More from Michigan: Anti-Abortion "Super Bill" Passed
Yesterday the Michigan Senate approved HB 5711, a sweeping package of anti-abortion legislation that will enforce everything from TRAP laws to requiring a risk assessment prior to a procedure. "Super Bill" HB5711 was first proposed in June, and has been in the Senate since August. Yesterday the bill was approved on a vote of 27 to 10, and merely needs to be signed by Governor Rick Snyder to become law.
HB 5711 requires that clinics meet the same standards and regulations as surgical centers and that fetal remains are to be treated the same as a dead human body, including authorization from the local or state registrar before cremation. The bill also requires that doctors provide a written "risk assessment" to patients at least 24 hours before having a procedure and prohibits the use of telemedicine to prescribing abortion-inducing medication. Doctors will also have to certify that a woman is not being coerced into having an abortion by asking probing and invasive questions as a result of HB 5711.
Michigan's state legislature has passed multiple pieces of anti-choice legislation this week while the majority of media attention has been directed towards the right-to-work bill. House Substitute for S.B. 1293 and House Substitute for S.B. 1294 were both approved by the Michigan Senate and House and immediately prevent abortion coverage from being included in any health insurance exchange program as required by the Affordable Care Act. Both of these laws were passed as part of the restructuring of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. These two bills are separate from both approved, which are all pieces of anti-choice insurance legislation passed by the state Senate and sent to the House Insurance Committee. If S.B. 612, 613, and 614 are passed in the House, they will prevent abortion from being a covered procedure under any health insurance policy, and would require women to purchase an additional separate policy purely for abortion coverage.
Media Resources: USA Today 12/13/12; Detroit News 12/12/12; Huffington Post 12/12/12; Feminist Newswire 12/12/12, 12/11/12
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. . . .