Anti-Abortion Extremist Breaks Agreement to Stay Away from Mississippi Clinic
Anti-abortion extremist Roy McMillan admitted in court on Friday that he had violated a federal agreement to stay away from Mississippi's only abortion clinic. McMillan signed a consent decree in 1995 after violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act ( see PDF).
The Clarion Ledger reports that Dr. Joseph Booker, the physician at the Jackson Women's Health Organization, testified that he feared for his life. The federal complaint states that McMillan threatened Dr. Booker by saying multiple things like, "You may die today. Are you prepared to meet your maker? Repent."
If convicted, McMillan could face fines of up to $20,000 and he could be placed under increased restrictions in future protest activities. Federal Judge Henry Wingate should announce his decision later this week.
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. . . .