The Louisiana State Senate approved a near-total ban on abortion on Wednesday, allowing abortion only to save a woman's life. This ban demonstrates the strong anti-choice politics of the Senate, as there were no arguments against the ban, but only questions of whether to include exceptions for cases of rape and incest. An amendment to include rape and incest exceptions was defeated.
The ban does not punish women directly, but would fine anyone who performs an abortion between $10,000 and $100,000, a jail term of one to ten years, or a combination of a fine and jail time. The ban is a trigger law, meaning it will only go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
The bill will now move to the House of Representatives. Governor Kathleen Blanco has told reporters she would sign “some kind of abortion bill,” reports the Times-Picayune and that she appreciates the trigger law, as it would prevent the kinds of lawsuits that resulted in Louisiana’s previous abortion ban being declared unconstitutional.
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. . . .