Federal Judges Rules AZ Defunding of Planned Parenthood Unconstitutional
On Friday, a federal judge overturned an Arizona law that prohibited funds from the state's Medicaid program from going to Planned Parenthood because they are affiliated with abortion providers.
U.S. District Judge Neil Wake wrote in his ruling, "The Arizona Act violates the freedom of choice provision of the Medicaid Act precisely because every Medicaid beneficiary has the right to select any qualified health care provider." He determined that the law blocking funding of Planned Parenthood by saying that any provider that performs abortions cannot be considered a "qualified provider" was an attempt by legislators to defund Planned Parenthood regardless of what funds were used.
Wake issued an injunction against the law in October 2012 while the case was pending. In July 2012, Planned Parenthood sued the state of Arizona in an effort to overturn the law that blocked it from receiving government funds. The law was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in May 2012 and was designed to prevent the allocation of public funds to clinics that also provide abortion in the state. The law would have effectively cut funding for all health services provided by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, impacting the nearly 4,000 women receiving Medicaid-funded health care in the state. Arizona does not currently provide tax dollars for abortion and these funds were all allocated for other health services.
Media Resources: Arizona Daily Star 2/13/2013; Huffington Post 2/11/2013; Reuters 2/11/2013; Feminist Newswire 10/23/2012
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .