Mississippi, Louisiana, Moving to Ban State-Backed Insurance Abortion Coverage
The Mississippi and Louisiana state legislatures are both moving to pass legislation that would ban abortion coverage in each state's respective health insurance exchange being created as a result of the new federal health care package. Anti-choice legislation in Missouri also includes a provision that would ban abortion coverage in their insurance exchange.
In Mississippi, the state House passed a bill yesterday on an 80 to 33 vote that aims to ban abortion coverage in the state's insurance exchange, reported the Jackson Free Press.
In Louisiana, the state House overwhelmingly passed a bill yesterday on a 76 to 13 vote that would not only prohibit coverage of abortion in the state health insurance exchange, but would also prohibit elective abortion coverage by private insurers. The bill does not include exceptions for rape or incest, but does include an exception if a woman's life is endangered, according to the Associated Press.
This week, the Tennessee state legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill in both houses that would also ban abortion coverage in the state's to-be-created health insurance exchange. This bill was sent to Governor Philip Bredesen (D) and it is unclear if he will sign the legislation. If he signs the bill, Tennessee will become the first state to legislate against the inclusion of abortion coverage in the state insurance changes created by the new health care package.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 4/22/10, 4/23/10; Associated Press 4/22/10; Jackson Free Press 4/22/10
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. . . .