Anti-Abortion Poster Case Rejected by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal in the case of American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA) v. Planned Parenthood for the third time today. The appeal sought to question whether lower courts properly interpreted the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) (see PDF) by rewarding monetary damages.
The case comes out of a suit originally filed in 1995 by four physicians who were depicted on anti-abortion "wanted" posters and on an anti-abortion website entitled the "Nuremburg Files." The web site listed the addresses and phone numbers of the physicians, according to the Associated Press.
The circuit court decision (see PDF) reasoned that "ACLA was aware that a 'wanted'- type poster would likely be interpreted as a serious threat of death or bodily harm by a doctor in the reproductive health services community who was identified on one, given the previous pattern of 'WANTED' posters identifying a specific physician followed by that physician's murder. The same is true of the posting about these physicians on that part of the 'Nuremberg Files' where lines were drawn through the names of doctors who provided abortion services and who had been killed or wounded. We are independently satisfied that to this limited extent, ACLA's conduct amounted to a true threat and is not protected speech."
Media Resources: First Amendment Center; 9th Circuit Court Decision; Associated Press 10/6/08
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. . . .