Yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry vowed that he would do everything in his power to end abortion access.
At a press conference by Texas Right to Life, Rick Perry told attendees "Let me be clear, my goal - and the goal of many of those joining me here today - is to make abortion at any stage a thing of the past. But while Roe versus Wade prohibits us from taking that step, it does allow us, the states, to do some things to protect life if they can show there is a compelling state interest. I don't think there's any issue that better fits the definition of a compelling state interest than preventing the suffering of our state's unborn."
While at the press conference, Perry bragged about his previous actions to restrict abortion access, such as defunding Planned Parenthood and requiring mandatory ultrasounds for women who want to have an abortion. He also endorsed legislation that would ban an abortion past 20 weeks into the pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest, though no such legislation has been proposed in Texas yet.
"This session, I'm calling on the legislature to strengthen our ban on the procedure, prohibiting abortion at the point a baby can feel the pain of being killed. We have an obligation to end that kind of cruelty," he said.
Pro-choice activists are already concerned about the implications of Governor Perry's words. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-choice Texas told the Houston Chronicle "This proposed abortion ban is a cruel attempt by anti-choice extremists to curb access to care for women in the most desperate of circumstances." Bebe Anderson, the U.S. legal director for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Huffington Post "There is no denying that Governor Perry and the state legislature's unprecedented and unrelenting assaults on women's reproductive rights in 2011 are causing hardship for women in Texas every single day. And now the governor has made it clear that Texas women will once again be public enemy number one in 2013."
Media Resources: Houston Chronicle 12/11/12; Huffington Post 12/11/12; ThinkProgress 12/11/12; Feminist Newswire 10/26/12, 1/12/12
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. . . .