Judge Temporarily Blocks Abortion Law in Wisconsin
A federal judge temporarily blocked the portion of a new Wisconsin abortion law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. U.S. District Judge Conley delayed the law for 10 days, until after another hearing on July 17th.
The law, signed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R), took affect on Monday and includes multiple anti-abortion provisions such as ultrasound requirements before procedures and requiring admitting privileges for abortion providers. The regulations for abortion clinics outlined in the law will decrease access to abortions, closing all clinics in Wisconsin north of Madison, and eliminating access to abortion after 19 weeks throughout the entire state. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services have already filed suit against the new law, which also requires all women to have an ultrasound before receiving an abortion. The Wisconsin Medical Society also opposed the law, which the attorney representing Planned Parenthood used as evidence that the law is not medically necessary to protect women's health.
Judge Conley put a temporary injunction on the admitting privileges portion of the law, arguing that the law would create an undue burden of travel and delay for those women seeking abortions in the week before the next hearing. This next hearing will decide if the law will be enforced or blocked.
Media Resources: Journal Sentinel 7/9/2013; Associated Press 7/8/2013; Reuters 7/8/2013
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. . . .