An abortion ban has been introduced in the Mississippi State Senate. The Mississippi Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare approved Senate Bill 2795, which bans abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or the health of a pregnant woman. The Chairman of the Senate has one week to take action on the bill.
In many ways, the bill is similar to the latest South Dakota abortion ban that was introduced into the South Dakota House of Representatives earlier this week. In 2006, an outright ban that only allowed for abortion to "prevent the death of a woman" was overturned by South Dakota voters in the November election. Recently, a new bill was introduced in South Dakota that provides for more exceptions. The Mississippi law, like the new bill in South Dakota, uses pro-woman language to justify the ban, mentioning "the fundamental rights of the pregnant mother to her relationship with her child" and claiming that "procedures terminating the life of an unborn child impose risks to the life and health of the pregnant woman." Both the Mississippi and South Dakota legislation use the same exact phrase: "An abortion is an unworkable method for a pregnant mother to give up, surrender, or waive her fundamental right to her relationship with her child."
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. . . .