Legislatures in SD, UT, WY Consider Abortion-Related Bills
State legislatures in South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming are considering recently introduced measures that would affect state abortion policies. In South Dakota, where an extreme abortion ban was defeated by voters in the November 2006 elections and a similar ban was just introduced last week, the House Health Committee approved on a vote of nine to three a bill that would require a physician to offer a sonogram to any pregnant woman seeking an abortion. If the woman refuses the offer to see a sonogram image, her declination must be documented. The bill was introduced by Representative Roger Hunt (R), the author and sponsor of last year's abortion ban in South Dakota who came under criticism for establishing an organization that accepted a large donation to support the ban, but never disclosed the donor's name.
In Utah, the House Health and Human Services Committee voted 6-2 to approve HB 235, which would ban abortion if Roe v. Wade was overturned. The bill does include exceptions, including to "avert a woman's death" or to "avert a serious risk to a woman of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function." The bill also includes exceptions for rape and incest, as long as the incident is reported to law enforcement before the abortion is performed.
Finally, Wyoming's House voted 32-28 to reject HB 144, known as the "Women's Right to Know" bill, which would have required a 24-hour waiting period and a counseling session for any woman considering abortion. In addition, the bill would have required abortion providers to tell women about alternatives to having an abortion and the potential risks of the procedure, including "increased risks of breast cancer," which has not been proven. NARAL Pro-Choice Wyoming Executive Director Sharon Breitweiser said of the vote, "No, we aren't surprised, we're confident that a majority of the representatives respect the doctor-patient relationship and trust women to make decisions," the AP reports.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .