South Carolina Proposal Would Ban Abortion Coverage by State Insurance
A South Carolina state House budget panel approved a measure Monday that would end health insurance payments for pregnant victims of rape or incest who seek abortions.
According to the Times and Democrat, Democrats on the panel were "stunned" by the measure. House Minority Leader Harry Ott (D) asked state Representative Rex Rice, who authored the measure, if his wife's life was in danger and an abortion would save her, "you would not want my health insurance to do what my doctor said was needed in order to save my wife's life?" Rice responded, "I don't believe we ought to be funding abortions with the state health plan," reported the Times and Democrat.
Rice proposed a similar measure last year, but the provision was not included in the state's final budget, reported the Palmetto Scoop.
South Carolina currently requires women seeking an abortion get counseling on the mental health impact of their decision and obtain parental consent for women under the age of 17, with the only exceptions being medical emergencies and instances of abuse, assault, incest, or neglect, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Media Resources: Times and Democrat 2/22/2010; Palmetto Scoop 2/23/10; National Conference of State Legislators
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. . . .