FDA Commissioner Offers No Clear Answer on Budget Cut for Women's Health Office
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach appeared in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday, claiming that no decision had been made regarding the alleged budget cut for the Office of Women's Health. An unnamed, high level official told the Washington Post earlier this week that the FDA intended to withhold $1.2 million of the Office of Women's Health annual $4 million budget, effectively halting any further projects in 2007. Von Eschenbach's comments did not offer a clear answer if the funds would indeed be withheld, but he maintained that such a budget cut would not have a negative impact on the office, saying, "There is absolutely no reduction or diminishing of the agency's commitment to women's health. I'm not downsizing the Office of Women's Health. I'm not saying there won't be a reduction... but it's not to be viewed as a reduction of our commitment to women's health," according to the Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Women's advocates have voiced their concerns about the ramifications of the possible budget cut. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) sent a letter to von Eschenbach demanding that the Women's Health Office be fully funded in order to function successfully, Reuters reports. The senators asked for a full explanation as to where the funds would be appropriated and pledged to work towards preventing the budget cut.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report 3/1/07, Reuters 2/28/07
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. . . .