Arizona Must Pay for Medically Necessary Abortions for Poor Women
A Superior Court Judge ruled that Arizona
lawmakers overstepped their bounds in
restricting state-paid abortions only to cases
of rape or incest or where the mother's life is
in danger. Judge Kenneth Fields said that
legislators are bound to fund "all medically
necessary abortions" for poor women; making
exceptions, he argues, is unconstitutional.
Arizona's Health Care Cost Containment
System (AHCCS) provides free medical care
for citizens whose income is less than $6,000
per year for a family of four. Bebe Anderson,
attorney for the Center for Reproductive Law
and Policy that argued the case, claimed
"lawmakers violated the rights of women in
the AHCCCS program by legislatively
determining which abortions are medically
necessary." Despite the fact that AHCCCS is
largely federally funded and the Hyde
Amendment blocks the federal funding of
abortions, Judge Fields ruled that the state
itself is responsible for funding all medically
necessary abortions for its poor women.
Media Resources: Arizona Daily Star- 2 June 2000 and Kaiser Daily
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. . . .