New Hampshire Governor John Lynch (D) vetoed a bill on Friday that would have banned late abortions in the state. According to New Hampshire Public Radio, the state Senate passed the bill in an 18 to 5 vote and the House passed it in a 224 to 110 vote. The bill was the only anti-abortion law to be considered by the legislature this session.
In his veto message, Lynch wrote that the bill is unnecessary since a federal law banning late abortions has been in place since 2003, the Nashua Telegraph reports. "I believe the federal law is appropriately more protective of the life of the pregnant woman," Lynch continued. Under the Federal late abortion ban, the procedure is allowed if the woman's life is at risk. The New Hampshire bill would have additionally required two physicians from different hospitals to determine that the woman's life is in danger in order to be exempt from the late ban, according to The Associated Press. "The lapse of time in finding that second physician and obtaining the needed referral could be significant and could result in the death of the pregnant woman," Lynch said on Friday.
New Hampshire House Speaker William O'Brien (R) condemned the veto in a statement, writing, "Overriding this veto will be a priority, and I would hope that all the gubernatorial candidates of both parties will join in our efforts." The House can override the veto with a two-thirds vote and is expected to take up the matter on June 27. According to New Hampshire Public Radio, it is unlikely that the override will get the necessary votes, based on the original 224 to 110 vote in the state House.
Media Resources: New Hampshire Public Radio, 6/15/12; Nashua Telegraph 6/16/12; Associated Press 6/15/12
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. . . .