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."
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. . . .