Senate Bill Challenges Bush Rule Limiting Reproductive Health Care
Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation yesterday that would prevent a Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) rule from limiting women's access to proper reproductive care. The proposed regulation would threaten women's access to contraception and health care because federally-funded health care providers, based on their personal views, would be able to withhold both services and information from women.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a press release, "Senators Clinton and Murray are true champions of women's health, and their proposed legislation sends a strong signal to administrative agencies that Congress will not stand by as those agencies try to slip in ill-conceived midnight regulations."
In her own statement, Senator Clinton added, "this HHS rule will threaten patientsí rights, stand in the way of health care professionals, and restrict access to critical health care services for those who need them most. Senator Murray and I are standing up once again to the administration against this rule and will continue to fight for women's reproductive rights. President Bush is making a last-minute attempt to undermine women's health care, but our legislation will stop this rule and ensure that women can continue to get needed health care."
Media Resources: Sen. Hillary Clinton Statements 11/20/2008, Planned Parenthood Federation of America 11/20/2008; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/26/08
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. . . .