Illinois Court Upholds Parental Notification before Abortion
A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled on Tuesday that an Illinois law requiring parental notification before abortions for teenage girls is constitutional. The law, which was originally passed in 1984 and updated in 1995, mandates that physicians notify the parents at least 48 hours before the abortions of girls 17 or younger.
The law does not require that parents give their consent regarding the abortion, only that they are notified. In its decision, the court described the law as "a permissible attempt to help a young woman make an informed choice about whether to have an abortion".
Lorie Chaiten of ACLU Illinois, who fought against the law, told the Associated Press that the parental notification requirement "creates unnecessary, dangerous hurdles to accessing essential health care for young women facing unintended pregnancy in the state of Illinois". It is unclear whether the ACLU will challenge the decision, but for now Chaiten says they will focus on counseling women who are faced with this new requirement, reported Chicago Public Radio.
According to the Chicago Tribune, unless critics of the decision are granted a stay by the three-judge panel of the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the law will go into effect within weeks.
Media Resources: Chicago Tribune 7/15/09, Associated Press 7/14/09, Chicago Public Radio 7/15/09
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. . . .