the group that operates the Women with a Vision said that most of their equipment and resources were destroyed in the fire but vowed to continue their work. They wrote, "This cannot and will not stop us from speaking out for people who do not have a voice."
The National Abortion Federation reports that last year there were 114 attacks against abortion providers, "including three physicals assaults, one bombing, one incident of arson, 27 counts of vandalism and eight burglaries."
Media Resources: ThinkProgress 5/29/12; Care2 5/29/12; Times Picayune 5/28/12; Feminist Daily Newsire 5/25/12
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. . . .