Report Shows Over 50 Abortion Clinics Across US Have Closed Since 2010
The Huffington Post published a report today detailing the decline of abortion access since 2010. States where lawmakers have enacted large cuts to family planning funding and laws regulating abortion clinics, such as Texas and Arizona, have seen the highest number of clinic closings.
When clinics close, women face tangible consequences. Women living in rural areas, for example, must travel long distances to obtain family planning or abortion services. Adding to that burden, 26 states require that women wait at least 24 hours after a consultation to have an abortion procedure, which means they may have to stay in the area overnight or travel there a second time. Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws have also resulted in widespread clinic losses; the provisions often force clinics to fulfill unnecessary requirements, such as making their halls a certain width, or face being closed by the state. In reality, abortion clinics are already heavily regulated and safe.
"These restrictions have an uneven impact," state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, Elizabeth Nash, said in a statement. "Women who have resources, have a car, have some money in the bank, can access childcare and take time off work can obtain an abortion, and women who are less well-off and don't have those kinds of resources are not able to access abortion services."
Media Resources: The Huffington Post 8/26/2013; The Daily Beast 1/22/2013; Feminist Newswire 8/21/2013
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .