On Monday, a Texas judge denied Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary restraining order against enforcing a new measure that prevents the organization from receiving state funding for cancer screenings and well-woman visits. A hearing in a lawsuit regarding the funding restrictions is scheduled for mid-January. As a result, almost 50,000 poor women in Texas will be forced to find new doctors or pay for services at Planned Parenthood out of pocket.
The judge allowed the new law restructuring the Women's Health Program to go into effect Tuesday. The new guidelines prevent organizations affiliated with abortion providers from receiving state funding as part of the Women's Health Program. Planned Parenthood has filed several lawsuits trying to have their well-woman funding from the program reinstated.
Ken S. Lambrecht, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told reporters "It is shocking that once again Texas officials are letting politics jeopardize health care access for women. ...This case isn't about Planned Parenthood -- it's about women like Marcy Balquinta who rely on us for basic, preventive health care."
Media Resources: CNN 1/1/2013; New York Daily News 1/1/2013; Houston Chronicle 12/31/2012; Feminist Newswire 11/2/2012
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .