Murder of Dr. George Tiller - Statement of Eleanor Smeal, President
The Feminist Majority Foundation is deeply saddened and outraged by the assassination of Dr. George Tiller at his church in Wichita, Kansas, this morning. We have worked closely with Dr. Tiller for many years in the hopes of preventing such a tragedy.
The tragic news of his murder, unfortunately, does not come as a complete surprise. Dr. Tiller has long been the target of anti-abortion extremists, surviving a previous assassination attempt in 1994 by an Army of God follower.
Dr. Tiller, who I knew for more than twenty years, was an extraordinarily courageous and dedicated women's health physician. Dr. Tiller was fully aware of the danger he faced, but was determined to ensure that women nationwide with troubled pregnancies had access to the best medical care that could be provided. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and his dedicated clinic staff and medical personnel.
Dr. Tiller's murder is not an isolated event. Dr. Tiller was harassed, threatened, shot five times (in 1994), his clinic was bombed in 1986, and most recently this month was maliciously damaged by anti-abortion extremists. We are concerned about the safety and lives of other dedicated personnel and doctors-not only in Kansas, but several other states. The Feminist Majority Foundation is working with clinics and law enforcement to ensure the security of
reproductive healthcare physicians and staff during this period of heightened concern.
Since 1989, the Feminist Majority Foundation has run the National Clinic Access Project
(NCAP), the nation's oldest and largest clinic defense program. NCAP works with local law
enforcement to ensure safe access to women's reproductive health clinics, to increase safety
for women's healthcare workers and physicians, and to bring perpetrators of anti-abortion
violence to justice.
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. . . .