The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case that challenges Arizona's ban of abortion at 20 weeks today. The legal issue under consideration is "whether the ban effectively prohibits abortions before viability, which would be barred by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, or is merely a restriction such as others the high court has ruled that states can impose," according to the Associated Press.
The law in question prohibits women from getting an abortion 20 weeks after a woman's last period, which is approximately 18 weeks after fertilization. The definition of medical exception is also narrowed through the law. The law is the most restrictive in the nation. It was challenged in court by three obstetrician-gynecologists from Arizona. After the District Court in Phoenix ruled the law constitutional, the doctors appealed to the 9th Circuit Court.
Other states that have abortion bans starting at 20 weeks are Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Thirty-one other states ban abortion after viability.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 7/13/2012; Wall Street Journal 11/5/2012; Associated Press 11/4/2012
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. . . .