A man drove his car into the lobby of a women's health center in Davenport, Iowa on Monday, attempting to destroy what he thought was an abortion clinic. David McMenemy, a Detroit native, crashed his car into the Edgerton Women's Health Center, driving into the building's interior. He poured gasoline inside the car, hoping to create a blaze that would create significant damage to the building and kill himself, too, the Detroit Free Press reports. He has been charged with second-degree arson and is being held without bond; according to the Macomb Daily, McMenemy has pled not guilty.
The clinic, which has a large obstetrical program and runs the local Women Infant Child (WIC) program, does not offer abortion services or referrals for women seeking abortions. In his affidavit, McMenemy said he thought the center was an abortion clinic, the Detroit Free Press reports. Police are concerned that McMenemy may be connected with others who frequently commit acts of violence against women's clinics, though no links have been established.
The health center sustained severe damage and will require a week or more before reopening for repairs. The crash occurred in the early morning when the building was vacant; no one was hurt.
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. . . .