The staff at the Concord Feminist Health
Center, a nonprofit collective that provides
abortions and other gynecological services to
women in New Hampshire, returned to work
today following a Sunday night fire that
authorities are calling "highly suspicious." The
fire was reported shortly after 10 p.m. during
the holiday weekend when the clinic was
unoccupied, and caused several thousand
dollars worth of damage, mostly to office
areas in the rear of the building. Concord
Police report that the fire had extremely
destructive potential, but was extinguished
within 15 minutes of being spotted by an
anonymous neighbor. While the blaze has not
officially been declared arson, the physical
evidence is being analyzed by the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).
Sunday's fire was not the first act of violence
at this clinic: in the past decade, it has been
targeted with a butyric acid attack, as well as
a 1989 fire. Possible links to an August fire at
the Feminist Health Center of Portland are
being explored. The Portland Center, the
Concord Center, and a clinic in Lebanon are
the only outpatient abortion providers in New
Two out of the four clinic fires in America in
the past 12 months have occurred in New
Hampshire. FMF's 1999 National Clinic
Violence Survey revealed a drop in clinic
violence since the passage of the Freedom of
Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) in
1994. The city of Concord, in fact, was the
first in New Hampshire to enact an ordinance
limiting anti-abortion protests. Investigation of
Sunday's fire will continue, as both the
Concord Police and ATF review the physical
evidence as well as the possible connection to
the August Portland fire.
Media Resources: 1999 National Clinic Violence Survey- 19 January 2000
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. . . .