Philadelphia Court Defends Right to Dispense EC without Parental Notification
On Friday in Philadelphia, the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that a city health clinic did not violate the rights of a 16-year-old girl by giving her the emergency contraception she requested, or the rights of her parents by not notifying them.
The girl, Melissa Anspach, went to the clinic in January 2004 fearing that she was pregnant and requested emergency contraception. She spoke briefly with a social worker and was then given two doses, one to take immediately and one to take twelve hours later. After taking the second dose, Anspach experienced abdominal pains and vomiting, leading her parent to discover she had taken EC. Anspach was taken to a hospital by her parents where she was treated and released. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Melissa�s parents raised religious objections to the clinic�s actions and filed suit, claiming that the city of Philadelphia had violated their constitutional rights of parental guidance by not notifying them of their daughter�s decision. Melissa herself also filed suit, claiming her rights of religious freedom and bodily integrity had been violated. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed all constitutional claims, upholding a previous decision by a federal district court. Both courts ruled that the Anspachs had no constitutional right to be notified of their daughter�s contraception choice, and that Melissa could have told them voluntarily.
"The Constitution does not impose an affirmative obligation on [the] defendants to ensure that children abide by their parents� wishes, values or religious beliefs," states the ruling, adding that her parents "failed to plead facts that would establish that the Center inserted itself into Melissa�s decision by preventing Melissa from consulting her parents."
Media Resources: U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit Decision 9/21; Kaiser 9/26; Baltimore Sun 9/27
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. . . .