Bush Nominates Anti-Choice WY Lawyer to be District Judge
Wyoming Republican Senators Mike Enzi and Craig Thomas announced on Monday that President Bush has nominated Wyoming lawyer Richard Honaker to serve as a US District judge. As a state representative, Honaker authored and sponsored legislation in 1991 that would have outlawed abortions in Wyoming except in cases of rape or incest and when a woman's health was threatened. Titled the "Human Life Protection Act," the bill, which would have required a woman to report rape or incest within five days in order to be able to obtain an abortion, failed in the state House Judiciary Committee. As a lawyer, Honaker then represented Unseen Hands of Prayer Circle, a political action committee, before the Wyoming Supreme Court in order to place the measure on the state ballot, only for it to be rejected by voters in 1994.
Honaker claims that his political views and anti-abortion activities in the past will not affect his ability to serve as a judge, saying, "As a state legislator, I took positions on a lot of legislative issues and public policy issues, and one of them was on the abortion issue. That was my role at that time� but my role as a judge would be far different," AP reports. Reproductive rights advocates who are familiar with Honaker, however, are skeptical of his claims. Said Sharon Breitweiser, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wyoming, "I'm horrified� I have not had any personal dealings with [Honaker] in many years, but I would doubt that his zeal for the anti-abortion movement has waned in any way," according to the AP. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Honaker's nomination will now move to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D). If approved, Honaker must be confirmed by a full Senate vote before he receives confirmation as a US District judge.
Media Resources: AP 3/21/07, 3/20/07; Sen. Thomas release 3/19/07; Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report 3/21/07
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. . . .