South Dakota Anti-Choice Measure Receives Support from Local Church Leaders
Several South Dakota church leaders declared their support last week for a November ballot initiative that would ban almost all abortions in South Dakota. According to the The Argus Leader, church leaders announced at a news conference that they hoped to gain support for the initiative from close to 800 churches within the state. The outreach effort is being called The Lampstand Project.
Reverend Jon Sanders, pastor of Flandreau Bible Church and Project supporter, said, "we are sounding a clear trumpet call from the pulpit… far beyond November 4, Lampstand churches will remain committed and available to women and children, born and unborn," according to The Argus Leader.
Not all church leaders and members in South Dakota plan to support the measure. Reverend Rodney Gist of First United Methodist Church said in an interview with The Argus Leader, "This sweeping ban allows government intrusion into families’ personal, moral decisions. Every single decision regarding pregnancy should be treated as an individual case."
As listed in South Dakota’s 2008 Ballot Question Pamphlet, Measure 11 would prohibit abortions except those deemed necessary to prevent death or serious complications or are the result of a reported rape. In 2006, 56 percent of South Dakota voters rejected a similar initiative that would have banned abortions, including cases of rape and incest.
Media Resources: The Argus Leader 9/11/08; 2008 South Dakota Ballot Question Pamphlet 9/15/2008
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. . . .