Conservative Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), along with 16 other representatives, have co-sponsored the "Sanctity of Human Life Act," which would give full person rights to a human embryo.
The "Sanctity of Human Life Act" was originally introduced in 2011 by Representative Paul Broun (R-GA). Broun reintroduced the bill early in the new congressional session. The bill establishes that "the life of each human being begins with fertilization, ..., at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood." The bill extends this protection even to any "one-celled human embryo."
Ryan, who as Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential running mate, has a congressional record of supporting anti-women legislation. He co-sponsored a bill that would have defined "forcible rape" with then-Congressman Todd Akin, who destroyed his bid for the U.S. Senate from MO after saying women can avoid pregnancy when it is "legitimate rape." Ryan is also becoming the national champion of personhood legislation, and has been suggested as the keynote speaker for the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List's Campaign for Life Gala.
Personhood legislation has been rejected nationwide by voters and courts alike. In 2011, Mississippi voters defeated a state personhood initiative in a vote of 58% against to 42% in favor. Oklahoma courts rejected a 2012 personhood initiative on the grounds that it interfered with a woman's legal right to have an abortion.
Media Resources: Maddow Blog 1/10/2013; ThinkProgress 1/10/2013; Huffington Post 1/9/2013; GovTrack.Us 1/3/2013; Huffington Post 4/30/2012
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. . . .