12 Texas Abortion Clinics Close As Appeals Court Upholds TRAP Law
A federal appeals court of three judges granted the Texas Attorney General's request yesterday to reinstate restrictions on abortion providers after a federal district court had blocked the implementation of the restrictions earlier this week. Proponents of abortion rights will appeal the decision either to a full Court of Appeals En Banc or to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, some 12 Texas clinics that cannot meet the unnecessary requirement of the doctor having admitting privileges at a nearby hospital will close today.
Clinics, because of the intense harassment of their doctors, have been forced to have doctors travel a distance to the clinic. These long-distance doctors generally do not have local admitting privileges which are unnecessary because in the rare case of an emergency the local hospital would have to admit the patient.
"The immediate impact will be felt by low-income women who will not only lose services to abortion but also to birth control, STI testing, and cancer screening as these clinics close," said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. The closest facility for some Texas women will be three to four hours, especially in the southwestern part of the state.
This is a "deeply disturbing court decision tonight that will hurt a lot of women -- this fight [is] far from over," Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, wrote on her Twitter account last night.
While the appeals court left in place Yeakel's decision on medical abortion, it disagreed with the hospital admitting privileges decision. The appeals court claims that the ruling overlooked the interests of the state in regulating the medical profession, and that the US Supreme Court has held that having "the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate a law that serves a valid purpose," reports NPR .
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 9/5/13, 10/3/13, 10/29/13; NPR 10/31/13
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. . . .