Extremist Kopp May Be Extradited to Canada to Face Shooting Charges
Anti-abortion extremist James Kopp, who is currently imprisoned for killing an abortion provider near Buffalo, NY, may be extradited to Canada to face more charges. Kopp, who was recently convicted on federal charges for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and is also serving a 25-year-to-life sentence on state charges for murdering Dr. Barnett Slepian, is suspected in the non-fatal shootings of three Canadian abortion providers: Dr. Garson Romalis in Vancouver, Dr. Hugh Short in Ontario, and Dr. Jack Fainman in Winnepeg. All three doctors were shot in their homes in the mid-1990s. Thus far, Kopp has only been charged with the shooting of Dr. Short.
"You have shootings where no one has been held accountable," Sgt. John Burchill of the Winnipeg Police Department, the Associated Press reports. "People are looking for closure for the victims, but also a broader closure for the community."
Canadian officials would have to wait until Kopp's sentencing trial, which is due to start June 19, is over before extraditing him to Canada.
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. . . .