Last week the state of Arizona launched "A Woman's Right to Know," a part of the Arizona Department of Health Services website that is designed to discourage women from having an abortion. The website is part of Arizona's recent legislation to restrict access to abortion 20 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period, or 18 weeks into gestation.
The website provides a misleading list of the potential complications of an abortion procedure, along with detailed drawings of fetal development through an entire pregnancy. The website also provides lists for adoption services and diaper banks. One section of the website addresses risks of childbirth in attempt to provide a different perspective. However, the website lists "death" as a complication of abortion (1 in 11,000 after 21 weeks) and "rarely, death" as a complication of childbirth (1 out of 6,897).
Representative Kimberly Yee (R), who sponsored the legislation, hopes the website will discourage women from seeking an abortion. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, Yee "a staunch foe of all abortions, acknowledged she believes the website will convince some women considering an abortion not to go through with it." Yee proposed the website under the guise of providing women with the information necessary to give "informed consent."
Arizona's ban of abortions 20 weeks after a normal period 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.
Media Resources: Arizona Daily Sun 11/26/12; ThinkProgress 11/26/12; Arizona Department of Health Services "A Woman's Right to Know" 11/26/12; Feminist Newswire 11/5/12; Guttmacher Institute 8/2011
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. . . .